Whatever the happiness of your New Year, there have been some real televisual treats to start it off.
The first arrived before the Bells rang, with the Scot Squad Hogmanay Special (BBC Scotland), a new tradition in the festive repertoire from the spoof fly-on-the-wall cop show.
It’ll be a long time before it outstays its welcome if it keeps up this quality.
‘Pillow in our community’
On Hogmanay in Glasgow, PC McKirdy (Grado) agonised over nicking Billy, the local butcher and “pillow in our community”, who had McKirdy’s New Year steak pie in his van.
Later that night, posing PC McLaren (Jordan Young) had a run-in with photo-happy young women, much to Fletcher’s (Sally Reid) dismay.
Meanwhile DCs Squire and McGill (Julie Wilson Nimmo and Louise McCarthy) went undercover as a pair of bouncers to nab some free booze.
The endlessly entertaining Chief Commissioner Miekelson (Jack Docherty) managed to work in a musical interlude with Eddi Reader singing Burns and make it anything but cringe.
There’s an ongoing renaissance in onscreen Scottish comedy, and this show remains at its heart.
Dr Who, not the treat it once was
This century’s version of Doctor Who (BBC One) was once the unexpected Christmas present you didn’t know you always wanted,
It’s recently seemed more like the last plate of Christmas leftovers – still just about okay enjoyed a week later, but not the big festive treat it once was.
This year’s New Year special brought the Daleks back AGAIN for an adventure in a storage warehouse, arguably even less glamorous a Who location than all those quarries in the 1980s.
The time-looping story was mysterious if convoluted, with Aisling Bea’s characterful warehouse manager Sarah stealing the show.
Dan (John Bishop) figuring out that Yasmin (Mandip Gill) has a crush on the Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) was a nice development, for sure, but this is a series which has been throwing unresolved subplots at us for a while.
Time’s running out to give us some closure before Russell T. Davies’ return.
But Steven Toast is back
Best of all, Steven Toast is back, and it feels like What We Do in the Shadows has hardly been away.
Matt Lucas is now internationally famous as preening vampire Laszlo Cravensworth in that series, but there’s a lot of crossover with his pompous thespian Toast, back after Toast of London ended seven years ago.
This time the show has been rebranded Toast of Tinseltown (BBC Two), with the ever-angrier Toast dispatched to Hollywood – named ‘Tinseltown’ here – in search of a Star Wars film part which may or may not exist.
Grotesque old favourites like Harry Peacock’s Toast nemesis Ray Purchase, Shazad Latif’s voiceover hipster Clem Fandango and the ever-masterful Doon Mackichan’s crowing agent Jane Plough were joined by some newcomers, including Fred Armisen as Toast’s very strange new American flatmate Russ Nightlife.
Also making cameos were Larry David as an irritating JFK conspiracy theorist author and Berry’s What We Do… co-star Kayvan Novak as anger management guru Des Wigwam.
Geekish, silly and often infantile, Toast is the comedy hero we need right now.