by Rob Ross
I love British television. Being weened as a child on Faulty Towers and Are You Being Served? has left me predisposed to favour the humour of our once imperial overlords. Nowadays, itʼs not so much the antics of John Cleese that have me returning to the annals of BBC as it is the distinctly un-North American approach to violence and sexuality (aka: less of the former, more of the latter). Lucky for us in Canuckia, Netflix is a trove of British programs and mini-series. While Peep Show and Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace arenʼt available (to my fist-shaking chagrin), there is still good many shows from which to choose. Let the secret Union Jacks of your hearts merrily flap in the flatulent winds of this beans-for-breakfast culture.
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I’m one of those people who believes that if it is British, it must be better. By and large, British people are smarter than the general population. Just listen to how they speak; so pretty. There’s an old joke about Jesus being British, because after all, the Bible is written in English. British dominance continues in TV. If television were an Olympic event, the Brits would dominate like the Canadians do in trampoline or the Hungarians in water polo. They are held to a different standard.
In some cases the British have produced warhorses of broadcast TV with endless amounts of episodes such as Coronation Street, East Enders and Dr. Who. But the shows with the best reception in North America are the shows with a limited run. We never had to face Gareth leaving to be a Bond villain in Season 6 of The Office or Polly’s precocious nephew coming to rouse rabble at Fawlty Towers in season 7. Continue reading →