Screen Babble is your essential guide to everything on television, from the mainstream to the marginal. NationalWorld’s podcast producer Kelly Crichton, news and trends expert Steven Ross, and critic Alex Moreland discuss what is – and what isn’t – worth watching.
We’re shaking things up a little this week, with our first ever Screen Babble Christmas special! Steven and Kelly open this very special episode by discussing some of their favourite Christmas movies, from Nativity! to It’s A Wonderful Life to Joyeux Noel.
Alex, meanwhile, realised recently he’s hardly seen any Christmas films at all – not Kelly’s preferred Home Alone, not Steven’s beloved Grinch, or even Die Hard. So, this week he’s taking recommendations rather than giving them, making a list (and checking it twice) of all the Christmas classics he needs to tick off over the holidays.
Next, we move on to discussing some of the big Christmas institutions and discuss television traditions. Kelly watches (almost) all the soaps each year – Eastenders, Coronation Street, and Emmerdale, with apologies to Hollyoaks – and already has detailed theories about just what we can expect this go round. Will this year be the best Christmas Walford’s ever had?
Every year, Steven pointedly refuses to watch The Queen’s Speech – in contrast to his family, who are just coincidentally not watching it – and he’s looking forward to starting a new tradition of pointedly refusing to watch The King’s Speech. Also on Steven’s watchlist is The Snowman, which he reckons stars one of the better child actors you’ll see over the Christmas period.
Meanwhile, Alex is planning on watching a Wallace & Gromit, a Julia Donaldson adaptation, and whatever cheaply animated children’s movie Channel 4 puts on at a strange time in the morning. (Have you seen Oops… Noah is Gone? If so, write in, because at the moment it looks like Alex was the only one watching on Christmas 2020.)
Finally, we’ve got previews of what we’re looking forward to over the Christmas period, with comedies like Ghosts and Motherland, and dramas like Call the Midwife and Mayflies. There’s no Doctor Who this year, or Top of the Pops – but there’s still plenty of other Christmas TV to keep an eye out for.
Join us again next week for our End of 2022 wrap up special, as we reflect on some of the best and worst of the year gone by. Why couldn’t Steven stomach one of Kelly’s favourites? How many TV shows did Alex watch this year? And which acclaimed television writer is (probably) a secret Screen Babble fan?
Meanwhile, though, if you’re not quite ready for the festive season to begin – this is reasonable, Christmas begins no early than December 16th – Steven’s Weekend Watch will arrive tomorrow as usual, with previews of Harry & Meghan Vol 2, Litvinenko, and Vardy v Rooney.
Listen to this week’s episode right here…
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