Saturday, May 19, 2007

More on Anglophelia

Most people don't realize this, but much of the God-awful shows on television are the fault of the British--almost all of the reality crap like Survivor, and What Not to Wear, and many of the recent game shows--Weakest Link (obviously because they brought the singular host), I believe Identity and Deal or No Deal but DoND may have been based on a really old American one.

Anyway, they never bring over the really good stuff (or if they do they make it worse). Coupling for instance. Red Dwarf. Speaking of RD, I feel about this as The Cat did when "claiming" his territory with a small spray bottle (figure it out), "This is mine, this is mine, this is mine. Except that. I don't want that." I'll take the clever and dark without the inane, thank you. I guess The Office is the exception that proves the rule.

What I'd like them to bring over (besides Dr. Who which shouldn't be touched by American hands--I like my Dr. as Victorian gentleman and all attempts (with the exception of Joanna Lumley and that was comedy) to change that rather annoy me) {How far can I digress--watch me} is the really clever, erudite, literary game shows that my husband and I listen to from the BBC. The only thing America has that's at all close is NPR's "Wait, wait, don't tell me."
We listen to "My Word," "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue" (which is rather more intelligent comedy than true game show--like "Who's Line" isn't really a game show), and the Unbelievable Truth. The second half of My Word, for instance is a competition between two masters who are given a famous quote or phrase and they have to make a long, funny pun out of it. I hadn't heard the Unbelievable Truth before: each contestant has a small list of facts on some subject like the History of the London Underground or Queen Elizabeth I and they weave that into an absolute nonsense history and the other contestants have to spot the facts. Like saying that X designed the first subway map and was paid 5 shillings and a hot crossed bun for it. Well, X did design the first map but was probably not paid a hot crossed bun for it. You get the picture. Truly brilliant. The first half of My Word is things like What do two characters have in common, or the etymology of words and what's amazing is that these people get it most of the time. I'm Sorry I Haven't ... has one song sung to the tune of another like She Loves You sung to London Bridge and they manage to do it. Wow. But of course would American audiences go for it? Not bloody likely!

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