A favorite recent pastime of mine has been watching BBC TV comedies and dramas via Netflix streaming. The origin of this bad habit can be traced directly to last spring, when Hiram was laid up with a bad back for 6 weeks. After 2 weeks of me driving to the library every day to check out more DVDs for the man of steel to watch, we decided a free month of Netflix was well worth the money.
Well, you know how that kind of thing goes. By the end of our free month, we were hooked on Doc Martin and Lost. We’ve been paying for the service ever since, and to make sure we get our money’s worth, a whole lotta BBC TV dramas…and a few comedies are part of our instant queue. So now, almost a year into my addiction, here are the top ten perks United States citizens can enjoy while watching BBC TV entertainment shows.
10. BBC miniseries of classic English novels are a much more entertaining way to “read” CliffsNotes than CliffsNotes.
9. Dr. Who is an inter-generational bonding experience. Hiram and the kids talk about episodes all the time. So do high school kids when I talk to their classes. So do middle and high school kids at church. Though I have yet to watch the show, the time is drawing near to bite the Dr. Who bullet and start laughing with them.
8. BBC shows allow Americans to vicariously enjoy a good, old-fashioned English tea–complete with scones, clotted cream, lemon curd, and cucumber sandwiches–while wondering how the English can eat 4 meals a day and not struggle with obesity as much as we do.
7. Nobody does costume dramas like the BBC. Ever heard of Dowton Abbey? Case in point.
6. Thanks to the scenery shots in several shows, Hiram and I are developing quite a list of places in the United Kingdom we plan to visit when we are rich.
5. All those Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Cockney, Yorkshire, and aristocratic English accents make a person admire Hugh Laurie for nailing his plain, old, ordinary American accent in House.
4. BBC shows are the perfect opportunity to visit a different culture without having to learn a new language.
3. Then again, you can feel sorta bilingual once you’re able to translate the following UK English terms into good ‘ole US of A English:
boot of a car=trunk
bonnet=hood of a car
2. When you get tired of watching BBC shows, you can day dream, as I do, of a movie where Rowen Atkinsen and Robin Williams are co-starts. Do you think they would stick to the script?
1. English actors rotate from show to show, and from miniseries to miniseries. So every new series or production is like old home week. For example, consider the BBC miniseries North and South based on the English novel by Elizabeth Gaskill. (Not to be confused with the American miniseries based on John Jake’s books.) The male lead, John Thornton, Richard Armitage, plays Thoren Oakenshield in The Hobbit. Anna Maxwell Martin, who is Bessy Higgins in North and South, was the female lead in Bleak House. And guess who plays Nicholas Higgins, the father of Bessy? Brendan Coyle, also known as Mr. Bates in Downton Abbey. Kinda feels like watching Hollywood westerns from the 1960s when the same actors played the character roles in every movie.
What are your favorite BBC perks? Leave a comment