Why Antiques Roadshow Faced Criticism Over A Christmas Special

Throughout the history of TV, it's pretty common for a show to cause controversy. For example, sometimes a show will tackle difficult subject matter, like "The New Normal" and its candid look at two gay men attempting to parent, as E Online notes. Other times, a show's writers may lean into a joke that doesn't land well, such as a "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" bit about a mortician having sex with dead bodies, per Buzzfeed. And of course, there's always the actor who will act the fool in real life and risk derailing their show, such as Charlie Sheen famously did as "Two and a Half Men" was winding down, as Deadline reported.

Perhaps no show is less ripe for controversy than "Antiques Roadshow," either in its iteration on PBS (in the United States) or its BBC predecessor across the pond. However, a 2021 episode of the British version of the series was controversial, not for any subject matter or off-screen shenanigans, but rather, for a half-hearted attempt at pulling the wool over viewers' eyes.

The Antiques Roadshow Christmas Special was filmed in the summer

It should come as no surprise that TV production is a time-consuming process, and weeks or months can pass from the time a scene is filmed and when viewers finally watch it on their screens. As such, there's no reason to believe that a "Christmas Special" of any show — "Antiques Roadshow" or otherwise — would actually be filmed around Christmas. The problem with the 2021 "Antiques Roadshow Christmas Special," according to The Birmingham Mail, is that producers apparently made little attempt to hide this fact, and indeed, other than the title and a few Christmas-related artifacts that were reviewed, the show had little to no connection to Christmas. Indeed, hostess Fiona Bruce introduced the show while wearing a winter coat, but then later told the audience that the show was filmed "on a glorious summer's day." Fans weren't having it. "Sticking 'At Christmas' on the end of a title does not make it festive," wrote one viewer, describing the episode as "[not] especially Christmasy."