Follow Calum Henderson’s advice on how to occupy the annual family Christmas chasm between lunch and dinner with these guaranteed crowd-pleasers on Freeview.
Ah, the classic Kiwi Christmas: pohutukawa trees in bloom, the abandoned remnants of a backyard cricket game strewn across the lawn, a fresh pavlova in the fridge. The whole family together under one roof – parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles and cousins – every one of you on the verge of a complete and utter meltdown.
You’re in that post-lunch, pre-dinner no man’s land, the bit where everybody simultaneously runs out of things to talk about and starts wishing they could just go home. But you can’t go home. So what are you going to do? We can’t have a repeat of what happened last year, how you made your mum cry.
No – what’s best for everybody is to all just chill out in front of the TV for an hour or two. You’re a tech-savvy millennial, you know how to work a TV. This is your time to shine.
It’s tricky, though – you need something that will engage younger family members without alienating the elders, and vice versa. Something safe, unifying; a crowd pleaser. To have any chance at all of saving Christmas, what you need is Freeview… and one of the following shows.
The Graham Norton Show – on Three
You’ve never met anybody in your life who genuinely doesn’t enjoy an episode of Graham Norton, have you? Some might claim they don’t like it, but put one on for five minutes and you’ll catch them having a chuckle with everybody else, guarantee it. You literally can’t go wrong here – there’ll be holiday specials fresh off the satellites and everything.
The Chase – on TVNZ1
Everybody knows you can’t beat a good episode of The Chase. But they’re not all good episodes, are they? Some of them are rubbish, full of useless contestants who are clearly nowhere near clever enough to take on the Chaser. So, don’t leave this to chance: Season 11, Episode 65 is the one you want, one of the most exciting final chases in the 1000-plus episode history of the show.
Coast NZ – on demand only
Maybe your family are of an intellectual persuasion, the types who prefer reading books to watching telly of an evening. What then? You’re not all going to sit around with your noses in an encyclopedia reading out facts to each other all afternoon, I’m not having it. You’re putting on an episode of Coast NZ and you’re enjoying it, with its wide array of of experts – geologists and historians and scientific boffins – and its delightful Scottish host, who’s come all this way to tell us stuff we probably didn’t know about our own country.
Te Araroa: Tales From the Trails – on Māori TV
Everybody knows Pio – from where, exactly, nobody quite remembers, but you all definitely know him. Te Araroa: Tales From the Trails might be the best TV he’s ever done, walking the length of New Zealand and meeting all sorts of cool and weird locals along the way. Maybe I should walk Te Araroa next year, each of you will think to yourself, then when it finishes someone will half-jokingly suggest going for a walk before dinner. Go and get your shoes on.
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