According to the Christmas song called Deck the Halls, we are entering the season of being jolly.

I always thought this song was called 'Tis the Season or Fa-la-la-la-la until it was pointed out to me that I was wrong.

I accept that.

I also thought the first line went on about decking the halls with bells of holly ... until it was pointed out to me that I was wrong, and again, I accept that.


This festive ditty also suggests that "don we now our gay apparel" and head off and "troll the Yuletide carol".

Oh yes, 'tis indeed an interesting time 'tis Christmas time.

So here we go again, another year has been turned on its head and in 23 days' time someone somewhere will start singing Deck the Halls and get the words all wrong.

However, I have had a quick squizz across the telly schedules for the first week of December and somewhat surprisingly there are no festive season shows emerging from Santa's claws ... yet.

But hey, it has to said it is early days, despite the fact half the shops in town have got the trees and decorations up.

The screen tinsel shows will arrive, and I suspect the main ingredient to more than one of them will be how to whip up something traditionally Christmassy to lay upon the table.

With cooking shows simmering all year round now, in one form or another, this must be a cert.

So too, I daresay, will be the likelihood of them coming out of Blighty, where great hot roasts and things so suitable for iced-up landscapes will be the choice of tucker ... rather than a barbie out the back and some coleslaw and potato salad.


In the old days, when flares could be worn without drawing smirks, there would be a traditional season of what were called Christmas "specials" and some of them were classics.

One of the Are You Being Served? efforts of the early 80s which focused on the Yuletide season was ridiculously funny, as were Christmas-themed episodes of Last of the Summer Wine and Dad's Army.

I can even cast my mind back to a Steptoe and Son episode revolving around Christmas.

Today, however, the number of British comedies, or comedies from anywhere for that matter, are scarce.

Kind of like westerns ... one day they are dotted all across the television prairies and the next day ... gone.

I look at this situation the way I look at music.

We enjoyed the best of years for television comedies (some of which were wonderfully politically incorrect) and we went through the best years of pop and rock, when songs had tunes.

So Christmas content then huh?

I wonder if there will be a show about how to track down cheap gifts that actually look like expensive gifts?

That would rate well.

We'll get a recycling of the Santa films of course, as well as a recycling of many, many other films and shows because the season of the fa-la-la-la-la is also the season of recycling, and of course recycling is a very good thing but after you've seen How the Grinch Stole Christmas four years in a row it kinda becomes a little weary.

As television across the board battles the growing visual invasion of streaming and downloading and more social media sites than Santa has elves to help pack cheap gifts that actually look like expensive gifts, I daresay we will become subjected to more doses of reality television because it kind of reflects what I guess a lot of people infatuated by social media and "what's going on out there?" like to watch.

Real (allegedly) things happening.

Unlike Christmas shows (yet) this is a growing genre of course and a lot of the "what's going on out there?" stock is arriving from the UK.

I just hope they're still buying our butter and beef because we're clearly purchasing plenty of their TV meals and paying fair dosh for, I daresay.

Check out Wednesday, where TV1 has a show about trying to change the way people spend in the UK, and another one about looking for a cure to people (in the UK) who have sleeping problems.

While TV3 heads out with cops in North Yorkshire.

On Thursday TV1 rolls out a gardening show based in Nottinghamshire, and the following night they have a new series which has a couple of celebs checking out the UK's poshest hotels.

I'll probably dig out the old Are You Being Served?, Dad's Army and Summer Wine Christmas specials again. ... for we're nearly in fa-la-la-la-la-land.


Death Row: The New Arrivals, TV3 tonight at 9.40: This is not exactly a candidate for a Happy Days episode, put it that way.

It is a harsh and no holds barred eye-opener into the lives of the condemned.

Host Sir Trevor McDonald heads for Indiana and the maximum security lock-up there, to meet new arrivals with death penalties hanging over them, and to check out what happened to those prisoners he talked to in a previous visit.

I guess this is reality with a very big capital "R".

What We Do in the Shadows, Māori TV at 8.30pm Friday: A Kiwi gem which effectively forged the now sparkling career of Taika Waititi as both a writer and actor ... and he can direct pretty sharply as well.

He teamed with Jermaine Clement to create this now widely acclaimed "mockumentary" about three vampires living in a Wellington flat.

It's irresistibly crazy, and watch for the debut of the recent Wellington Paranormal series pair of disinterested constables Minogue and O'Leary.