‘Tis the Season 2013

Season’s greetings, unpopculters, it’s time (again) to kick off our annual thread of all things festive.

Christmas/New Year tv, film, music, exactly how sycophantic the Graham Norton New Year special’s going to be – all these weighty topics and anything else loosely related to holiday entertainment are up for discussion. As is, of course, this year’s double dose of big-voiced diva Christmas songs: Kelly Clarkson’s (deeply boring) “Underneath the Tree” and Leona Lewis’s (not great but at least it’s short) “One More Sleep.” If I had to choose between them, I suppose I’d go with Leona’s, but (once the song actually starts) The Killers’ sad but lovely “Christmas in LA” is miles better than both.

‘Tis the Season 2012


I’ve been meaning to see Christmas classic “The Bishop’s Wife” for a few years now, but never quite managed it till today. My local arthouse-y type cinema was showing it (again), I finally made it along and my goodness, it was worth the wait. What an absolutely lovely, lovely film. If you love Cary Grant (I do) and old movies (yup, that too), it’s just a joy from start to finish. Awwwww. And it has totally put me in the mood to kick off our annual festive thread. TV, films, music, whatever – please let us know what’s entertaining you (or not), now that things with “Special” or “2012” in their names are about to start taking over the schedules.

Here’s a delightful new take on an old classic to get this party started….

‘Tis the Season 2011

Yes, folks, it’s that time of year again, when our regular programmes either go on holiday hiatus or invite a large bearded fellow in a red suit to guest star.  Bah humbug!

Aw, not really – there’s a lot of dross to look forward to on tv and radio over the next few weeks, and at the movies (how wretched does that New Year’s Eve business look?) but there’s also a lot to like.  The unexpectedly charming and hilarious Elf is on at 5.45pm on Channel 4 today for a start, and this year’s annual Christmas single from The Killers is the joyous “The Cowboy’s Christmas Ball“.  That’s just the tip of the iceberg though, so if there’s any festive viewing or listening we don’t already cover that you’d like to talk about, this is the place.

‘Tis the season 2009

I heard this cover of “Jingle Bells” – JINGLE BELLS! – today.  What is WRONG with folk?  To think I thought this inoffensive stab at “Last Christmas” was a bit pointless.  It’s practically the stuff of genius in comparison.  Bah humbug. 

Anyway, we did a festive songs/festive matters thread last year but if anyone has anything Christmas-entertainment-related you want to chat about this year (and yes, who is going to win X Factor absolutely counts – they’re going to be Christmas No.1 after all), whether it’s celebratory or Scrooge-ish, here’s a shiny new thread just for you.

‘Tis the season

It’s that time of year again.  2009 is coming, Geese are getting fat, and shops (and music channels) are playing Christmas songs almost non-stop.  Someone somewhere has trotted out a giant calculator and worked out that the one they play the most is Wham’s Last Christmas.  Fair enough, I guess.  It’s a bona fide pop classic, and while I don’t “do” Christmas, I love the soundtrack to it as much as the next person.  So I finally have an excuse to start the “favourite Christmas songs” discussion suggested by Stephen Strange over on the Kids thread (in the absence of a Radiohead Christmas album, I don’t see Jed starting it so you’re stuck with me, I’m afraid.)

There are plenty of other classics mentioned in the top ten list including the original (and best by a snow-covered country mile) Band Aid song, the incomparable “Fairytale of New York”, the Boss’ “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, and even “Stop The Cavalry”, a song I adored all through my childhood regardless of the fact that I could only understand one line of it.  It had a nice pom-pom-pa-ra-pom sound, ok?  That more than made up for it.

Other greats not on the list though?   I may be the only person I know who remembers let alone loves New Year by The (original) Sugababes, but I can’t be alone in feeling a warm glow when I hear Judy Garland’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas or 2000 Miles by The Pretenders.  And does The Power of Love by Frankie Goes to Hollywood count? 

So many tunes, no wonder the gift-buying season seems to start around July now – they need time to play them all several thousand times.  Care to indulge me in some panto-style audience participation, and share your festive favourites?