What to Watch in December

Dan Soles
Last Tango in Halifax, Wheaton College Christmas Festival, Secrets of Spanish Flordia. Photos: BBC/Red Productions/Gary Moyes; Funcación Nao Victoria; Wheaton College
Photos: BBC/Red Productions/Gary Moyes; Funcación Nao Victoria; Wheaton College

There’s a huge amount of worthwhile TV out there nowadays, so it can be hard to choose what to watch. But who better to recommend shows than the person who programs them? Dan Soles, Senior Vice President and Chief Television Officer at WTTW, constructs the WTTW schedule by searching through offerings from many different sources, which include the national PBS network, the BBC, and independent filmmakers, to put together a varied and engaging broadcast schedule. Each month, he’ll recommend a few shows that he thinks you should watch.

Last Tango in Halifax Holiday Special

Sundays, December 17 and 24 at 7:00 pm

It’s been over two years since we last aired new episodes of Last Tango in Halifax, so it’s exciting to have Celia and Alan and their families finally return for two quirky and charming holiday episodes. Caroline takes a new job and Gillian begins to believe her late husband is haunting her, while Celia and Alan continue their late-blossoming relationship.

Wheaton College Christmas Festival: Love Divine

Thursday, December 21 at 8:00 pm

Wheaton College Christmas Festival: Love Divine. Image: Wheaton CollegeImage: Wheaton College

It’s not the holidays without music, and this Christmas concert from nearby Wheaton College provides plenty of holiday cheer. Broadcasting this festival, which features choirs, a glee club, a percussion ensemble, and a band, has become an annual tradition for us. The fact that it’s local makes it even more special.

Secrets of Spanish Florida: A Secrets of the Dead Special

Tuesday, December 26 at 9:00 pm

Secrets of Spanish Florida, St. Augustine. Photo: Small Planet Pictures, Inc.Photo: Small Planet Pictures, Inc.

This is a neat documentary, revealing as it does some obscure early history of European settlement in America. Most people think of Jamestown as the first colony, but there was one that preceded that English settlement by two generations: St. Augustine in Florida. Spanish settlers founded the town in 1565, bringing with them a multitude of peoples, from Africa, Italy, Germany, and Ireland, including Jews. This program reveals their story, as well as that of the indigenous people and the early land-owning freed slaves.

TV Highlights
Dan Soles