Wednesday, April 10, 2013

TV Anorak: An American Intro To British TV-The I's

1. British: A person obsessively interested in a thing or topic that doesn't seem to warrant such attention.

This series of Challenge posts is an introduction to British TV shows for my fellow Americans. For instructions on how to play different region-coded DVD's, please go either here or here to read my previous blog posts that should clear up any confusion. Next up:


How could I possibly come up with a lot of "I" shows? Well, I didn't, but I did come up with four (well, one is kind of a cheat) that should count as a hundred because they are so great!

IT Crowd
Yes, I know I'm IT so I was naturally gonna love this show, but I had no idea how much! Chris O'Dowd (Americans know him from Bridesmaids) is one-third (well, technically one-fourth) of a major company's IT department that is stuck in the basement and, not only gets no respect, but is often abused by the company's CEO's (but in a funny way). You've got the slacker geek (O'Dowd), the Revenge of the Nerds geek, and a new manager that knows sod-all about computers (plus a vampiric-type goth who lives in the server room and rarely comes out). My server room is now filled with IT Crowd-themed posters and what-nots! Upon occasion, you might catch me uttering Roy's (O'Dowd's) classic phone greeting..."IT. Have you tried turning it off and on again?"! IT Crowd is also one of the few British DVD's to come loaded with extras as well, so there is plenty of enjoyment in these four series. I absolutely LOVE this clip!

In Deep
Yep, another Stephen Tompkinson vehicle, this one a lot more gritty, about two partnered undercover cops who straddle the line of going too far (and, upon occasion, jump miles over said line). Stephen is amazing at mastering all kinds of roles, but I have to admit, I absolutely LOVE him as a cop, but then again, I love him as a priest, and a vet too. This is a two series show, and I really hated to see it end (although no cliffhangers thankfully!).

Inspector Morse
This is quite possibly, the best-loved British detective series ever. Although I did eventually come to love it, I think maybe my hopes were too high at first. It took me a while to come around to Morse, played by John Thaw (who died not long after the 12 series finished). I think he may be a bit too much like me and he's not a very likable man. But the storylines were amazing and I hated to see the series end (but thank goodness for the followup series). Set in and around Oxford, the colleges play an integral part in a lot of the storylines. Kevin Whately plays his faithful partner, DS Lewis. There is also a prequel movie called Endeavour (Morse's first name) and they turned it into a series as well, which will be out on DVD soon.

In America (with Stephen Fry)
Yes, I'm cheating on this one because it's actually called Stephen Fry In America, but I have way too many S's and I didn't want to leave this one out! This is my one and only documentary that made my list - probably because I would watch utter crap as long as Stephen was in it! This series has Stephen travelling through every state in the union in his British taxi and learning about us and our cultures. It's the Brit-eye view of America as seen from one of the most intelligent men on the planet! I do hate the segment they aired for Arkansas. Stephen actually said on Jonathan Ross (another talk show that used to air on BBCA) that Arkansas was one of the prettiest states he visited and they didn't show the best bits in the Arkansas clip. They did stay clear of any stereotypes and Stephen really seemed to enjoy his travels throughout our country.

Any other "I's" that should have made my list? Well let me know!


Siobhan Fox said...

Love, love, love IT crowd!! My fave is episode 1 series 2. I have the dork stitch chart to stitch for a friend in IT when I get my fabric.

Maureen said...

Well done on remembering In Deep. I loved that show but could never remember what it was called.

Rebeccah Giltrow said...

The Inbetweeners. I know there was an US version of that, but the original British series were so much funnier than their American counterpart.