Christmas TV • 3 December 2009 • The SnowBlog
When I was little, and there were only three TV channels, Christmas was pretty exciting because the usual, staid schedule was shaken up and they started showing films. Before everyone got into the habit of owning their favourite movies on pre-recorded (or maybe home-recorded) VHS, films would appear at the cinema and then disappear forever into some mythical, rose-tinted recollection of how good they were. But at Christmas, you might be able to see that one stunt from that amazing Bond movie again. You might even be able to do so while eating a mince pie in front of a log fire.
Then VHS became common, and later DVDs, and then satellite movie channels. And now you can see movies the whole time. So, at least in televisual terms, Christmas is a lot less exciting.
Latterly, things seem to have gone into reverse. This week my Sky+ box is telling me that three of the shows that I'd normally watch just aren't on this week or the next or the next. They'll pop up again some time in January, by which time I'll struggle to remember what was going on. Presumably that's to make way for extra carol services (which, at least in principle, sounds appealing) or the 66th rerun of a Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special (which appeals a little less). In some cases, it's also to make sure that episodes of an American show don't get aired here before they do in the States. So I can only imagine how dire Christmas TV must be in the States (I do know they replace new episodes of shows with repeats at seemingly random intervals). All in all, it makes me wonder how many viewers popular shows lose in the Christmas disruption and what the goal of Christmas scheduling is these days. Am I being too Bah-Humbuggy, or is there some yuletide magic to Christmas telly that I'm missing?