RESOLUTION for 2021: wear specs more. You can imagine my delight when I found out there was a new drama coming called Bridgeton. This early nineteenth century tale of high society promised japes, frocks and witticisms galore. Bless, thought I, the East End of Glasgow hasn’t changed much.

Then I read it again and found the title was Bridgerton (Netflix, from Christmas Day) and it was in fact set in Grosvenor Square in dull old London.

Apart from the diverse cast and the regular bouts of bone-bumping, it was largely by the numbers costume drama stuff, the kind of thing a computer programme might have come up with if you typed in “sex, Austen, luxe fabrics”.

It did have one USP, mind: Julie Andrews as the narrator, scandal sheet writer Lady Whistledown. Lady W took a dim view of her journalistic profession, opining that, “Of all the bitches dead or alive, a scribbling woman is the most canine.” Miaow. Passably entertaining for one episode, the new Crown or Downton it is not.

Bridgerton aside, such has been the shortage of new material this festive season I found myself raiding the back catalogues on catch-up services. I had forgotten how spiky the early episodes of a certain Scottish sitcom were. It turned out to be good psychological preparation for this year’s festive special of Two Doors Down, (BBC2, Monday).

Cathy and Colin had rented an ab fab Highlands home to get away from it all. But the last thing they really wanted was to be alone together, so they had invited the neighbours. Up rocked Beth, Eric, Christine and the boys, hoping for a lovely break filled with bracing walks and a steak pie or ten. What they got was The Shining with bi-fold doors.

The trouble began after Gordon was found to have a way with impersonations. It was the usual blow the bloody doors off rubbish, but emboldened by the reaction of a captive and half sozzled audience, he attempted an impression of Cathy (Doon MacKichan).

One could only watch in horror as Cathy failed to see the funny side. In revenge she went totally Abigail’s Party on her guests, lashing out like a cross between Bette Davis and Godzilla. She was so awful even human doormat Beth (Arabella Weir) rose up in protest.

Handled badly, the half hour could have gone too sour surprisingly quickly. But show creators Simon Carlyle and Gregor Sharp, aided by a superb cast, can pretty much get away with anything by now, so well do we know these characters. The viewer trusts it will all work out in the end. Roll on the fifth series.

The Serpent (BBC1, New Year’s Day) was a blizzard of place names and time frames, just the kind of fellow you need on January 1.

This was the “inspired by real events” story of Charles Sobhraj, a regular face on the 1970s hippy trail. Sobhraj and his girlfriend Marie (Jenna Coleman) came across as a couple of cool dudes, always there with handy advice to backpackers. But what was their real interest in the naive sorts that wafted into view?

Many will have given The Serpent a go on seeing the leading man was Tahir Rahim, so memorable in Jacques Audiard’s crime drama, A Prophet. He was the best thing in the series, as were the groovy clothes of the time. The rest of it pretty much passed in a blur. There are seven more episodes ahead, so maybe it will start making sense eventually.

I have been fascinated by Torvill and Dean since yon drama about the Olympic and world champions’ rise to fame. Even though the 2018 programme was two hours’ long and very well done, I felt I knew as little about the ice dancing pair at the end of it than I had at the beginning.

It was the same with Dancing on Thin Ice with Torvill and Dean (STV, New Year’s Day). With Stephen Fry narrating, the cameras followed T&D to Alaska, a place where they could fulfil their dream of “wild skating” as opposed to going round and round a rink indoors. There was more to it than that, though. Of course there was. There was the green angle. While looking for a place to dance their famous Bolero routine, T&D would see for themselves that due to global warming the world's ice was disappearing fast.

It was a simple enough idea, so basic that it needed a lot of padding. So the duo tried their hand at ice hockey, being pulled along in a sleigh by huskies, visiting an ice museum and so on. It was like they wanted to do anything to avoid revealing too much about themselves. Occasionally the shutters went up slightly and they spoke about being best friends/like brother and sister, but otherwise they gave little away.

All was forgiven when they performed the Bolero, both in cosy tops and leggings, the music dreamy and restrained rather than brassy.

They looked in every sense like they had been transported to another place, but were once again alone in their own little world.