20 December 2009

Christmas TV offerings

One of the fun things about British TV are the Christmas Specials:

The Grow Your Own Drugs Christmas Special: That would get the religious right in the US freaking out especially after reading about the American Decency Association targeting "American Dad" and "Family Guy" at Stupid Right Wingers. I can just imagine them blowing a fuse or two when they see this programme.

Too bad it's about actual organic medicines, not psychoactive ones. Like the type of medicinial plants you find in Physic Gardens.

The ads for this show are a scream. I should post one.

Oz and Hugh Drink to Christmas: Wine Experts Oz Clarke and Hugh Dennis decide to try seasonal drinks. This will get your Christmas spirits up. Stuff like Dickens's smoking bishop. If you've actually read "A Christmas Carol" rather than watched the numerous versions out there, you know that a reformed Ebenezer Scrooge and Bob Cratchit share a glass (or more) at the end of the story. Oz and Hugh may not drink actual smoking bishop, but they do plow through whisky, winter ales, wassail (horrid stuff), sloe gin, port, sherry and snowballs along with each drink's traditions. Oz and Hugh may not get wrecked, but I am sure someone watching it would if they drink each libation along with Oz and Hugh. Although it does take a heck of a lot of mulled wine to get drunk.

I'm downloading this to iPlayer as I write.

Since we mentioned it in the last bit, Dickens' A Christmas Carol on Radio 7 (I remember when there were only 4 of them): Michael Gough and Freddie Jones. It is without regional boundaries since it's a radio programme. SO, you are set if you don't like seeing:
Currently BBC iPlayer TV programmes are available to play in the UK only, but all BBC iPlayer Radio programmes are available to you.

The Truth About Christmas Carols: That one should have the Christ in Christmas crowd worrying as well since I mentioned it. I'll cop out and just cut and paste the Beeb's description:
There could be nothing more sweet and sentimental than the sound of traditional carols performed by a velvet-voiced choir at Christmas. Or so you would think. Composer Howard Goodall uncovers the surprising and often secret history of the Christmas carol.

Far from being accepted as part of the celebrations of Jesus' birth, over the centuries carols have been banned by both church and state. The carols we sing seem set in stone and yet they can have up to 400 regional variations. Individual carols have caused controversy - While Shepherds Watched had to be cleaned up by the Victorians for being too crude and there's a suspicion that O Come All Ye Faithful was a call to 18th century Jacobites to rebel.

History Zone - Christmas Zone: Sounds interesting. It looks like clips from previous years' programmes. Something to listen to whilst cleaning the house.

I'll add in Victorian Farm Christmas after catching a bit of the first episode. The last few minutes had folkie John Kirkpatrick playing some trad Christmas songs. That was worth the price of admission.

There are quite a few cookery programmes: Nigella's Christmas Kitchen with Nigella Lawson, Rick Stein's Christmas Odyssey, and The Hairy Bakers' Christmas Special. So, if you don't know what to cook for Christmas, these will confuse you even more. Of course, foodies love this stuff even if they never actually cook it.

And who can forget Casualty? That one's been around for 24 seasons and yet another CV builder for British Actors.