Monday, April 8, 2013

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


"G" is filled with one of the best, another cancelled show that was absolutely amazing, a period law drama, and a hospital drama/comedy that will make you laugh and cry! Let's get started!

Gavin And Stacey
This is a big one. It was one of the best shows on TV...ever. Created by Ruth Jones and James Corden (need I say more?), it's the story of an Essex boy and a Welsh girl. Through the three series and a couple of Christmas specials, we see them meet, fall in love, get married, split up, get back together and all the trouble and joy their relationship causes their family and friends. For me, Smithy (Gavin's best friend) and Nessa (Stacey's best friend) (played by Jones and Corden) should have been the show's title, since they steal every single scene they are in. Every so often, Ruth and James pop up on Comic Relief specials (yes, every single year the Brits still do Comic Relief...I miss ours) as their G&S characters and they are definitely worth a YouTube search! "Oh, Oh, What's occurrin?". Here is a short clip of Gavin and Stacey's (as well as Smithy and Nessa's) first meeting:

The Golden Hour
A very early Richard Armitage (just typing his name makes me go all gooshy!) series that sadly got cancelled (and in the middle of a cliffhanger, wouldn't you know). The series is about a group of helicopter rescue docs. It isn't all action, but also deals with their personal issues and love lives (which I would have loved to have seen more of). In the early days, it was rare to see Richard play something other than a bad guy (and, come to think of it, even now he still plays a lot of baddies), which is probably why I loved this show so much. Also starring the absolutely gorgeous Ciaran McMenamin (and look our for Ciaran in the P's) as Richard's rival for a fellow doctor's affections. There is only four episodes of this series, but I've watched them several times just to see Richard in action! Definitely not Spooks quality, but pretty hot none-the-less (showing my girly nature now, sorry).

Garrow's Law
Another Andrew Buchan vehicle (see the "F's"), Garrow's Law is a period-set law drama based on the work of a real lawyer. He fought against the very corrupt legal system of the day, changing the way the British legal system functioned that still holds true today. I'm sure there is a bit of poetic license taken with Garrow's personal life, he falls in love with a married lady who gives up everything (including her child) to be with him and suffers greatly for it. There is so much sadness surrounding their romance, I often wonder is "romance" is the right word, but there are happy times that make up for the sadness, still making it worth watching for this old romantic.

The Green Wing
The Brits don't do enough medical shows for my taste! I got this one because it was a medical show, but waited a while to watch it because I didn't think it would be any good. Boy, was I wrong! Green Wing is a brash comedy with dramatic and romantic undertones...the drama and romance often tone down the sometimes cheesiness of the comedy. This was a two series run following a group of doctors including Tamsin Greig and Stephen Mangan (you might recognize both from Episodes) as they fight for patient justice, fall in love, gain pretty big heads only to be shot down again, it's just a great black comedy!

The Graham Norton Show
This is a bit of a cheat since I don't own Graham on DVD, but I have watched him every single week on BBC America for years! I'm not a talk show fan, but Graham is completely different that your standard talk show. All the guests are on the couch at one time, most of them are drinking, and they are all interacting with one another (instead of the American tradition of taking turns)...alcohol makes for some interesting interviews as well (as witnessed by a very drunk Mark Wahlberg a couple of weeks ago who sat in Graham's lap and started petting his face for some stupid reason). There have been times when I have practically wet myself from laughing so hard! He does have Hollywood stars, but it's really the best way to meet and learn about British stars as well. And don't forget to hang around at the end of the show for "stories from the red chair". Some of my favorite shows I have found from watching Graham and I will continue to do so as long as it's on TV!

Any other "G" shows you can recommend?


Rai Rai's Stitches said...

I love Garrows law, and I am a mad Graham Norton fan. I have my per set to record all of his shows. He is hilarious!

I started watching the Fades. Creepy but good. I'm so sad they only made one season.

Juliet Bond said...

Fun post! Just stopping by for the A-Z Challenge. Please check us out and sign up to follow if you like what you see. Juliet atCity Muse Country Muse

Grammy said...

Hello, friend. I am so in love with the British detective shows, along with the comedies ! I get them on PBS and Netflix. Lifetime fan of Agatha Christie and Hercule Poirot books. Thanks for your naming some more that I haven't seen.

Anonymous said...

Graham Norton is the only one of the shows mentioned that I've seen. It is a hilarious show, one of a few that make me miss having cable and BBC America (the other big ones being Top Gear and Doctor Who but neither of those start with a G :/ ).
Fel Wetzig at The Peasants Revolt

Deb Betz said...

Interesting read, even tho I am in the USA and have never heard of these shows. My favorite "G" show, GENERAL HOSPITAL.

Rebeccah Giltrow said...

Gimme Gimme Gimme (that's a television programme; I wasn't asking for anything!)