Buying the presents, getting the dinner ready on time and avoiding a family row over Brexit can be tricky. However, one part of the festive season that should be stress-free is the telly. The TV listings are already getting packed.
The Family Secret Channel 4, 9. The Family Secret brings cameras into a restorative justice conference between a woman who has spoken out about the rape and sexual abuse she suffered as a child over 20 years ago, and the perpetrator — a close relative of the woman.
The conference itself runs for the hour, interspersed with insights from the victim and her family members; with no editorial voice included. The viewer must make up their own mind.
In theory, the victim gets the opportunity to ask questions and try to attain something like closure, while the abuser is forced to reckon with the impact of their actions, and demonstrate their remorse.
While ongoing legal issues meant that previews were not available, expect a story of memory, perception and the different ways in which the same event can be recalled, as well as a harrowing portrait of a family dealing with the guilt, shame, anger and stigmas around the shocking revelations.
Channel 5, 9. This programme scrutinises theories as to what happened to her, including sex trafficking, and also examines the impact of media coverage on the investigation.
The opening set-piece of motorway carnage alone will teach you never to drink hot coffee behind the wheel or listen to Highway to Hell in the car. AJ Cook Criminal Minds leads the unlucky survivors who are picked off in a series of gruesome freak accidents. The gentle Skinner, a man who dreamt of planting an orchard after his war was over and who clearly adored his seven grandchildren, was a Japanese prisoner of war, and the story of how he survived is carefully told using a mixture of letters, public records and the testimony of other survivors.
The man himself never talked about his time in the camps, although Rylance, who also looks at the terrible events in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, notes that it was a source of regret that he could never quite forgive the Japanese.
The result is a balanced, emotional film and one which refuses to shy away from depicting the brutal realities of war. The Secret Life of the Zoo Channel 4, 8. Tonight sees young couple Syler and Mo struggling to cope with their new baby.
Even the savers may not be putting enough aside. As always, you really have to watch to understand why this makes perfect sense in context. But when Dupree starts to become a permanent fixture, their bliss is soon destroyed.
This film, directed by brothers Anthony and Joe Russo, belongs to Wilson, who turns on his usual good-natured goofy charm. Their sense of humour is offset by the tragedy of war. R Lee Ermey is very good as the Drill Sergeant. But to instil so much emotion — via the uniformly superb cast — into a storyline that never sought to entirely abandon its more cartoonish elements is an impressive achievement.
He plays the heroically human Dr Luther Swann, whose best friend Michael Fayne Adrian Holmes contracts a mysterious disease that turns him into a murderous predator who feeds on other humans.
With Michael Buerk Channel 5, 9. In his second programme highlighting the looming pensions crisis, Buerk reveals how many people in Britain are not putting enough by for the future, and illustrates how much money is needed to provide for a comfortable retirement.
Soon, one of them is murdered. Ben Kingsley co-stars as a Russian police officer. Bell was the most powerful woman in the British Empire in her day, and like fellow writer, traveller and diplomat T E Lawrence, she had great influence over British policy in the Middle East.
Last season cemented the show as a triumph; it was pastel-hued escapism for sure, but it never let its snappy script and whirlwind energy get the better of its deeply felt characters and thoughtful plot development.
In this new run we see the repercussions of that decision, as she heads off on an eye-opening tour across America with gloriously brash manager and sparring partner Susie Alex Bornstein at her side.
Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer plays podcaster and journalist Poppy Parnell, who discovers that her work on a high-profile murder trial nearly two decades ago might have sent an innocent man Aaron Paul to jail. All of the bases are covered, including snazzy kitchen appliances, hi-tech party aids and the ultimate Christmas tree.
TD Unreported World Channel 4, 7. Over on ITV, Boris Johnson is profiled at 8pm as part of a series scrutinising the main party leaders. Gui Rupert Everett tries to extract information from the desperate peasant girl, while William John Turturro accuses the Abbot Michael Emerson of hiding knowledge about the library.
The second episode moves takes us into the s, where the likes of ex-army captain Kris Kristofferson emerged against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, and Bob Dylan and the Byrds found a recording home in Nashville. Bonham Carter is superb. Benedict Cumberbatch voices the Grinch with a sardonic American accent, but in spite of the on-trend casting of Pharrell Williams as the narrator, the character seems just like the lovable curmudgeon created by Theodor Seuss Geisel.
After receiving a brutal death threat in the confession box, he has a week left to set his house in order. Can Karim keep up the Strictly momentum?