Pick of Christmas Specials were Motherland and Two Doors Down. Little point in reiterating the plots of these or the other Christmas Specials. If you saw them then you’ll have an opinion and if you didn’t see them it would spoil the pleasure for you, as well as the 60m+ others who didn’t watch them over Christmas, from discovering them on catch-up. Instead we’ll cover them briefly and give the avingagiraffe.com rating. See if you agree or choose which you want to see, in most cases you’ll be in for a treat,
Let’s start with Motherland. Consistently funny throughout both series, the Christmas Special maintained the high standard. With a superb cast and standout performances from Diane Morgan (Liz) and Anna Maxwell Martin (Julia). Motherland was way ahead of most specials. Series three is eagerly awaited.
It’s almost impossible to keep up with the shifting sands of Covid restrictions so whether or not the neighbours of Latimer Street broke the rules by travelling to Cathy and Eric’s modernistic holiday home in the Scottish Highlands or not, is anyone’s guess. But we should be grateful that they did because the Two Doors Down was very funny. Arabella Weir as Beth, Doon MacKichan as Cathy and Elaine C Smith as Christine steal the show ably supported by Alex Norton (Eric) and Jonathan Watson (Colin). The five together with son Ian (Jamie Quinn) and boyfriend Gordon (Keiran Hodgson) were confined to a house that was so highly illuminated it surely could have been seen by the occupants of the International Space Station. A fifth series is planned for 2021 – covid willing.
If you love Ghosts then you’ll love the Christmas Special. Although consistently well written and performed it is in danger of becoming repetitive or even jumping the shark.
Mrs Brown’s Boys however is in no such danger, it jumped several sharks and a blue whale a while back. The Christmas Special was up to its usual standard although it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Despite not achieving its usual high level viewing figures it had already been commissioned for four more specials so fans need not worry, they have not seen the last of Agnes.
Pandemonium, although not strictly a Christmas Special, was in the most part a very humorous take on the extended Jessop family during a year of lockdowns and tiers. Well observed and written by Tom Basden, who also plays brother/in-law, Robin. In an interview Basden said that he hoped “…it’s (Pandemonium) got the tone of sitcom classics like The Office”: well rest assured it has, mainly because, Paul Jessop, played by Jim Howick, has the noticeable speech mannerisms of a certain David Brent. Nevertheless, Pandemonium has all the ingredients for a successful sitcom series.
Traditionally, Christmas Specials have been extended versions of the 30 minute series episodes but with most of them this year being Christmas themed half hour episodes they didn’t seem to be Specials in the same way. Nevertheless there was some excellent viewing.