‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring … they were all on the couch.
Here’s a decent helping of Christmas fare to put you in the mood for the big day. Netflix really gets into the spirit of things when it comes to special events and holidays. Christmas is no exception.
The Christmas Chronicles (Netflix)
This holiday adventure from producer Chris Columbus (Home Alone, Harry Potter) and director Clay Kaytis (The Angry Birds Movie) tells the story of sister and brother, Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy Pierce (Judah Lewis), whose Christmas Eve plan to catch Santa Claus (Kurt Russell) on camera turns into an unexpected journey that most kids could only dream about. After staking out Santa’s arrival, they sneak into his sleigh, cause it to crash and nearly derail Christmas. As their wild night unfolds, Kate and Teddy work together with Santa – superbly played by Russell – and his loyal elves to save Christmas before it's too late.
A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding (Netflix)
The Royal Wedding is the sequel to A Christmas Prince and is one of the more popular movies of the holiday season. Think of it as a romantic comedy twist on The Crown. The original had journalist Amber (played by Kiwi Rose McIver) going undercover to get a scoop on a playboy prince, Richard. Of course, they fall in love. Now, a year later, the two are set to tie the knot in a royal Christmas wedding but their plans are jeopardised when Amber finds herself second-guessing whether or not she's cut out to be queen. Richard is faced with a political crisis that threatens to tarnish not only the holiday season but the future of the kingdom. Happy smiley stuff.
Holiday Calendar (Netflix)
Holiday Calendar is about a struggling but talented photographer (played by Swiss-American singer-actress Kat Graham) who inherits an antique holiday advent calendar, the contents of which seem to predict the future. Will this magical calendar lead her to love?
Love Actually (Netflix)
One of the landmark rom-coms of the early 21st century is actually a lovely Christmas escape - even now, 15 years after it was released. With the definitive cast of romantic comedy greats (Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Keira Knightley Bill Nighy ...) Love Actually dances through all the Christmas tropes with a sleighful of heart-warming affection. There’s a reason it has become a Christmas tradition for many.
A Very Murray Christmas (Netflix)
A Very Murray Christmas is about Murray’s live Christmas Eve special – produced by two women (played by Amy Poehler and Julie White) – derailed by a blizzard that keeps all his guests and audience members from attending. Instead he hangs out with the other snowed-in guests, including a sleazy Hollywood manager (played by Michael Cera), a couple who were supposed to get married but didn’t (played by Rashida Jones and Jason Schwartzman), and Chris Rock, (played by the man most equipped to play him: Chris Rock). The surprise is that the music is very good. Actually excellent – even Murray and George Clooney singing the R&B classic “Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin”.
The best of specials
When you want something worse than your own office party: The Office Christmas Special (Series 2 Ep 7-8) - relive the trauma of David Brent trying to find a date along with the Dawn and Tim romance saga.
Ultimate Christmas special sitcom parody: Bojack Horseman Christmas Special – this animated series about a hilariously tragic out-of-work, former TV star horse hits all the right notes in this surprisingly good special.
British Classic: Gavin and Stacey Christmas Special (Series 3 Ep 1) – this likeable, offbeat comedy hits one of its high notes with this opening show in season 3.
Quick hit for the kids: Shrek The Halls – in this spin-off from the Shrek franchise, our loveable ogre and his new family struggle when the joy of Christmas arrives.
Tips on how to watch
Your ultimate setup for streaming the content you love looks like this:
fibre + unlimited data + a Smart TV plugged into your modem.
There are heaps of ways to watch Netflix, Lightbox and other streaming services. The easiest is through an app on your Smart TV but you can also stream shows through your laptop or PC. However you watch, it’s best to make sure your devices are using the best broadband connection so you don’t get the dreaded mid-episode pause while your device “buffers”.
Go to www.chorus.co.nz/tips for advice from Chorus on how to set-up streaming at home and tips on getting the most out of your broadband connection.