I don’t watch much television. I think most of it is complete rubbish, and I would typically rather be doing something that is more productive or creatively stimulating. I will admit, however, that I do enjoy a bit of telly before turning in for the night. For the past few months my wife and I have been almost exclusively watching British shows on Netflix, and I must say that I’m quite impressed by what is being produced across the pond — and I’m very keen to see more. Maybe we are just getting access to the best of the best here Stateside, and in reality the broadcasts over there are just as shoddy as here in the US. However, so far the programs I’ve seen have been the dog’s bollocks. My wife agrees.

I’m specifically talking about shows like Broadchurch, The Fall, River, The Office (yes, our version is a ripoff), Top of the Lake, Hinterland, and The Detectorists. Depending on the genre, these programs might seem too grisly or quirky (or both) for mainstream American viewing. For example, it isn’t likely that an entire season of a Yankee program would revolve around the murder of a young boy who ends up being killed by his best friend’s dad — who is also in love with him (bugger, sorry if I ruined the incredibly shocking surprise ending, mates). Similarly, I don’t think many Hollywood producers would jump at the chance to film a comedy based on the strange life of two blokes who faff about treasure hunting with metal detectors. Too bad, because we are missing out on some very odd, suspenseful, sad, harsh, and/or bloody hilarious content.

Not only are the plots great, but the characters are simply brilliant. Flawed in many ways, both physically and emotionally, they are very easy to relate to. The male actors are as likely to be short, bald and homely as tall, dark and handsome. Females are not gormless supermodels trying their best to utter their lines, but instead may be a bit pale and pudgy (yet many of them are still quite shaggable). Most characters have a complex depth that goes far beyond their surfaces. Their lives are far from tickety-boo, and many seem downright knackered and gutted. Everything may be balls-up, yet they trudge on anyway. You know, much like real life.

What’s really strange and amusing to me is that I now find myself thinking in British vernacular quite often. In fact, it is almost becoming second nature. I’m sure I drop plenty of clangers, but I feel like I’m becoming fairly ace, and it’s a brill way to entertain myself. Of course, I would never speak this way out loud, as I’m sure I would look like a complete tosser (I should probably inform readers that a “tosser” is the equivalent of a wanker or knob).

Anyway, I didn’t mean to get off topic. I’m sure there are plenty of British shows that are complete pants, but I’ve been right chuffed to bits with the programs I’ve seen so far. Give them a dekko and see what you think. You might have a bit of trouble with the accent at first, but it will soon be a doddle to understand. If these don’t end up being your cup of tea, perhaps they will be a great way to nod off. So, Bob’s your uncle. Cheers. 

 

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