Tuesday, April 9, 2013

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


Surprisingly enough, "H" is a pretty varied listing of TV shows! Since there are quite a few, let's not delay!

Hamish MacBeth
You ever wonder why I think that Rumpelstiltskin on Once Upon A Time is totally gorgeous? Watch Hamish MacBeth and all will be clear. Robert Carlyle was very hot in his younger days (and I absolutely LOVE to hear him speak in his natural voice!). Hamish follows a police constable in a remote Scottish town. There is also quite a bit of romance in this show concerning a very young Shirley Henderson (who Americans might know as Moaning Myrtle in Harry Potter...yep, yet another Potter alum), a bit of a love triangle, and just the best of storylines! You fall for every single character in this show, especially Wee Jock, his little West Highland Terrier and police partner!

One of the first shows I ever watched religiously on BBC America, this series introduced American audiences to Michael Fassbender who plays a fallen angel named Azazeal (sound familiar? X-Men and Supernatural fans know why...although Hex pronounces it differently-which technically, since I saw Hex first, I think everyone else pronounces it different). Azazeal has preyed on a female line of witches through the generations trying to spawn a child. Every previous generation has gone mad, but Cassie (played by Christina Cole) might just be his match. Cassie's best friend, played by one of my favorite actresses Jemima Rooper, gets killed after the first couple of episodes, but the remainder of this two series arch she's a ghost who tries to find ways to defeat Azazeal. Funny thing about Christina and Jemima, almost every show that I have seen Jemima in, Christina is also there! Guess these two get along in real life as well. I should also warn you that series 2 can sometimes be very hard to get hold of. They never fully aired the show in BBCA, and it was several years later before I ever got to see the final episodes (which ended on a cliffhanger since they weren't planning on getting cancelled, as evidenced by the DVD extras). Just a trivia tidbit, the school in Hex is West Wycombe Park, or as most Americans know it, Downton Abbey! And Vampire Diaries fans, check out a very young Joseph Morgan as Cassie's first boyfriend!

Hotel Babylon
I remember when this show aired on American television, but I never watched it because I didn't think I would like it. Had I known Max Beesley was in it, I wouldn't have hesitated, but all things happen for a reason and watching these all at once, really made them so much better! A little bit of a modern Upstairs, Downstairs, this show follows the staff of a luxury hotel and their encounters with each other and the rich patrons who make their lives hell sometimes. It really has a stellar cast as well as fabulous guest stars. Max doesn't stay through the entire four series, but makes surprise appearances toward the end (which does NOT end on a cliffhanger happily!). It is very "soap opera"ish, but I don't mind that, so judge accordingly.

Him & Her
The wonderful and adorable Russell Tovey (from Being Human) and Sarah Solemani play a young couple with pretty much no ambition, annoying friends and neighbors, who do very little but slag off work and watch tele in bed all day long. How is this good entertainment, you say? Trust me, it is! The entire show is very conversation based, so the strong characterizations and acting talents make this show a true gem! They have fights about everything normal couples do like exes, marriage, and even bog roll (toilet paper for the American audience)! This is not a show to walk away from, but to put on pause if you need to leave the room, you'll miss a lot really quickly!

I'm gonna leave it there for "H". I actually had several others on the list, but they really paled in comparison to these guys (although I really liked them).


Kate N said...

Him and Her is so well made, characterisations (you spelled it wrong! heheh)are so true to life, it just demonstrates how a show doesnt need to be dependent on huge budgets and action to be of good quality. I am a Russel Tovey fan too and he never disappoints.

Keebles said...

Yeah, you Brits don't care much for "Z's", do ya! HA! I do catch myself adding the extra "U" a lot, like in behaviour, but I rarely leave out my Z...must be Zander and Zachary's influence!