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Home > TVing Abroad Blog > What to watch this weekend.

What to watch this weekend.

December 8, 2023
What to watch this weekend.

During the festive season, the choice of what to watch on TV becomes increasingly important. Fortunately, this weekend’s television schedule offers a delightful mix of festive specials and intriguing documentaries, making the decision easier. Here’s a roundup of the must-watch programs for this weekend.

Friday: Christmas in New York: Inside the Plaza on Channel 4 at 21:00 CEST.

Embark on an exclusive behind-the-scenes journey to witness the enchanting transformation of one of the world’s most renowned hotels, the iconic Plaza Hotel in New York, during its busiest time of the year. Delve into the hustle and bustle of this Manhattan landmark throughout the festive season, capturing the dedicated staff at their peak and the guests who willingly invest up to £30,000 per night for a slice of the holiday magic. From crafting £3,000 welcome packages that bring Christmas movie charm to life to orchestrating the centerpiece Grand Christmas Buffet, the program unveils the meticulous efforts invested to ensure that 400 guests experience the merriest of holidays.

Saturday: The Great White Christmas of ’81 on Channel 5 at 22:00 CEST.

Over four decades ago, the United Kingdom witnessed the snowiest Christmas of the 20th century, as more than half the country was covered in a pristine blanket of snow. This program narrates the tale of this remarkable weather phenomenon. While children celebrated the unexpected break from school, indulging in sledging, snowball fights, and building snowmen, adults faced challenges commuting to work, and farmers endured the devastating impact on their livelihoods. The documentary showcases previously unreleased archival footage and celebrity anecdotes, offering a unique perspective on this unforgettable event.

Sunday: Britain’s Favourite Christmas TV Moments on Channel 5 at 18:55 CEST.

Reflecting on the most unforgettable comedic highlights from festive specials spanning decades, this program revisits iconic moments from beloved shows like Morecambe and Wise, The Office, Absolutely Fabulous, and The Good Life. Celebrity and performer insights enhance the experience, with contributions from notable figures such as Barry Cryer, Lionel Blair, Susie Blake, and Andrew Collins.

Sunday: Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas on ITV 2 at 18:55 CEST.

In this comedic fantasy film starring Jim Carrey, the festive spirit is in full swing in Whoville as Christmas preparations unfold. Meanwhile, the cold-hearted hermit, the Grinch, secludes himself in his mountain lair, resenting the joyous atmosphere of the Whovians. However, a chance encounter with a little girl begins to thaw his icy heart. Director Ron Howard brings Dr. Seuss’s beloved children’s classic, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”, to life with a big-budget Hollywood treatment. Featuring an irrepressible and almost unrecognizable Jim Carrey, this visually splendid tale unfolds as the green-furred mountain-dweller attempts to disrupt the extravagant festive celebrations in the eccentric town of Whoville. A vibrant delight with the power to charm even the most Scrooge-like viewer, this fantasy frolic is destined to become a genre classic. Parents, however, should be cautioned about the occasionally dark humor and Carrey’s exuberant antics, which may be too intense for very young audiences.

Sunday: The Great New Year Bake Off on E4 at 18:00 CEST.

The Great British Bake Off” returns with hosts Matt Lucas and Noel Fielding, continuing the legacy of this multi-award-winning phenomenon. Join Noel Fielding, Matt Lucas, Prue Leith, and Paul Hollywood as they launch the New Year’s festivities within the iconic tent. The baking competition features familiar faces, including Helena and Henry from 2019, Nancy from 2014, and the 2018 winner Rahul. All contestants aim to impress the judges with their culinary prowess and creativity, vying for the coveted title of Festive Star Baker. As they welcome the New Year, the group shares a cozy sing-along around the piano, complemented by the humor infused by the delightful duo of Noel and Matt.

Sunday: Miracle on 34th Street on Channel 5 at 14:40 CEST.

This Oscar-winning Christmas fantasy, starring Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, and Edmund Gwenn, unfolds as department store executive Doris Walker is dismayed when the hired Santa Claus arrives at work inebriated. Enter Kris Kringle, a mysterious elderly gentleman, offering his services and quickly becoming a beloved attraction at the store. This is not the benign remake with Richard Attenborough but the marvelous original, initially presented in the UK as “The Big Heart.” Natalie Wood portrays a skeptical youngster who, due to her mother’s role in organizing a New York department store’s annual parade, has always seen Santa played by less-than-impressive individuals. Enter Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn), bringing Christmas magic into their lives. The exceptional plot earned Oscars for Best Screenplay and Original Story, with Gwenn also securing a win for Best Supporting Actor. Gwenn became synonymous with the role, even being hired to distribute presents at the homes of Hollywood notables like Louis B Mayer during the holidays. While children may be drawn to newer renditions, parents will find warmth in this utterly enchanting original.

Whether you choose to embark on a journey through New York’s Plaza Hotel, relive the snowy memories of ’81, enjoy the laughter-filled moments of British TV, witness the Grinch’s antics, savor the sweet delights of the baking tent, or indulge in the timeless magic of “Miracle on 34th Street,” this weekend promises a festive feast for the senses. Embrace the holiday spirit, gather your loved ones, and let the magic of the season unfold on your television screen. Happy watching!

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