Month: November 2015

All hail the Christmas TV movie!

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Appearing every weekday afternoon on a little-heard of cable network near you. Packed with more sugar than a Krispy Kreme factory. More waffle than a Birds Eye warehouse. The hidden heroes of the small screen. Yes, it’s the TV film. A veritable feast of cheesiness, predictable plots and atrocious acting. Juxtaposed against some well-placed muzak. I love them.

My guilty pleasure started as a teenager. Off sick from school, roaming through the channels with a lethargic indifference. And there it was. The postcard-perfect American town. Oozing saccharine. A plethora of once-famous child actors. “Today, Mrs TV film director, I will be taking on the role of do-gooder.” They’re alway do-gooders.  And then there’s the romance. We hate each other. But we love each other really. Didn’t see that one coming…

The obsession continued through my university years. Unsurprising, as it seems to be a prerequisite for all students to watch afternoon telly. By now my playlist was peppered with a sprinkling of TV programmes of equally dubious stature. I refer you to Diagnosis Murder, Murder, She Wrote and Quincy. High-calibre viewing indeed.

As it happens, I’m watching a TV movie right now. With a seasonal theme. The bland music plays on and on (and on), as  two high school music teachers compete to see who can produce the best singers in their class and win a Christmas concert. The teacher who fails will lose their job. Obviously. Oh, and both teachers have been on an online dating website, and guess who they’ve been matched to? Here’s a clue. It’s each other. Who would have thought it? What a film.*

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I must also mention another gem I came across last week.

“Secret Santa”

Synopsis: Pretty blonde reporter arrives in sleepy backwater town, trying to uncover identity of an elusive Secret Santa (clue is in the title, folks). She places her bets on a rich, young bachelor. It’s not him, but she finds love in the process – yay – kicking her useless ex-boyfriend to the kerb once and for all in the process. Leaving her to walk into the snow-adorned sunset with the loaded young stud, amid a blurry glow of Christmas lights.

Why do I love these films so much? They’re overly sentimental, wishy-washy and universally panned by the critics.

Well, for one, they’re good fun. And they don’t require too much brain power. Which I have to say is very welcome when I’ve been working long shifts at work. Or at the moment, eight-and-a-half-months pregnant and barely able to move.

Ok, so they’re ridiculously unrealistic. But hey, don’t we all need unrealistic at times? Pure, unadulterated escapism. With a massive dollop of sugar.

*Spoiler alert: The teachers’ students decide to sing together in the end, as they don’t want either teacher losing their job. Cue very bad lip-syncing, hand-holding, and surprise trumpet cameo by hunky teacher. Before they declare their undying love for each other. Picture postcard perfect.

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Six weeks to go…

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“Get some rest while you can!”
“Make sure you sleep!”
“Enjoy this time, you’ll never get it back!”

A few snippets of advice I’ve been given as I enter the final weeks of this pregnancy. I am trying, I promise. I slept for two hours this afternoon, a luxury, I know. The only problem is I’m finding it hard to relax. In book form, my to-do list would be the Lord of the Rings. Or maybe even the Bible. A never-ending conveyor belt of tasks. As soon as one is ticked off, another appears. I’ve made so many lists I’ve lost half of them. On my phone, on bits of paper, on my computer. Pin them together and it’s a manuscript J.R.R.Tolkien would be proud of.

Then there are the other joys of pregnancy. Here’s some of my highlights:

1. The “waddle”. Heels? pah ha ha, forget it. Stylish clothes? Yeah, right. Oh to be one of those glamorous women, looking incredible despite the fact they’re growing another human being inside them. Instead, I’m already perfecting the washed-out mummy look. Leggings = my best friend. Slouchy jumpers rule. I currently resemble a swaying, portly, slightly flushed bowling ball.

2. Ten-minute toilet stops. As in going every ten minutes. Heaving myself off the sofa/out of bed using a series of carefully calculated manoeuvres that wouldn’t go astray on an assault course.

3. Baby brain. Leaving the front door wide open. Leaving my phone in a shop. Trying to get through the doors at work using my bank card. Endless and shameless.

4. The daily commute. Urgh. Say no more.

5. Baby gear: So many options. So much stuff. Travel systems. The Buffalo. The Burglar. The Heifer. (I may have made some of these up).

6. Going up stairs. Any stairs. Yuck.

7. Obsessing over the baby. I *may have succumbed to the “What will your baby look like” app…

8. Hypnobirthing. Yes. Definitely giving this a go. Unfortunately it was so relaxing I fell asleep just after the DVD started, and woke up at the end.

9. Fretting. Have I bought enough baby clothes? What needs to go in my hospital bag? Should I be reading more baby books? This will definitely continue until he arrives. And then continue on a much grander scale.

10. Juggling the hormones. One minute I’m a self-assured, exited, happy, mum-to-be. The next I’m a blubbering, emotional wreck. Anything remotely tear-jerking and I’m off. Keep that John Lewis ad away from me…


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