It’s the Christmas holidays, and you’re desperately trying to distract yourself from impending New Year assignments. Well then, that means it’s time to crack out the TV boxsets! But which one do you pick? The Edge have got your back. Here are our picks for the best Christmas TV bingewatches!
Doctor Who Christmas Specials
Since the reboot of Doctor Who in 2005, there have been thirteen festive specials of the Sci-Fi phenomenon, putting a seasonal spin on the world of the TARDIS and the Cybermen. From a space age Titanic to a Victorian London invaded by sentient snowmen, the Christmas specials have something new to give each year, and that’s what makes them so binge-worthy. Most of the time, the specials have no real link to the main overarching storyline of Doctor Who as a whole, and therefore can be watched without watching their accompanying seasons. The festive twists reference different aspects of the winter season, such as a strong focus on family and many appearances from Saint Nick himself. With enough Christmas specials to make up an entire season of the show, and each episode being feature length (one whole hour instead of the usual 45 minutes), a Christmas binge of Doctor Who for the Sci-Fi lover is a must.
I will start this with a disclaimer: I do, in fact, binge Friends on a loop all year round (no joke, I have it on pretty much every day). However, it does serve as a wonderful non Christmas-specific show to watch non-stop during the festive season. Firstly, there are some wonderful Christmas episodes throughout the ten series – is it really Christmas without the Holiday Armadillo? – and the idyllic image of New York in the snow, accompanied by Monica’s perfectly decorated tree, really puts you in a Christmassy mood. And yet, even the non-Christmas episodes are ideal for this time of year. I associate Friends with a lovely warm and cosy feeling, and there is something genuinely comforting about watching your favourite six friends who will always be there for you. Just one piece of advice – if it is warm and cosy you are after, please skip the infamous ‘We Were on a Break’ saga; no one needs that kind of negativity at Christmas.
Gavin and Stacey
“Oh! Oh! Oh! Merry Christmas.”
Gavin and Stacey is the perfect show to binge-watch at Christmas. Whilst the noughties fashion may not have aged particularly well (stop wearing belts over t-shirts), the jokes and classic catchphrases continue to bring a smile to the face of even the biggest Grinch in the family. Snuggled up on the sofa, watching the drama of the two colliding families, is so amusing to watch because it feels so authentically British. Whilst James Corden may have moved onto bigger and better things in America, no Brit can honestly say that they think of anything but the hilarious man-child, Smithy, that he plays in Gavin and Stacey. The Christmas episode in particular, saved in my household until the big day itself, encapsulates the drama that every British household secretly desires. The scene where Pete punches Dave may be one of the funniest moments in British television. So, if you’re worried that your Christmas may be drama-free this year, put on an episode of Gavin and Stacey and live vicariously through their antics.
The Office U.S.
If you’re looking for something to binge-watch this Christmas that doesn’t feature the most cliche ‘single-mum-finds-a-partner-who-the-kids-adore’ storyline just in time for Christmas, The Office‘s Christmas episodes might just be the perfect fit. Whether it’s ‘Moroccan Christmas’, ‘Christmas Party’, or ‘Benihana Christmas’, they all guarantee top notch quotes from Michael Scott, hilarious antics from Dwight, and, last but not least, the ongoing war between Phyllis and Angela over the leadership of the office’s most important institution – the Party Planning Committee. The blackmailing, the offensive comments, the ‘interventions’, Kevin sitting on Michael’s lap… there is never a dull moment at Dunder and Mifflin Scranton, especially not at Christmas.
The great thing about The Office‘s Christmas episodes is their normality – they don’t completely erase life to accommodate Christmas. Even if they put on parties and have Secret Santa, they get on with their lives and learn valuable things about themselves and others – Michael learns that not every girl he meets is the one, Angela learns a little bit of humility, and Pam realises a well-thought present us better than an iPod. And after all, that’s what Christmas is about.