Friday, April 19, 2013

TV Anorak: An American Intro To British TV-The Q'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:


You'll be surprised to know that not only did I have one "Q" series in my collection, but two!

My only game show on the list and one that I only have only three DVD's of, mainly because they haven't released any more than A-C on DVD (and may not ever release anymore). But our friends on YouTube have kindly posted entire episodes, so those Q.I. fans aren't left hanging (but come on DVD production people...get moving on putting out the rest!). Q.I. stands for Quite Interesting and it's not your typical game show. Hosted by my beloved Stephen Fry, there are four other comedian/actor panelists (one of which is always another beloved of mine, Alan Davies). Anyone who's anyone in the comedy world has been on Q.I. at some point (as well as some of Fry's acting friends like Emma Thompson and Hugh Laurie). The subject matter of the questions is on an almost genius level, sometimes the comedians get them right (you'd be surprised how smart some of them are) or they crack jokes about the questions. Did you know that the Earth actually has more than one moon? Yeah, well I didn't either until I watched Q.I. Fry and Davies have a very Laurel and Hardy rapport and I often find myself being blown away by Fry's genius and yet feeling sorry for Davies' stupidity (however contrived). Each series of this show is a different letter of the alphabet and they are currently up to "J" and about to start "K". This series has spawned numerous books and games as well.

Queer As Folk
This is the only British show with an American counterpart which could possibly be better, but only slightly. Russell T. Davies, creator of the new Doctor Who, was the creator of QAF and subsequently sold the rights to America. The American series lasted for five seasons, whereas the British really only had one and a half series. I watched the American version first, which may have skewed my opinion of the British a bit, but since the Brit version came first, I have to treat the American as the copycat, and copycat it does, almost down to the exact dialogue (minus the British slang). The stories don't really take a major shift until the final British episode, which actually aggravated me at first, but, after watching it a second time, I had a serious rethink about my worship of the American version (which didn't end so happily). There is no simple way to describe this show, so I'm not gonna try, but it's the story of two gay best friends living in Manchester. There is no much intertwining of the story line and off branches, I can't even begin to do it justice. As a straight girl living in the bible belt of Arkansas, this show pushed every single boundary I have, but the characters were so strong and the writing so good, I can proudly recommend it as one of the best shows ever (as well as the American version). The UK version is not nearly as sexually graphic as the US version, but it's still pretty raunchy, so prepare yourself.

1 comment:

Rebeccah Giltrow said...

QI is amazing. Not only is it really funny, I've also learnt quite a bit from it :D I don't know what will happen when they get to Z.