In the UK, Christmas week is a huge week for television.
The week’s schedule is filled with special episodes of regular shows with your favourite characters/quiz panel show contestants all getting in the Christmas spirit.
Outside of the UK… traditionally, Christmas is a time of your favourite shows taking a break with airings of the occasional Christmas special, and a mid-afternoon screening of that Family Ties episode where Alex is visited by the three Christmas ghosts.
But no more. TV is getting not just good at Christmas time, but great.
The US-led streamers are shaking things up this Christmas. Some of the year’s biggest titles are launching on Christmas:
Netflix delivers us the debut of George Clooney’s new film The Midnight Sky (written and directed by the handsome devil), along with the launch of the mega-budget Bridgerton (the first show from Shonda Rhimes on Netflix).
Disney+ debuts Soul on Christmas Day. That’s the new Pixar animated film.
And then over on HBO Max there is the release of the mega-mega-budget feature film Wonder Woman 1984. Outside the US this one is playing in cinemas.
Those are huge titles.
Below you’ll find a guide to the big holiday releases. I hope it helps.
The Midnight Sky - Netflix
Stars: George Clooney, Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo
This post-apocalyptic tale follows Augustine, a lonely scientist in the Arctic, as he races to stop Sully and her fellow astronauts from returning home to a mysterious global catastrophe.
Wonder Woman 1984 - HBO Max
Soul - Disney+
Stars: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Graham Norton
A musician who has lost his passion for music is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself.
Bridgerton - Netflix
Have I Got 30 Years for You (Christmas Eve at 10.15pm)
Call the Midwife Christmas Special (Christmas Day at 7.40pm)
EastEnders (Christmas Day at 9.10pm)
Mrs Brown's Boys (Christmas Day and New Year's Day at 10.00pm)
The Great British Sewing Bee Christmas Special (Boxing Day at 7.45pm & New Year's Eve at 8.00pm)
Being Bridget Jones (Tuesday 22nd December)
Mock the Week Christmas Special (Monday 21st December at 10.00pm)
QI Christmas Special (Wednesday 23rd December at 9.30pm)
Britain's Got Talent at Christmas Spectacular (Christmas Day at 8.00pm)
All Creatures Great and Small Christmas Special (Tuesday 22nd December at 9.00pm)
That’s it for me this week. Always Be Watching will be back with a Monday edition.
I appreciate that this is a garbage year - hopefully you’ll all be with friends or family, but I understand that not everyone can. If you’re feeling alone and need some human contact this Christmas, please just hit reply to this email. I’m happy to have a chat.
Enjoy your Christmas break. Let’s chat again next week.
And please… let’s be careful out there.