The Christmas period, with all its treacherous snowy ravines, has been successfully negotiated, and once again I have triumphed in breaking my personal best in stomachual distention via the medium of mid-priced fowl and low-priced alcohol. This year, I added an exciting sub-challenge which involved the perfection of the technique known to us in the greedy bastard trade as "Ferrero Layer-off", gently caressing the nutty truffle with the feather-lightest of touches to disrobe it, sensually, layer by layer, without disturbing the texture that is revealed, until you get your prize: a pristine, virginal hazelnut. And because I am a massive tease, I then throw the nut away. Well, that and cos I don't like hazelnuts.
But that is not all that has been distended to breaking point and beyond! Oh, no. My poor little brainium has been stuffed like a stocking, full of the squishy satsumas and unsatisfying boxes of Fruit Pastilles that are, in this tortuous metaphor, Christmas TV. So what's on the booooooooooox? Her head's in the boooooooooox! No, not that. Other stuff! Join me!
So, EastEnders, where a desperate, sweaty union at the Storyline Christmas party between Who Shot Phil and Den Done Over In The Vic produced a bouncing but unloved baby story-son: Who Done Archie Over In The Vic. I have admittedly not been paying much attention in the build-up to this chapter of Slightly Disappointing Enders Deaths, but it seems Archie has been working his way through the whole cast to give them stone-cold motives to introduce his cranial matter to the vicious side of Queen Victoria. Quite why he's had to whip up such anger is a bit of a mystery; it seems the end result was to gain ownership of the pub to convert it into flats. An odd time to be doing that, when the rest of the Square seem to have suddenly realised the planet is on the verge of monetary collapse and all gone simultaneously bust, and you can now pick up a penthouse riverside apartment for a couple of grand and a bag of chips, as long as you don't mind sharing it with the ghosts of the shattered dreams of HBoS workers and a cheerful pack of urban crack foxes. Whether financial gain was Archie's real motive, we will never know, certainly not from watching him, as Larry Lamb has spent his last Square-bound 18 months with the blank, fixed facial expression of a man pondering switching his car insurance.
But anyway, Christmas dawned and Archie's spurned lover, screeching daughters, wig-shuddering ex-wife, drunken-baby almost-stepson, and, for some reason, Bradley and Ian Beale, all took their positions with their chosen weapons in secluded corners of the set, where they peered in darkness at each other and stalked into the Vic, one by one, to have their moment in the Archie glower (he had set his face down one notch into grimness, giving him the look of a man who, while pondering switching his car insurance, had got the "Go Compare" song stuck in his head). And then one of them killed him in a series of flashy directorial tics, and no-one cared, and then everyone forgot because there was a Muslim wedding honking round the corner!
Yes, big gay Syed was about to marry Amira, despite being in love with the deep beefcake (deefcake, if you will) Christian. They had managed to conduct an affair in secret despite spending their every waking minute staring mournfully at each other, or indeed into space in the direction where they imagine the other is, eyes tracking and following like Robocop set to "mope". In fact, every conversation Syed has had with anyone in the last six months has been interrupted at least once with the bark "Syed! Are you listening to me?" at which point he drags his sad puppy eyes back to the present and wells up as he contemplates his future sans bouef gateaux et avec bouef rideaux. The incredibly lavish wedding eventually passed with only light incident, Christian buttoning his enormous boobs into a funeral suit and resisting the "MRS BOUVIER!!!!" urge, random members of the cast who weren't filming elsewhere donning colourful scarves and dancing to drums for several days, and Tamwar getting off with a teenager from the early '90s and generally stealing the show by treating the whole week as an extended audition for The Inbetweeners. Tamwar is my favourite thing on TV right now, and I predict big things for him, if he ever escapes the Enders vortex.
There was actually other stuff on over Christmas, most of it David Tennant-based, setting up an odd hostage/kidnapper situation between me and my telly where he was omnipresent and I was unable to escape him, but due to him playing with my mind by continually switching between accents and dazzling me with his array of wildly-coloured velvet jackets, he broke me down to the point of Stockholm Syndrome, and I fell passionately in love with him. But even the fevered beating of my heart could not drown out the snorts of derision echoing round the country at the overlong and preposterous Doctor Who finale. A tiny speck of plankton of a good idea - "He knocks four times" not being the Master's maniacal head-drum, but Bernard Cribbens trapped in the gunge tank from Noel's House Party - lost in the gaping maw of Russell T Davies' mawkish basking shark, the whole thing made no sense and descended into a series of "Hey, look! It's that guy!" cameos, rendering it nothing more than Who bingo with unnecessary wailing violins.
And what else?
Couldn't possibly say. For at that point, I hoovered away the hundredweight of mince pie crumbs that had been anchoring me onto the sofa, chucked on a jaunty smile, plunged out of the door and headlong into the HMV sale, and got myself Battlestar Galactica, all seasons, box set, BOOM BOOM POW.
See you on the other side...