Let The Couch Marathon Begin - Your Definitive Guide For a 48 Hour TV Binge

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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.

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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 Musical

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!

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The Cartoon

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...

The Comedy

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 Day

An 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.)
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The Not-Safe-For-Family-Viewing

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.

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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...

The Alternative

If none of the above appeals, stream Black Mirror online. This year's Christmas special looks every bit as dark, as funny and as utterly anti-Christmas as episodes from previous years. Grab the laptop, retreat to your room and embrace Charlie Brooker's visions of a dystopian sci-fi future.
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