Friday, 5 August 2011

American Rubbish

It may, or perhaps may not, come as a surprise for my loyal readers across the pond in the mighty US of A to know that your TV offerings are often referred to as rubbish by the Brits. When researching this post I came across names of series that indeed seem to back this view up. Perhaps you guys over there could enlighten me if I'm wrong in my assumption that the vintage detective show Jigsaw John,  My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance and Gay, Straight or Taken are probably shows to be avoided? Certainly watching telly in American itself is a no-no.   When a girl's tolerance for ad breaks wears thin after five minutes it's a non-starter.

But some of my favourite programmes that are innovative and original, have come from your shores.   Here's my list starting with my number one which is.....

  • ...Northern Exposure:  Brilliant storylines,  complex well developed characters,  both funny and heart warming    It also has its fair share of those hairy fast food eating dudes yielding power tools, although DJ Chris was my preferred object of lust.  Absolute bliss!  
  • Mad Men:  Now we're getting a bit more up to date.  Funnily enough this reminds me of  Jeeves and Wooster.  I know, I know.  The subject matter is completely different as are the tone, time and location for goodness sakes!  But  it's the precise period detailing that both these shows have in common that have caused me to draw a comparison that everyone else in the world will probably disagree with.
  • King of the Hill:  Okay some of the kid's animation that originates from the US might be responsible for its dodgy TV reputation - cue anything Louis watches where the characters have big googly eyes, tight jumpsuits and weapons.  Yes, Turtles, you are amongst the ranks here.  However the depiction of the small town life of Hank,  a propane products salesman is superbly observed.  And for those who want to go on a pilgrimage, Mr Lovelygrey and I have spotted Hank's son Billy  in a church in Majorca,  used as a model for the infant Jesus in a Madonna and Child statue.  Genius!  If my memory serves me right it's in the church of San Salvador at Arta but alas I haven't been able to find a photo on the Internet to show you what I mean. Finally on my visit to the cartoon realm, I quite like a bit of South Park, the essential 'Friday night after the pub' viewing of the nineties.
  • NYPD Blue:   Now I don't normally like cop shows even though they always sport their fair share of chaps who really should be avoiding popping into Macky Ds and Dunking Donuts between shoot outs.  But I was so captivated by the edgy camera work, all those jumpy around shots, that I didn't even feel it needed good plot lines.  Thankfully though this show had those too.  And a bit of nudity which always perked Mr Lovelygrey up!   The even edgier and skillfully filmed 'Homicide - Life on the Streets' was on my viewing radar for a good while as well.
  • Twin Peaks:  Oh goodness! I forget that this was a crime show.  Because of the beautiful filming and kooky characters I put it in the same box as Northern Exposure.  That's probably why it's is a high  flier on my favourites list.
  • Third Rock from the Sun:  A story about everyday life of aliens on earth.  So, so silly!  John Lithgow at his best.  For more comedy offerings  there's the  classics that you all know about.  Of course, I'm referring to Seinfeld, Cheers and Frasier.   I loved M*A*S*H in my teenage years but reckon I might find it a bit too schmaltzy these day.  Too much emotional bonding - not enough medical realism!  In latter days,  Flight of the Conchords raises more than a laugh or too.  And I know 'The Trawler Park Boys' is a Canadian series and shouldn't strictly  be in this list but I just had to include it.  It's another programme with a strange feel to the  filming  and I love the quality of light captured in the peaceful opening sequences that gives not a clue about what is to come in the rest of the show.  It has the most bizarre characters and plot lines ever but the easily offended should stay clear.  So  please don't watch it Mama or Nana Lovelygrey.  It's far too rude for you and just wouldn't be your cup of tea.  Stick to my next offering!
  • The Wonder Years:  Back to more wholesome stuff.   Now here's a show portraying those rare beasts, nice teenagers.  I jest by the way.  They're still out there.  Emily, Louis' babysitter is a delight!
  • The Muppet Show:  Enough said.  This was everyone's favourite in my childhood years.  Just about the entire population in the UK sat down  together on a Saturday night for some high quality entertainment brought to you by the pig and the frog.   And to bring back your own fond memories please follow this link to watch the Swedish Chef Making Donuts.  You won't be disappointed!

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