Home for the Holidays- Channel 4

By Matthew Laidlow.

Karma. Do you believe in it?

Some say it’s a lot of tosh, but after last night it seems that Channel 4 have been dealt a dose of the bad stuff with the festively titled ‘Home For The Holidays’ with everyone’s favourite sex text pest, Vernon Kay.

Following on from C4’s recent TV gold that includes the excellent continuation of the ‘This Is England’ series and the dark trilogy of ‘Black Mirror’ episodes, something rotten was bound to come along.

Dubbed a ‘game show like no other’, recently engaged couple (Danny and Naomi) are locked in a secluded house with up to twenty members of their extended family over the Christmas period.

Twenty people locked in a ‘luxury’ house with people they might not get on with, filmed round the clock, plied with complimentary booze and set ridiculous challenges? No, there’s never been a game show like that before on Channel 4. No siree.

So, the rules for Festive Family Big Brother are as follows:

1. Each episode, one family member will be picked to help the couple add money to a prize fund that could add to a potential pot of half a million pounds.

2. The group have to navigate some kind of Christmas challenge. Expect something along the lines of the family having to navigate an obstacle course on black ice. In the dark. While dressed as Noddy Holder.

3. The Last Temptation of Christmas: One member of the family is offered a smaller (but still fairly lavish) prize: they can choose either to walk away with that or stay and help their relatives win the bigger pot of cash.

Sounds straightforward and watchable? Not quite: once the rules are explained, the traditional Festive Ghost of X-Factors Past kicks in. We’re ‘treated’ to a load of mushy VT about the couple and get to learn about their hopes, dreams and aspirations. Yawn. Boring.

Coming as it does a mere three minutes into the first episode, this schmaltzy gloop is an ominous foreshadowing of the kind of reality TV nonsense we’ll be served up until Christmas Eve when Home For The Holidays finishes.

As proceedings gather pace it becomes obvious why Danny and Naomi have never previously held a mass gathering of the two families: they’ve got nothing at all in common.

One set are happy clappy Jesus fans, the other lot are miserable sods who’d steal a charity bucket if it meant they could put it towards buying Christmas presents and save some cash.

Once the quarter of an hour mark approaches, it becomes clear that Jeremy Kyle has missed a trick here.

With all the feuding partners that Jezza showcases for our amusement on a daily basis, it’d have been an easy job to shove a couple of them into a grotty two bedroom flat with all their relatives and let the fireworks fly.

Instead, Channel 4 have polished a reindeer turd. The surface looks glittering, festive and sparkly but all they’re doing is trotting out the same old tired reality format of  bringing different personalities together in an attempt to cause friction.

Not to mention the fact that it’s also downright weird. The opening episode sees a challenge that could have easily appeared on bizarre Japanese gameshow Takeshi’s Castle:

Wearing matching tinfoil bodysuits, Danny’s three sisters are asked to scale a piece of scaffolding and attach some barbells to the top. As you imagine, if one isn’t attached they lose out on large chunk of cash and face the wrath of their family. It’s more bewildering than entertaining.

Home for the Holidays is on every night until Christmas Eve, but only a bucketload of mulled wine could possibly make it watchable. And frankly, it’s just not worth the associated hangover.


Matthew Laidlow also writes for ace tellysite Hecklerspray. If you’re a fan of snarky celeb news, telly reviews and gossip you’d be mad not to check them out. MAD.


About Hilary Wardle
Hilary is a freelance journalist and copywriter who writes for a wide range of websites, magazines and newspapers, including Buzzfeed, MSN, The Poke, Chortle, the Guardian and the Independent. She specialises in arts and entertainment, comedy, video games and viral content. Contact her at Hilary3@gmail.com.

2 Responses to Home for the Holidays- Channel 4

  1. Andy says:

    Turns out that this show is actually really interesting.

    looking beyond the crap props and editing , the selection of people they have put into the house is clearly calculated to perfection.

    Prepare to eat your hat sir.

  2. Joe milk says:

    it is such a boring show. SO BORING!!!!

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