TV: Rab C Nesbit: Christmas Special
BBC2, Tue 23 Dec, 9pm
With his dishevelled demeanour and manky string vest, Rab C Nesbitt may look exactly the same as he did when we last eyeballed him staggering from our screens in the summer of 1999, but the wise old nutter fae Govan is a changed man. Not only attending AA meetings but apparently leading them, the headband headbanger has also found God and discovered how to switch the cooker on, ensuring that Mary Doll’s tea is on the table when she knocks off from her cleaning job. But how long will the all-new Rab last and can he fend off a potential threat to his marriage from Gary Lewis’ hotshot TV exec?
Much has happened in the world since Rab’s last ale-fuelled rant and some vague attempt at nutshelling the sign of the times occurs when two fully burka-clad Muslim women appear, albeit down Rab’s boozer singing karaoke. Capturing the zeitgeist has always been part of Ian Pattison’s motivation for Rab, but simply feeding off the irrational mindset of a caustic alcoholic has often been enough to give the show its knee-jerk humour. It’s quite possible we could wait another decade for Gregor Fisher to don the ripped jacket, but should he never be coaxed back, this is a decent epitaph for Rab.