Hello all! Welcome to this week's Media Monday
. Today I'm talking about some of my favorite British Sitcoms. (Please remember videos don't show up on Goodreads)
Now before I spent a decade or so living in the UK, the British sitcoms I had been exposed to were some of the older classics they used to play over here on BBC America or PBS. Namely Blackadder, Fawlty Towers, Absolutely Fabulous, Are You Being Served,
and Keeping Up Appearances
I loved Blackadder, Fawlty Towers, and Absolutely Fabulous
more than the others I admit, maybe because they were a little newer, I understood them a little better, though sometimes some of the cultural references went over my head, as well as some of the humor. It was only while I was living in the UK, completely submerged in the culture that I was able to truly appreciate these shows and their cleverness, not to mention completely understand the humor.
What I love about many British sitcoms is the sometimes gray world these characters live in, and I don't just mean in a lack-of-sunshine kind of way. There's a sweet sadness, and amazing cynicism to them. Unless you're watching something like the Might Boosh which has very little to do with reality, the characters in most British sitcoms are real people that you know--people you work with, your family, your friends, even you.
|Martin Freeman as Tim, and Lucy Davis as Dawn in The Office.|
Which is why sometimes you feel them even more, because these characters--despite the shows being comedies, aren't always winners. They fail, they do incredibly embarrassing things that make you cringe, sometimes they can't seem to catch a break. A few of them hate their lives, themselves, or the world around them. Sounds depressing, doesn't it? Through some amazing writing, and humor, the characters become endearing, and memorable.
Now I'm not saying I don't enjoy American sitcoms. I have plenty of favorites, but American sitcoms aren't written the same way--obviously. Anyway, I'm not going to get into the differences here, merely share some of my favorites. I won't get into the old British classics, because they're a whole other kettle of fish. Trying to dissect British sitcoms from the 70s is not an easy task (Carry On...?).
For me, some of the characters in many of these sitcoms are so memorable, that years later I remember who they are, their names, and the great things about them. Why is that impressive? Because if you ask me what I had for lunch yesterday, I wouldn't be able to tell you. I have a terrible memory, and have very little control over what remains inside and what drifts away, just ask anyone who knows me. So the fact that these characters stay with me, really means something to me. Now, onto the shows.
One of my ultimate favorites: Black Books
Bernard Black is the owner of Black Books, a bookshop. Sort of. He's rude, cynical, a drunk, a slob, smokes like a chimney, and is completely amazing. You just want to hug him because you know how much he'd hate it. His relationship with Manny, his employee and (possibly only) friend--except for Fran, is hilarious. I love Bernard. I sure as hell wouldn't want to live with him, but I love him.
The IT Crowd - because who wouldn't want to watch a sitcom about two socially dysfunctional, comic book reading, Wii playing, adorable IT guys and their department head 'Relationship Manager' who knows nothing about IT?
In this clip, Jen has been rather unbearable since she won employee of the month, so to get even, Roy and Moss have 'helped' her with the presentation she's to give about what it is she does. So they've given her a black box which they tell her is THE internet. Things don't exactly go as planned... That Mitchell & Webb Look
Ricky Gervais' Extras
(a show about a film extra trying to make it big)
Other great Brit sitcoms to check out:Peep Show
from award winning David Mitchell and Robert Webb. I love these guys.Where as That Mitchell & Webb Look is a comedy sketch show, Peep Show is an actual series, and it's fantastic.Armstrong & Miller
: Terribly British and terribly funny. Love the chav RAF pilots.
Panel shows: QI
hosted by the amazing Stephen Fry. Loads of fun.8 out of 10 Cats
hosted by the funny Jimmy Carr, and I love team leader Sean Lock.Never Mind the Buzzcocks
fantastic music quiz type game show with guests from the music industry, movies, and TV.
Classic comedy duo: French & Saunders
. Their movie parodies were the best. x Charlie x