Didn’t watch as much Christmas telly as usual this year but I did catch The Royle Family, which the BBC managed to squeeze into one of the rare respites from David Tennant. Oh dear, I’m afraid Jim and the family well and truly jumped it. Leapt the leopardshark. Hurdled the hammerhead. Gaily galloped and gambolled giddily over the Great White. Pity, as The Royle Family used to be a treat. At its best it employed a dash of crude humour without relying on it, poked fun at the (non) working class without sneering at it, exaggerated reality but still rang true. This instalment blew all that. In particular, by making all the family as dim and selfish as Denise – who was always the only totally absurd one – the characterisation, so painstakingly constructed over many great episodes, was swiftly wrecked. Shocker. What else was there? The Gruffalo was a bit of a let-down. They dragged the wee story out to half an hour simply by reciting the dialogue very slowly. A gruuuuufalo?...
o? This meant that the bouncy rhythm of the book was lost, which is the best thing about it. And what the hell was Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End about? I couldn’t make head nor tail of it. Lots of unpleasant characters standing about haggling over a bewildering array of MacGuffins, quadruple-crossing each other and then having a swordfight. Repeat for three very long hours. Doctor Who was alright but I hope they go back to normal-sized peril wherein a few people are endangered, rather than having to save THE UNIVERSE and TIME ITSELF amid shouts and explosions every week. Gavin and Stacey was ok.