TV: A Ghost Story for Christmas; snow dogs; Emilie in Paris; My old school

Given this week’s brass monkey weather, I thought twice about recommending Snow Dogs: Into the Wild (BBC Scotland, Sunday, 8pm or BBC2, 9pm). Do you really need more sub-zero temperatures and chapped bits, like Gordon Buchanan experienced in the Yukon?

Yes. When it’s minus 8, nothing warms the hulls, whatever they are, like seeing a poor person come out in minus 20.

Ever since he read The Call of the Wild at the age of ten, the Scottish filmmaker has dreamed of following the trail of the gold rush with the Huskies. So here he is in Canada, having a brief introduction to the art of mushing before heading out into the wild with seven dogs to pull him. From the moment he says, “How hard can it be? you fear that things will deteriorate, in every way, very quickly.

Huskies, as anyone familiar with the breed knows, are the Stakhanovites of the canine world. They can run fast (30 kilometers per hour) for a long time. Running is their business, their reason for being, and they are very, very serious about it.

Even Buchanan, no stranger to danger as a wildlife cameraman who has hung out with bears and wolves, is starting to look a bit shaken as the Huskies bark, howl and snap at each other. others. Although they come with cute names like Vicky, Hero and Lucky, they are tough customers. There’s already an alpha dog in the pack, eyes like Paul Hollywood, whose name is Yukon, so how the hell is Buchanan going to take control? With great difficulty, all highly watchable. “I don’t know what I’m doing and they know it,” he admits.

Part of the problem is that he’s always been a dog lover and doesn’t understand why he can’t get along with this wild bunch. With the expedition on the brink, it’s time to get back to basics.

A Ghost Story for Christmas: Count Magnus (BBC2, Friday, 10 p.m.) continues a tradition of Mark Gatiss ((Sherlock, Doctor Who, Dracula) that has been running on and off since 2008. This one is based on a story by MR James. , fixed in 1863.

The ever reliable Jason Watkins plays Mr. Wraxhall, a traveler who has come to Sweden to rummage through the library of a large house. His interest is piqued by a portrait of Count Magnus, a former occupier. He is warned of the subject by the owner of the local pub, the Earl Magnus having been an unpleasant kind who dabbled in who knows what, but this makes Wraxhall all the more curious.

There’s everything you could want in a ghost story, including rattling chains, a mysterious stewardess (Myanna Buring), and hooded characters, all played for fun more than terror.

I don’t believe there is such a thing as the guilty pleasure of watching. If it’s legal and decent and you like it, why not? Guilty pleasure was once a label stuck on Sex and the City, and now applies to Emily in Paris (Netflix, starting Wednesday). Both shows are the creation of Darren Star and are built around fashion and romance.

Emily (played by Lily Collins) thinks she’s landed a dream job in marketing when she’s lucky enough to move from Chicago to Paris. But this Paris, being a cold and hostile place full of people who don’t care about Americans, is the stuff of nightmares. Undaunted, Emily is determined to fall in love with the town, and if the town can give a little back, who knows what might happen.

When she first appeared two years ago, Emily poked fun at being a tourist version of Paris, which left no clichés unused. Yet critics have been won over by this innocent non-French speaker abroad, and the spotless, glamorous city where she had her adventures.

In the second series, even Emily’s super chilly boss, Sylvie (Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, seemed to warm her up. We’ll see how long that lasts.

You have to remember the true story of Brandon Lee, the Bearsden Academy student who wasn’t what he seemed. The story made headlines around the world and is now the subject of a documentary, My Old School (BBC Scotland, Friday, 8pm; BBC2, Friday 30 December, 9pm), written and directed by Jono McLeod.

Acclaimed when it first appeared in cinemas earlier this year, it didn’t get the wide release it deserved due to Covid, so it’s great to see it on mainstream TV.

Lee was interviewed but declined to be filmed for the documentary. Instead, in what turns out to be a blessing, Alan Cumming synchronizes his words like only Cumming can. If you need another reason to watch, the cast also includes Clare Grogan, Joe McFadden, and plenty of old-time newsreader clips. Warning: Contains hairstyles of an embarrassing nature.

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