This Christmas in HD: December 24-26

 SoHo Highlight: Game of Thrones (Sky 10, 8.30 Monday, 5.1, F) A new king rises in the North; a Khaleesi finds new hope. The Guardian thought it “a packed season finale, Dany comes into her own with a compelling performance, while other characters meet their fate”. Said Time: “The final episode dealt with death and its consequences, indicating that we are still in the first act of a very long story. On a plot level, it was about setting up conflicts and situations that will presumably play out in a second season. On a thematic level, it was about resurrection, and how the future rises from the ashes of destruction.” Concurred the Wall Street Journal: “Season finales sometimes disappoint. But on the season one finale for Game of Thrones  loose ends were tied up and woven into new threads.” ✭✭✭✭

Christmas Eve

Accidentally on Purpose (TV3, 4.00, 5.1, R, F) Double-episode season finale: When Zack is pulled over for speeding, Billie pretends to be in labour to get him out of getting a ticket. ✭✭✭

Trade Zone Gone Fishin’ (TV3, 5.30) ✭✭

Keeping Up With the Joneses (TV One, 7.00) It’s the annual fishing competition and there’s a bounty out for the biggest barramundi; Little Milton trains for the mini-rodeo; a life-threatening medical emergency shocks the Joneses. ✭✭✭

Movie: The Bucket List (TV One, 8.30, R) Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman play a terminally ill odd couple – one’s an ornery billionaire the other’s a grease monkey oracle – who learn the twilight truth about themselves while ticking off a death wish-list of everything from skydiving to kissing the most beautiful girl in the world. The breezy old geezers premise reeks of formulaic filmmaking but somehow the stars rise above their second-skin characterisations and The Bucket List’s seize-the-day sentimentality to make the movie much better than it sounds. (2007) ✭✭✭

Movie: The Family Stone (TV3, 9.35, 5.1, R) There’s little that sly about this sentimental slapstick, in which an ensemble cast plays a quirky New England family that doesn’t warm to their son’s girlfriend when he brings her home for Christmas. Claire Danes, Diane Keaton, Dermot Mulroney, Luke Wilson and Sarah Jessica Parker star. (1995) ✭✭

Christmas Day

Special: The Topp Twins and the APO (TV3, 5.10) The Topp Twins and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra perform classical interludes and showpieces, yodelling, and kiwi anthems with characters straight from the heart of New Zealand. ✭✭✭

North (TV One, 7.00, R) Marcus Lush asks why the Hokianga can sometimes feel like a separate state of New Zealand; has a lesson in horse riding and astronomy; and becomes sentimental about Opo the dolphin. ✭✭✭

Movie: Die Hard (TV3, 8.50, 5.1, R) Good, dumb fun on a grand scale: Bruce Willis plays a wisecracking, head-busting, off-duty cop trapped at the top of a skyscraper taken hostage by terrorists in downtown LA on Christmas Eve. Alan Rickman co-stars. (1988) ✭✭✭✭✭

Birdland (TV One, 1.20, R) ✭✭✭✭

Boxing Day

Modern Family (TV3, 7.00, 5.1, R) Noticing that everyone is too busy on their electronic devices to actually interact with one another, Claire and Phil declare a family challenge to see who can stay unplugged the longest.  ✭✭✭✭

Movie: Braveheart (TV3, 8.30, R) Enthralling epic of courage and conviction starring Mel Gibson as William Wallace, a medieval freedom fighter who tried to unite the clans of Scotland against the tyranny of English rule. Gibson also directed this towering achievement that satisfies as both rousing adventure on a grand and bloody scale and intimate tragi-drama about love, loyalty and betrayal. (1995) ✭✭✭✭✭

Movie: Poseidon (TV2, 9.15, R) The killer wave can’t come quick enough in this lame duck of a disaster movie that’s a technical tour-de-force but a damp squib dramatically. It completes director Wolfgang Petersen’s so-called “water trilogy” yet sails perilously close to being his Waterloo in the wake of Das Boot and The Perfect Storm. Kurt Russell, Josh Lucas, Richard Dreyfuss and Emmy Rossum star. (2006) ✭✭

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