The Christmas period presented multiple comedy gems to our television screens last month, and here is a summary of a few of my particular favourites:
Ricky Gervais’ Derek reached its natural conclusion with a wedding, a fight and a baby. Gervais has shown a great subtlety in his writing that I had not noticed in his other projects that often displayed, in fact, quite the opposite. I found the episode to be dealt with sensitively and with great humour, with the character of Derek remaining endearing yet dignified throughout, as was noticeable from this year’s series two. Available on 4OD.
House of Fools
House of Fools has been one of my favourite sitcoms since it first aired in early 2014, as it is written by, and stars, the incredible Vic and Bob. This Christmas spectacular presented many problems for the duo: Erik has demanded a particular bobble hat for his present but it has been set on fire. The strange gathering must set off to steal a replacement, and meet Father Christmas (Reece Shearsmith) on the way. Available on BBC iPlayer.
Not Going Out
Not Going Out has been consistently and delightfully cringe-worthy with frequent small laughs and a few brilliant lines per episode (and there have been an impressive seven series, so that’s some great feat). This final episode did not disappoint, and audiences were finally given an answer to the age-old question: will Lee and Lucy ever actually become a couple? Available on BBC iPlayer.
Richard Ayoade returned with a Gadget Man’s Guide to Christmas with special guests Adam Hills, Jessica Hynes, Stephen Merchant, Jonathan Ross, Reece Shearsmith and Robert Webb. With a wonderful array of toys and vehicles and strange household items, Ayoade presented us with an entirely new take on Christmas gifts and dinners. Available on 4OD.
Charlie Brooker’s 2014 Wipe
Charlie Brooker brought his infamous positive little rays of sunshine to Christmas by overviewing a seemingly awful year for everyone in the entire universe. From Farage to Ebola, Charlie’s typically sarcastic and cutting commentary overed it all, with help from Barry Shitpeas and Philomena Cunk. I should probably warn off people who are prone to depression from watching this programme but Brooker’s wit really takes the edge off, as does the wonderful song at the end. Available on BBC iPlayer.
Man Down has to be one of my favourite new sitcoms from the past couple of years because it stars a couple of my most loved comedians: Greg Davies and Roisin Conaty. The Christmas episode was a beautiful tribute to the late Rik Mayall, who played Dan’s father in the show, and sent both Mayall himself, and the character he played, off in a hilarious but touching fashion. Available on 4OD.