The Ultimate Guide To Christmas TV

The good, the bad and the very funny

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'Tis the season to sit on the sofa and watch TV. So make like a pig in blanket and put your feet up as we guide you through the best TV airing over the Christmas holidays. Because you can only watch Home Alone so many times. 

The Last Panthers, Sky Atlantic

The six-part diamond heist series will reach its climax over Christmas. We watch through the eyes of the good guys as they chase down a gang of thieves and their loot, taking them across the beautifully filmed underbelly of Europe, dogding banksters and gangsters along the way. And David Bowie wrote the theme tune, 'Blackstar', making this show a feast for all the senses. 

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Catastrophe, C4

The funniest British sitcom of 2015. The first series made us laugh and cry and cringe as Sharon and Rob embarked on a rather unexpected journey. Series 2 has been no different and we gleefully watch the pair tumble headfirst into parenthood, with a wonderful supporting cast including Ashley Jensen. Much hilarity ensues. 

London Spy, BBC

The BBC's new atmospheric spy thriller, which follows Danny (Ben Whishaw) as he tries to figure out his conspiratorial lover's secrets, has certainly divided audiences. Watch it over the holidays and make up your own mind. 

A Very Murray Christmas,  Netflix 

Netflix strikes again, and this time it's festive. An all-star cast - including Miley Cyrus, George Clooney and Amy Poehler - join Bill Murray as he tries to pull together a holiday TV show in the midst of a New York snowstorm. Expect Murray, a classic Scrooge character, being overcome by goodwill, Christmas cheer and a few festive tunes. 

Master Of None

Funny man, Aziz Anzari plays Dev, a 30-year-old actor based in Now York. The plot line simply reads: 'This is Dev. He has a lot of questions.' Don't we all, Dev... Don't we all. 

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The Affair, Sky 

Is it ever okay to cheat? Sky's drama, The Affair follows the extramarital-liasons of Noah Solloway (Dominic West) and Alison Lockhart (Ruth Wilson), documenting the collateral emotional anguish cheating can cause with a cool aesthetic and fleeting flashbacks. It makes for intense viewing.

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Luther, BBC

He's back! Idris Elba returns for a two-part special of Luther (15 December), the crime drama that will leave you quaking in your Christmas booties. Luther continues to use his megamind to meander through the grimey criminal world. But can it save him from the dangerous iolence of his own passions? Just. Got. Chills. 

War and Peace, BBC

Set to air in January, the BBC is taking on a project of epic proportions in this adaptation of War and Peace. The six-part adaptation of Russian author Leo Tolstoy's novel stars national TV treasures, Gillian Anderson and Jim Broadbent. If the Beeb's recent adaptations are anything to go by - that scene in Lady Chatterly's Lover suddenly springs to mind - this show is set to be monumentally good. 

And Then There Were None (Boxing Day BBC1)

Another BBC adaptation, And Then There Were None is based on Agatha Christie's war novel of the same name. A classic muder mystery set on an isolated rock off the Devonshire coast, we recommend you cuddle up by the fire on Boxing Day and watch the sleuthing commence. Prizes for who guesses the murderer.

Words by Francesca Donovan

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