What did you watch on your holiday?

19:50, Jan 07 2013

Now that I've pumped you for information on what you got for Christmas, I suppose we should talk a little television. So, tell me, what did you watch over the Christmas/New Year break?

Here are a few things that entertained me during the holiday - be warned: there be spoilers here.

Doctor Who Christmas Special: The Snowmen
I have to tell you, folks, I really like Jenna-Louise Coleman as the Doctor's new companion. Though the final scene of The Snowmen indicated that we'll get a more present-day version of Oswin/Clara (for the sake of relatability), I've enjoyed the two forays we've had with Coleman so far. Season 7 debut Asylum of the Daleks and Christmas spesh The Snowmen - which Prime thankfully aired mere hours after the BBC - prove that Coleman has something a bit special, and the playful banter with Smith's Doctor #11 prove there is a nice chemistry there already. Aside from that, The Snowmen was a passable, if forgettable, special - the titular snowmen were a bit silly, weren't they?

The Walking Dead S3, mid-season finale
All you need to know about The Walking Dead's final episode of 2012 is this: I audibly gasped, then immediately checked the internet to confirm when it would be back (February 11 in the USA, hopefully close behind on TV2). I can't help but think Michonne prodded The Governor just a little too far, taking an eye but turning him into a much more dangerous man in the process. I can't wait for the second half of the season.

Jekyll, Season 1
How did I miss this remarkable series from Steven Moffat?! The Hobbit's James Nesbitt stars as a modern day Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde. A typically brilliant Moffat script, moody visuals, and a thoroughly creepy vibe made this an entertaining watch. Sadly, despite a fairly open ending, no second season has ever materialised. At least Nesbitt will be back as Dr Gabriel Monroe, on Prime later this year.

Dexter, Season 7 finale
I thought the seventh season of Dexter would be as forgettable as the sixth. Never have I been so wrong. This was a comeback year for the ages, setting up an eighth (and final) season in which, presumably, Dexter will continue to confront his newfound non-reliance on his "dark passenger", while being hunted by Hannah McKay and covering up Deb's murder of LaGuerta (which, let's be honest, she surely found quite cathartic) and their involvement in the death of Travis Marshall. It should be a crazy ride!


Justified, Season 3
Since TVNZ have advised that they have no plans to air the third season of this brilliant drama, I decided to take matters into my own hands, watching the third series over the course of four days. I thought Walton Goggins' Boyd was the standout this year, though I liked the addition of Mykelti Williamson as local badass Ellstin Limehouse, and enjoyed Neal McDonough's performance as bad guy Robert Quarles. FYI, Justified returns to television in the USA this Wednesday afternoon (NZ time).

Red Dwarf X / Moone Boy
A pair of comedies on Sky's much overlooked (at least, by me) UKTV - the former is the long-awaited tenth season of the classic sci-fi show, reuniting the original cast for a half-dozen episodes, and the latter is an Irish comedy starring Chris "The IT Crowd" O'Dowd as the imaginary friend of a 12-year-old boy in 1980s Ireland. It puts Mrs Brown's Boys to absolute shame.

Boardwalk Empire, Season 3 finale
I purposely held this post until today so I could mention Boardwalk, which finished last night after the holiday was over. Let me just say this: wow. A lot of the action in the first half or three-quarters of the season seemed kind of arbitrary; stories featuring characters like Richard Harrow, Al Capone and Chalky White appeared to be disconnected from the main narrative - the final few episodes of the season brought everything together brilliantly, bringing those characters into the fold, and even managing to tie in minor-minor characters like Esther Randolph and Andrew Mellon. Boardwalk isn't the most action-packed show around, but after a third season which was expertly planned and executed from a story perspective, I think we need to start discussing its place among the cream of the quality television crop.

What did you watch over the Christmas/New Year break?

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