Christmas – that time of year when we will inevitably find ourselves slumped in front of the television in a turkey-filled stupor watching television, with schedules made up of endless Christmas specials.
And while this year’s viewing includes staples such as The Royle Family, there will also be festive editions of Call the Midwife and Miranda.
But I have to be honest here, put my hand up and say I’ve never watched Call the Midwife and I don’t like Miranda. I know! Shocking, isn’t it? May the Angel Gabriel strike me down with his massive angel wings.
So what have I been watching this year, I hear you ask? Okay, you didn’t ask but I am going to tell you anyway. Because it’s Christmas – a time for sharing. And because I have a column to fill and it’s a notoriously quiet time of the year to find an issue to write about.
So here, in no particular order, are five series that I found unmissable this year.
And once you’ve read mine, feel free to leave a comment and tell me yours. Oh go on, it’ll be fun.
1. Whitechapel – series three
Rupert Penry-Jones and Phil Davis once again led the cast, but unlike the first two outings of the show, which each revolved around one famous Whitechapel story (Jack the Ripper in series one, and the Kray twin murders in series two) the third run featured three different stories, each told over two episodes. The premise this time round was that the police used historical crimes to solve murders of the present. It made for a fun-filled series, which was more than a little on the gruesome side. I loved it. And a fourth series has been ordered. Brilliant.
2. The Secret of Crickley Hall
I have read plenty of James Herbert books, including the one on which the BBC based this series. The adaptation didn’t disappoint. It was spooky, tense and chilling, while also managing to be extremely moving. With doors opening and closing by themselves and people being whipped by an invisible cane it made for jumpy viewing. And it starred Suranne Jones, who, let’s face it, never fails to impress, does she?
3. Scott and Bailey – series two
I don’t want to sound like a Suranne Jones bore, but she starred once again in this and like everything else she has done, it was classy entertainment. Together with Lesley Sharp the second series of this police drama by Sally Wainwright was brilliantly entertaining and fast-paced with top performances all round. I for one can’t wait for series three in 2013.
This came to us from the USA, with E4 doing the honours and showing it to UK audiences. It’s bright, cheerful and silly, but I love it. The characters are wonderful.
5. Getting On
Jo Brand is co-writer and co-star of this superb comedy, along with Vicki Pepperdine and Joanna Scanlan. The comedy is set within the NHS and, like Twenty Twelve and The Thick of It, is filmed in a fly-on-the-wall fashion. Hilarious and touching in equal measures, it’s sad that more people don’t know about this show, which remains one of the best comedies I’ve seen in years.
So, over to you. What have been your TV highlights of 2012? Oh, and Merry Christmas!