Posts Tagged ‘rant’

Christmas has come, and The Bob is getting fat

Monday, December 29th, 2008

Huzzah! It’s Christmas!

‘Tis my favourite time of year. Two weeks of holiday, and nothing to do except eat, sleep, and make merry. Plenty of cheese, wine, roast meat, whisky, visiting friends, seeing family, opening presents, laughing, singing, and generally doing as one pleases. It makes me feel like I’m a rich Victorian gentleman who spends his days living the good life. But with better TV.

Of course, Christmas isn’t just about over-indulging - there is the religious aspect of course (but I leave that sort of thing to other people). For me it’s about TV Christmas specials (which are invariably slightly longer, slightly less good versions of all of your favourite shows), the complete anti-climax of who will be Christmas number one (being that the X-Factor winner could release a version of them humming the theme-tune to Animal Hospital and still be the highest selling single of the year); people complaining about the cold weather, the snow, and the ice; or the lack of all these things and the fact that it doesn’t feel festive without them (I’m entirely guilty of this). There are carols and Christmas pop songs, mince pies and mulled wine, parties, gatherings, and staying up so late you become nocturnal. Going back to your home town and bumping into people you haven’t seen for 12 years and trying to make conversation with them. News stories about last minute present buying, followed by news stories about Boxing Day sales ending in riots. The Queen’s Speech, classic films on the telly, fighting with siblings (”get out of my chair and stop eating my smoked salmon!”), and feeling guilty for not sending out Christmas cards again this year.

I love all of these things. There’s only one thing I really hate about Christmas - pantomime. I hate audience participation. I hate the embarrassing attempts to try and make them up-to-date by including jokes about current celebrities or the X-Factor (oh, I did that in the previous paragraph. Damn…) and using well-known songs of the day in an attempt to keep the kids interested (and it’s even worse when they try and change the words to fit the plot). Getting every soap star and g-list celebrity from across the globe to embarrass themselves for 2 months. The “comedy” comes via double-entendres worse than the worst bits of the worst Carry On film, weak references to current celebrities/films/events, men dressed as women, women dressed as men, and a couple of poor schmucks dressed like a horse.

I should point out that I enjoy a good musical, I can suspend my disbelief like the best of them, I’m a fan of good old-fashioned variety, and I love a good punning (as you may have noticed). But I find no enjoyment in a bad interpretation of a classic fairy story with easy jokes, bad music, and performances so mind meltingly poor it makes you want to watch River City just to experience some quality acing. And I’ll say it again - I hate audience participation.

Basically, I find Panto a horrific tradition that has nothing to do with Christmas, and has little to do with the season. It’s about being good to your fellow man, sleeping all day, drinking all night, and eating more cheese than should be allowed. Not comedy donkeys and cross-dressing.

Unless you get really drunk.