Do you remember when Christmas TV was a thing?
Granted, it was back in the day when there were only four channels and when Top of the Pops was an innocently exciting way to find out who was Christmas number one, rather than a tacky reminder of a) how music is so utterly fucking awful now and b) just how many Top of the Pop presenters have links to paedophilia.
We used to watch the big film at 3 and things like French & Saunders Christmas specials that were actually funny. And, most of all, new.
This Christmas was an anomaly for me in many ways. The first one I have spent in the presence of family members for many a year, it was a sort of comforting yet alien time. But luckily for me, despite having approximately 5 million TV channels, I was forced into watching Morecambe and Wise and Blackadder's Christmas Carol. Not because family forced me but because there was fucking nothing else on. Unless I wanted to watch endless episodes of EastEnders or that Mrs Brown thing that just looks so completely abhorrent.
Oh, I did squeeze Big Fat Quiz of the Year in because I do love me a bit of Noel Fielding and that.
In this wasteland of festive 'entertainment' I have been comforted only by University Challenge, random historical documentaries and, surprisingly, Death Comes to Pemberley.
I tried to wade through the book last year but could not swallow PD James's versions of characters that belong to my brain. It's a fact universally acknowledged that the only version of Darcy and Elizabeth that is allowed in any way is Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. There is no room for anyone else to try. Ever. So I didn't want to watch this. But I did. Because it's Christmas and I've just moved to an island where the rain never stops and it's basically impossible to do anything else.
And it was ace. The casting was alright - in fact, they got the peripheral characters bang on and I just about got used to Darcy and Lizzy by the conclusion of the mystery of who killed Denny. Shame it wasn't Whickam what was offed. Or Lydia even. Such a pain in the ass. The only thing that bothered me was the sex scene. Hey, TV people, you don't always have to have a sex scene. Especially when it's a sequel to Pride & Prejudice. We all know what shagging looks like. We don't need to see Darcy at it.
A good bout of sexual tension is ace though, and part of the massive enjoyableness of Sherlock. I'd forgotten that I liked it so much. Somewhere along the way, it's got lost in the whole Dr Who massive fuss about fuck all in my head, probably because the cross over of writers and the ubiquitous nuttiness of the huge droves of fans. I clearly spend far too much time online as If ind this as irritating as a DFS advert.
So I wasn't that arsed when it came on. I was vaguely interested to see how they'd deal with the fall and I do like Tim from the office in his new job. And it was New Years Day and it was still raining outside. I should explain that the rain here is not like normal rain. And there is not a normal amount of it. It is relentless and savage and coastal and brutal and I sort of love it but for fuck's sake, it would be nice to just be able to go outside at some point.
It's going to be shit I thought to myself. And then they revealed the fall immediately and it involved fucking Derren Brown. See - I fucking knew it would be shit. I was gleeful about two seconds later. For some reason I'd briefly forgotten that Mark Gatiss is an unholy genius and would never have fucked it like that.
It continued to be gleeful and the homoerotic tension plus the glimpse of Sherlock's mum and dad just added to the deliciousness. They revealed three of the 13 solutions by the end. I don't really give a shit how he did it to be honest. Conan Doyle bumped Holmes off in the original because he was bored witless by his own creation. Pressure and the promise of cash brought him back, so his Holmes climbed up the rocks rather than fell down the waterfall. What did ours do? Don't care as long as they keep making them.
A beacon of bright entertainment in a sludgy grey schedule.