Christmas films are great, but nothing can beat a good Christmas TV special.
So, if you’re feeling festive and are ready to sit down for a few hours with some Christmas TV, here are 8 options to choose from.
The 2 hour Sense8 Christmas special, “Happy F*cking New Year”, was added to Netflix in December 2016. This was the perfect teaser for Season 2 and gave fans something to indulge in while they waited for the new series. This episode embodies everything Sense8 gives you in a season: laughter, love, lust, family, friendships, hurt, hardships, unity.
Towards the end of the special comes an incredibly moving scene accompanied with the song “Hallelujah”. We get to see each sensate in their own corner of the world, celebrating their own Christmas traditions.
If you’ve not watched Sense8 before, you should definitely give it a go before diving into this episode.
Black Mirror’s Christmas special, “White Christmas”, may be dark, but it’s brilliance makes it well worth the watch.
On Christmas Day, we’re introduced to two men in a small outpost surrounded by snow. As one man, Matt (John Hamm) cooks Christmas dinner, he and his bunkmate Joe (Rafe Spall) tell each other tales of how they ended up where they are.
In true Black Mirror style, this Christmas special is another unsettling look into humanity and technology.
The Royle Family
The Royle Family is a classic piece of British comedy and the Christmas specials are just as funny to watch the 30th time around.
The 2008 special “The New Sofa” is one of the most hilarious episodes, as Denise and Dave decide to take on the task of cooking Christmas dinner.
This episode exemplifies the late Caroline Aherne’s comedic brilliance and is a joyous reminder of what a gift she was to television. If you’re in need of an easy going, light hearted viewing then you can’t go wrong with The Royle Family.
Gavin and Stacey
Gavin and Stacey’s 2008 special is another British gem that can’t go unwatched at Christmas.
As soon as you hear Smithy’s (James Corden) rendition of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, you know the Christmas has truly begun.
its not christmas till you have seen gavin and smithy singing pic.twitter.com/aUOuDHrwIP
— Memes 🎄 (@MemesThread) 6 December 2017
The great thing about Friends is that they seem to have an episode for every occasion. When it comes to Christmas episodes, they have a handful to choose from.
Undoubtedly, the best has to be “The One With the Holiday Armadillo”, where Ross attempts to teach his son about Hanukkah. This is soon interrupted when Chandler arrives in a Santa costume, which of course distracts Ben’s attention and leaves Ross twiddling his thumbs dressed as a giant armadillo.
Every Christmas episode of The Office is incredible, but “Christmas Party” (S2E10) is my favourite. Why? Because of Jim and Pam, obviously.
As Michael overspends by a couple of hundred dollars, he decides to turn the Secret Santa into “Yankee Swap” in an attempt to claim back the iPod he bought for Ryan. This dampens Jim’s plans however, who had bought something special for Pam.
Misfits is an extremely underrated TV series that I’d highly recommend watching, especially if you’re a fan of ‘Skins’. The Christmas special came at the end of Season 2 and was a perfect way to end the season and set things up for the next one.
If you want a modern adaptation of the Nativity, just wait until the end of the episode.
Is it really Christmas without a good Doctor Who Christmas special?
“The Christmas Invasion” which aired in 2005 was the first episode to air on Christmas Day since 1966 and sparked today’s Christmas special tradition.
This was David Tennant’s first full episode as the Doctor and what an episode it was. For me, no Doctor Who Christmas special has beaten this one and it’s a perfect reminder of how well suited Tennant was to the role, as by the end of the episode you’re eager to watch him take on a full season.
Of course, there are many more Christmas specials out there, but these are just 8 that I wanted to share with you all.
What is your favourite Christmas TV special of all time? Let me know in the comments below!