It’s been a good year on the box, hasn’t it? SkandiNoir is now a generic term to describe any moody, atmospheric murder mystery being unravelled in damp weather, while Mad Men did the unthinkable and ended.
But since I don’t have extra terrestrial TV, or time to watch box sets, I don’t actually watch any of those. I have to make a real effort to remember any serial, so most of my TV moments are made up of snippets, short series or my favourite show which, even with controversy, grows stronger and stronger. There are spoilers here, so tread carefully if you’re a box set junkie and haven’t caught up with stuff yet.
9. Lucy’s killer revealed: I don’t tend to watch general misery on a day to day basis (specially since my childhood spent in an East End square didn’t feature anything remotely exciting, except for the Island Carnival – the cultural offer for the Isle of Dogs c. 1970s) but I do sometimes tune in for the Big Reveal, like Who Shot Phil, and this episode, all live, to find out that youngster Bobby Beale, Lucy’s little brother (and a local Medway lad, no less) was responsible. A genuine shock reveal, and a fantastic production from cast and crew to boot.
8. Humans: “I’m sorry, I don’t understand the question.” became the stock answer to any demands from the kids. The ultra creepy trailers meant we were wrong footed as the machines didn’t turn on their families and skin them or such like, but showed their humanity – including sly Niska. The second series is eagerly awaited.
7. The Fall: Another I kept meaning to watch and regretting that I didn’t, when dropping in at the end (and not recognising Merlin at all). Then bringing myself up to speed sufficiently to fully appreciate Stella running to Spector when both he and Tom were shot. One for the retirement box set list.
6. Chris Pratt’s TOWIE impression: Could I have laughed any harder? This was so spot on. A tough choice from the Graham Norton Show, just beating Benedict Cumberbatch beating up a giant teddy bear. Graham (or the production team) has a knack for bringing together a great couch-full and he remains the king of the chat show, enabling actors to be themselves and entertain us unexpectedly (like Ruffalo and McEvoy on Unicycles – go to Youtube and just lose yourself :))
5. Game of Thrones: Jon Snow still dies; viewers outraged and heartbroken. Readers just nod sagely, thankful for that bit at least staying true to the books. But Sansa’s storyline, seriously, George, wtf?
4. The Musketeers do the Magnificent Seven: Fan’s favourite episode ‘The Return’ gave us Athos, even more morose and gorgeous than usual, finally doing his duty by his village and setting up a perimeter to repel the nasty neighbour. And Aramis and Porthos rescus a damsel with the old tie-the-sheets-together-and-hang-em-out-the-window-while-we-hide-behind-the-door trick. Because the inbred nobility is that thick! Stirring, scary, funny, heart-thudding, exciting British TV storytelling at its best.
3. Jay’s Jive: Best celeb dance on Strictly, ever. Jaliona’s Jive had the Pulp Fiction style, terrific technique, it was exciting and musical, the choreography, costume, music mash up and the execution all came together in one of those dances the judges say deserves a perfect 10. But it was only week 3 so … *doh* Bruno, thankfully, cares not for convention. Honourable mention to #JameliaGate too, when the neutrals were scandalised that a couple in the Dance Off for the 5th time were eliminated – because it was blatantly unfair! The PTB even had to wheel out Len on ITT to calm us all down. And Tristan’s face when Jamelia spoke of Peter’s “Standing Ovation” was an absolute picture!
2. The People’s Strictly: Simply the most moving, special addition to the Strictly canon ever. 6 contestants overcoming various life changing issues or dedicating their lives to bettering the lives of others meant the sale of tissues soared. 6 wonderful journeys – yes, journeys – to a fantastic live show where they all had the time of their lives. No apologies for those cliches, it was what it was.
1. Well, well, Mr Turner. Aidan broke Twitter. Twice: Firstly, there was Poldark and the topless scything scene. Apparently, he was doing it all wrong and was in serious danger of sun damage, according to experts. Viewers agreed, there should have been a spot of oil on those rippling muscles, just to be, y’now, safe. But we settled for lustily, noisily, happily drowning in a pool of drool. And then there was … er, And Then There Were None, a magnificent adaptation of Christie’s best selling novel by Sarah Phelps. With a completely glorious, gratuitous towel scene that none of us remember from the book. But as Tom Hiddleston has said, it’s about time the balance was redressed (or, undressed, as it were) with the blokes getting their kits off for a change. And the thing is, if we all stop fancying the opposite sex the human race will die out, won’t it? Oh, and we also think he should be the next James Bond. Scroll for the Tuxedo shot. With apologies to Idris, Damian and the rest …
Point to note: Dickensian will form part of 2016’s moments!