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My parents, who are apparently miracle workers when it comes to getting their children settled in new houses, came this weekend.  I’ll post some more about their visit soon, but first, things I’ve learned from not leaving the house:

– Ian and I are on the vanguard of British TV (telly) technology, because we have fancy cable (with DVR!).  The installation guy said “You’re American? Well, then you must know all about this!”

– The only people who love American crime shows more than Americans are Brits.  At any given time, there are five or six American crime shows viewable on our non-premium cable (if you throw in the channels we don’t get, the number probably doubles). I don’t know if the shows are reruns, or they somehow ended up with a huge backlog, or what.  In addition, there is an entire channel devoted exclusively to British crime shows.

I can’t confirm, but I suspect “Motorway Patrol” is a cop show, too.  Its also the only non-American show on the channel guide….hurray for American cultural hegemony?

– “Friends” is still going strong here: on the order or four or five episodes a day. In fact, there seem to be virtually no scripted shows that are home-grown.  There have been a bazillion seasons of Big Brother, and some variation on Jersey Shore and a make-under show in its 4th season, but very few English primetime shows that could be classified as sitcoms or dramas.

– But speaking of reality shows, “Made in Chelsea,” the British answer to “Laguna Beach/The Hills/The City/Whatever Crap They’re Calling It Now,” is hilarious.  Here is a quote from the Mirror review:

“In Chelsea the truth is more fabulous than fiction…”

So purred Caggie Dunlop at the start of the first episode of reality aristo-soap Made In Chelsea.”

The only episode I’ve seen culminated in Millie discovering that Hugo had cheated on her, throwing a drink in his face and storming out of the Monte Carlo-themed party.  Seriously, y’all, this is bad TV taken to the next level.  If you don’t believe me, see below:

SERIOUSLY.  He ACTUALLY LOOKS LIKE THAT.

Creepy, ugly image courtesy UnrealityTV.com

And here’s one of the show’s villians (his name is Spencer, which is apparently a prereq for these sorts of shows):

I mean seriously. SERIOUSLY.

So I haven’t decided if I’ll watch it again, but its absolutely hilarious, and I’m unemployed, so I probably will.  Its called an “aristo-soap,” for crying out loud.

– I’m sure I’m missing some relevant information about UK television.  Please fill me in on anything you feel I should know (bonus: comments make me feel popular).

Stay tuned for more high-brown observations about English culture, including some photos of my neighborhood and my almost-unpacked (ish) house.  Lots of excitement on the horizon, friends.

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