As this is the weekend before Christmas we intended to present a selection of Christmas films and television as our pick of Netflix. Unfortunately, Netflix UK has made this quite difficult, due to having a very rare amount of good Christmas films and television available. Our list would be a lot longer if we included all of the brilliant Christmas films that are out there (and are indeed available in other Netflix regions) that are not featured on the UK Netflix, but instead we skimmed through the small collection to bring you the best of the bunch.
As you may be aware, we currently have a 12 Days of Christmas feature running on the site, serving as an antidote to the season of schmalz, and exploring the darker side of Christmas. The first day of Christmas celebrated the seminal 1974 horror film, Black Christmas. The film, our first pick, sees a stranger terrorise a sorority house during the Christmas holidays. If you can’t bear watching another repeat of Love Actually this year, this is the film for you.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – A Very Sunny Christmas (Season 6, Episode 7)
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is consistently one of the funniest and best written shows on television. A show that has been described as “Seinfeld on crack”, consists of five conscience-free, despicable characters, that week-after-week sees them hatch a plan where they can either become rich quick, or get one over on their enemies. The Christmas episode is no different – with one pair of characters discovering their parents either stole presents for them on Christmas, or prostituted themselves to pay for it, and the remaining trio stuck trying to create a Christmas Carol situation, but end up being just as bad as their appointed ‘Scrooge’. A fantastic episode, from a sitcom that offers no hugs and learning. Don’t expect warm and fuzzy feelings after this.
Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol has been adapted to film many times over the years, and actors from Alastair Sim (A Christmas Carol – 1951) to Michael Caine (Muppets Christmas Carol) have played Scrooge in the traditional setting. Scrooged is a different beast altogether. Set around a ruthless TV executive (Bill Murray) as he prepares to put on a live-action Christmas Carol TV show, the film brings the classic story to the modern age. The fantastically crazy Bobcat Goldthwaite stars as a disgruntled employee, and the three spirits are of particular note, including Carol Kane as an aggressive Ghost of Christmas past. The fantastic supporting cast and the wonderful deadpan style of Bill Murray, make this far more entertaining than the usual Christmas fodder.
Father Ted – A Christmassy Ted
Father Ted doesn’t seem to be as popular as say Black Adder or Fawlty Towers these days, but Graham Linehan’s Irish comedy is equally as funny. Focussing on the home of three priests; the drunk Father Jack, the dimwitted Father Dougal, and the titular Father Ted, who would rather do anything than stay on their home in Craggy Island. Joined by the tea-obsessed Mrs Doyle, the characters end up in all sorts of farcical and surreal situations, including entering the Eurovision Song Contest. The Christmas episode however, sees Father Ted win the Golden Cleric award, as recognition of him saving a group of priests from an embarrassing situation: the ladies-lingerie section of a department store. A classic comedy, that only makes fun of itself.