Festive specials are a familiar sight at this time of year, but never have Sky indulged in them to the extent they’re doing this Christmas. Pineapple Dance Studio’s Louie Spence is doing an alternative Christmas message while a dozen comedians are showcasing their own Little Crackers.
The idea: take twelve celebrities and ask them to create, star in, and direct, a 15-minute comedy for Christmas. “It doesn’t have to be about Christmas” explained Sky’s comedy commissioner Lucy Lumsden at the launch of the series. “We purposefully gave them a broad brief so they weren’t all about Christmas turkeys,” Lumsden said. This message hasn’t conveyed with the majority of selected stars, however. Over half of the “crackers” are festive-themed, including Catherine Tate’s, Chris O'Dowd’s and Meera Syal’s.
One theme that does resonate through almost all the shorts is that of childhood memories. Kathy Burke remembers when she met The Clash; Dawn French shares the fear she felt when the Queen Mother once visited her; and Julia Davis reminisces about her first awkward kiss. While often enlightening, this topic does make the Little Crackers feel quite self-indulgent. And to top it off they’re not all that funny.
Much like actual crackers these television shorts won’t please everyone once opened. There’s something in there for everyone, but a little swapping will be necessary. Our suggestion: tune in to the comedians whose work you already enjoy. The wrapping is a giveaway as to whether you’ll like the cracker’s content or not. Here's the rundown (remember they start at 9pm)...
Friday, December 24
Saturday, December 25