Let The Couch Marathon Begin - Your Definitive Guide For a 48 Hour TV Binge
Are you reading this on the sofa? Have you been on the sofa so long that you are starting to become part of the sofa? Are you in a roast vegetable-induced vegetative state?
For many of us this is the lost time of Christmas, the food coma limbo, the mulled wine-fueled timewarp which swallows up your best intentions to finally read that book and makes you crash out in front of Come Dine With Me instead.
Not that I'd suggest doing anything differently. This is a time for living off leftovers, for lazily messaging friends to arrange drinks, then going back to sleep for an afternoon nap. And for watching some of the cheesiest, most predictable TV you'll see all year. Which is why I've put together this short guide on the films you should watch today and tomorrow, arranged by family friendliness and whether or not you'd be embarrassed watching them with elderly relatives.
The Christmas favorite
The Muppet Christmas Carol, FilmFour, 11am, St Stephen's Day
Depending on how old you are, you'll view Michael Caine being followed around by an ethereal ghost-child with great fondness or as the creepiest thing you've ever seen (that said, I dare you not to be charmed by Statler and Waldorf's musical turn as the Marley brothers).
The Grinch, FilmFour, 11am, 27th December
We all know the original cartoon is better, but if you're fond of antiheroes with garlic in their souls who steal from children, then this is the film for you.
The Wizard of Oz, TV3, 2.55pm, St Stephen's Day
Every Christmas for as long back as I can remember I have watched this film. You might well be the same. There's no place like home, and there's no film better than The Wizard of Oz.
The Sound of Music, RTE One, 2.40pm, 27th December
In at least every class in every primary school in Ireland there is a girl convinced by Maria from The Sound of Music that she would one day like to be a nun. For everyone else this film is a kitschy inevitability. In the words of Robbie Williams in a very old episode of Cribs, let's watch the Von Trapps get the nazis!
Pinocchio, BBC One, 9am, St Stephen's Day
I suspect today's children fed on a cultural diet no more menacing than Angry Birds and Bieber will not be able for that scene in which the little boy turns into a donkey (I find it every bit as terrifying now as when I first saw it aged four), but it's worth a shot...
Monsters Inc, BBC One, 3.15, St Stephen's Day
Warm and fuzzy as monster films go. In fact this makes a curious one juxtaposed with Pinocchio, a film not about monsters, and made without special effects, but which remains a lot more scary to this day...
Kick-Ass, RTE, 11.15pm, St Stephen's Day
A superhero film deconstructed for the Ritalin generation. I'm looking forward to this as the brash, bad-taste alternative to the usual cheesy Christmas films.
Cool Runnings, BBC One, midday, St Stephen's DayAn unlikely seasonal classic about a Jamaican bobsledding team. Fans like to tell you that "it's actually based on fact.." (and it is, kind of.)
Out of Sight, ITV, 11pm, St Stephen's Day
Steamy, steamy scenes between George Clooney's bank robber and Jennifer Lopez's good cop seduced to the bad side. Do not watch with grandma.
Carry-On…, ITV3, 9am-4.45pm, 27th December
This might be an annual event: I am going to call it 'The Carrying On'. ITV3, should you have that channel, is running a marathon of nearly eight hours of Carry On films all day on the 27th, promising more dodgy jokes than a box of Christmas crackers.
Silent Night, Deadly Night
Sleepy Hollow, Film 4, 11.45, 27th December
It's likely at least one channel has already shown Edward Scissorhands and The Nightmare Before Christmas already, but Sleepy Hollow is frequently overlooked. This dreamy, snow-capped film makes for goth-y winter viewing (watch out for Christopher Walken looking even creepier than usual filed-down teeth).
The Birds, FilmFour, 3am, St Stephen's Day
Another unlikely choice, but a classic. If you find yourself awake in the early hours and tired of mass-enforced Christmas cheer, Hitchcock's hellish vision of nature in revolt is well worth staying up late for.
The Drinking Game
The Lost World: Jurassic Park, ITV2, 4.35pm 27th December: A game '65 million beers in the making'. Somebody injured? Drink. Somebody dead? Drink twice. Somebody talking about outdated technology (CD-ROMS! UNIX!) and erroneous scientific theories? Drrrrrink!
Love Actually (Netflix- but it has to be included): there are official rules, but they can be neatly summarized as 'drink every time you see knitwear'. Deck the halls, gather your friends and line up the shots...