Brit Com's are Numberwang!

Saturday, June 21, 2008
American television sucks. Face it, we all know it's true. Sure there are a few gems out there but I'm not going to use this post to plug such gems as Family Guy, The Simpsons, or the great shows that USED to be shown on A&E (now it's Dallas SWAT, reruns of CSI: Miami, and stupid reality shows starring former celebrities). Admit it, even Canada's History Television isn't what it used to be with the only decent shows being the current reruns of Worst Jobs in History (starring one of my many intellectual crushes - Tony Robinson).

Many of my readers also visit Dr. Monkey's blog and will have noticed that he's been showing YouTube clips from That Mitchell and Webb Look's sketch comedy show. Seems he and I are two peas in a pod as I've just finished watching the first two seasons. I'm sure there's plenty of programs on British television that are equal in terms of suckage as the junk we're inundated with over here (think The Kumars at No. 42...terrible). However, there are a few hidden gems mixed in among the tacky zirconias. Unfortunately many of my fellow Canadians (and our American cousins) aren't able to watch most of these programs as our regular cable stations don't air them. Even CBC, who occasionally shows a British made for TV film or miniseries, only offers us Coronation Street (which I love). And of course there's BBC Canada which is, and I hope I'm using this term correctly (as well as spelling it properly), bollocks. And I don't mean the ones belonging to the dog. Plain, straight up bollocks. Perhaps BBC America viewers are a bit luckier and won't have to sit through hours and hours of home reno shows and reruns of Top Gear... CBC Country Canada (now known as BOLD) DOES allow viewers a bit better selection in terms of foreign programming but it's a specialty channel so you have to have digital cable.

So my fellow North Americans, I'd like to recommend a few shows that, if you can get your hands on a copy, I think many of you will enjoy.

I think I've talked about this before and some of you may have already seen it. Hilarious. Brought to you by the good folks who also gave us Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. It follows the wacky hijinks of two strangers who pose as a married couple in order to rent an apartment. Sadly, it seems once again they're making an American version. Why can't they just show the original and let everyone enjoy it? Oh yes, the networks think we're all stupid and can't understand accents without subtitles. Two seasons and you can watch most of them online at YouTube.
Starring David Mitchell (*sigh*...he's dreamy) and Robert Webb (whatever), it's about two completely opposite, out-of-place roommates struggling to cope with the dreariness that is their normal, every day life. Five seasons of nonstop laughs (for me at least). Mitchell and Webb are also responsible for Dr. Monkey's posts about NUMBERWANG! which is a reoccurring skit from their sketch comedy series, That Mitchell and Webb Look (which I would also recommend). Currently in their 5th season, I believe. Available for download through 4oD but it looks like only for residents of the UK. Sorry, mate. You can purchase the DVD's online through Amazon.
A panel quiz show where the points are given for saying something quite interesting and taken away for stating the obvious. I've mentioned this one repeatedly as I think it's brilliant and, once again, stars another intellectual crush: Stephen Fry. The contestants are all celebrities of one sort or another, including the odd American (aren't they all). You'd be surprised at what you'll learn watching this program. Currently in their 6th season - all things "F".


* (asterisk) said...

Glad you're loving Peep Show. I've loved it from day one, and have bought the first 4 seasons. Season 5 is on my DVR if you're interested...

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I liked Peep Show, LOVED the Kumars (unlike you), and I adored Little Britain and Father Ted so much that I bought the DVDs. I am disappointed with BBC America it's gone downhill ever since the day we got it. If I never see Top Gear again it will be too soon. Thank goodness for the endless showings of Coupling, Monty Python, and That Mitchell and Webb Look.

Captain Karen said...

Thanks *Ast. I'm about to start season 3 this week. Like you, I think I'm going to have to buy the DVD's. I'll let you know about S5 though.

Dr. M: The first season of Little Britain was good but once they started with Bubbles and the two ladies who vomit everywhere I got turned off. Coupling was also pretty good but the Kumars? Ugggh. I don't know about now but Top Gear seemed to be one of the shows that aired ALL THE TIME on BBC Canada when I used to watch. Jeremy Clarkson has to be one of the most annoying people....ever.

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