Dec 11

FT Advent Calendar of Xmas TV Specials: December 2nd

FT4 comments • 631 views

This one was repeated last year, and is a classic of its era, and I think we would all agree that sometimes it behooves a TV Christmas Special to ask tough questions about consumerism at a festive period. But what Christmas Special looks like this?


It was made by Barbara Good of course, as played by the Dad’s favourite Felicity Kendall opposite the Mum’s favourite Richard Briers.

This is The Good Life Christmas Special where the rampant capitalism of the Ledbetter’s is contrasted with the self sufficient poverty of the Good’s. The Good Life was not as sophisticated as it could have been but the Christmas Special did at least try to engage with the issue of a commercialised Christmas without, for once, Margo falling in some shit.

You can watch it all on Youtube:http://youtu.be/-v7Vy9lHv6I


  1. 1
    Billy Smart on 2 Dec 2011 #

    This was the final episode of The Good Life, seen by 17.1 million viewers on Boxing Day 1977.

    Now that’s the sensible way to do a Christmas special – A no-messing 30 minutes, showing how the regulars spend their Christmas Day. I can still watch a repeat of this one with pleasure, especially seen with my aged parents on Christmas Eve.

    (Passes around the homemade crackers, made out of newspaper)

    “Come on, Margo, put your hat on!”

    “This is the Daily Mirror!”

  2. 2
    punctum on 2 Dec 2011 #

    One hell of a downbeat ending, though.

    Is it really true that they shot two endings, the other being Tom asking, “Shall we start again?” and Barbara looking at him very sadly and saying “No”?

  3. 3
    punctum on 2 Dec 2011 #

    While of course Jerry has a long journey; he mustn’t keep his new master (Sir Humphrey) waiting.

  4. 4
    Billy Smart on 2 Dec 2011 #

    #2 Just in case anyone watches through the Christmas show and thinks “That wasn’t my idea of a bleak ending!”, MC is referring to the last episode of series 4 earlier in 1977, which is certainly grim in the extreme, with Tom and Barbara’s home being vandalised. Even by the (sometimes) bold standards of 1970s BBC light entertainment, continuing this tone would have been a bit much for a Christmas special likely to pick up millions of casual viewers, so the Goods’ situation reverted back to being a bit more optimistic.

Add your comment

(Register to guarantee your comments don't get marked as spam.)


Required (Your email address will not be published)

Top of page