8 Best TV Progammes over Christmas.

Bonnie and Clyde.

Bonnie and Clyde.

What with digital top boxes, VOD and the various Players and the general box set culture that has done so much to transform television programming and watching, the Christmas TV schedule isn’t, inevitably, what it was once was. Nevertheless, this year’s offerings seem especially dull.

Kind Hearts and Coronets.

Kind Hearts and Coronets.

Here are 8 of the very few things on offer to distract you from the annual rows, indulgence and over-stimulation. In chronological order, set the Record for:

1. Sunday Dec 22nd BBC1 5:15pm, Alice In Wonderland. Classic Disney, from a prelapsarian age when cartoons were made with playfulness and wit. Not a lesson in sight.

2. Sunday Dec 22nd BBC2 10pm, Translations. A look at Brian Friel’s most enduring play, and one of the very few interesting to things to emerge from the Irish stage in the last few decades.

3. Sunday Dec 22nd RTE 2 11:50 Bonnie And Clyde (1967), Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway in Arthur Penn’s famously amoral biopic. The US indie film movement that saw the likes of Coppola, Scorsese, Towne, Schrader, Ashby (see below) et al emerge in the 70s begins here.

Jack Nicholson in "The Last Detail".

Jack Nicholson in “The Last Detail”.

4. Christmas Eve RTE1 9:30pm Irish Pictorial Weekly (reviewed earlier here). Last in series. Not to be missed. Shock horror, an Irish comedy that’s actually funny and is aimed un-apologetically at a triple digit IQ.

5. Sunday Dec 29th BBC4 8pm, Christmas Lectures 2013: Life Fantastic, Allison Woollard gives a talk on Natural Selection.

6. New Year’s Eve BBC4 8pm, Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949), Alec Guinness plays the 8 relatives keeping Dennis Price from what’s rightfully his.

The only must watch on British TV.

The only must watch on British TV.

7. New Year’s Eve, BBC1, 10:15pm, the Graham Norton Show. Still the best way to kick off any New Year’s Eve.

8. Thursday Jan 2nd/Fri Jan 3rd. Film 4 01:30am, The Last Detail (1973), Jack Nicholson (reviewed earlier here) in Hal Ashby’s engrossing and quietly moving low-key drama.

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