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2011 Christmas Special
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The Brockman household is probably the only one that can match EastEnders when it comes to ghastly family Christmas Days. So, after a dreadfully stressed few months — “Your sister, your dad, the job thing, the bedding infestation, Karen’s silly letter... and the over-reaction of social services,” lists Pete helpfully — they’ve decided to get Christmas done and dusted by 8.30am and fly off to the Canary Islands for a break.
Of course, there’s a catalogue of disasters before they leave: some are poignant, some laughable and some inevitable, while a few aren’t even mentioned (no one noticed Karen shaving her face with an electric razor).
The script touches on many of the worst aspects of Christmas, such as unwanted presents (“Auntie Penny doesn’t know about your deep hatred of knitted footwear,” explains Sue patiently) and dealing with “all those seasonal walnut shell and toffee-related” emergencies. Still, it’s a timely reminder that Christmas in your own home isn’t so bad after all.
Christmas special from 2011. The Brockmans plan to escape the festivities by spending Christmas in the sun - but fate intervenes. Grandad has been taken ill and is languishing in the hospital from hell, Karen has toothache, so her festive treat is a visit to the emergency dentist, and Ben attempts to beat a world record involving knives. Meanwhile, family friend Jane and her ex-convict boyfriend take up residence in the family's home.
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