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Friday, February 22, 2008

Spot the Brit: Brit TV picks.

The strike is finally over! Thank goodness, all the replacement reality TV series were enough to make me consider watching One Tree Hill. The last time I attempted to watch that show was three years ago when it was on after Gilmore Girls-- my roommate and I decided it was homework time after someone started doing coke during the pre-credits teaser.

While the strike may be over, it's still going to be awhile before our fave shows are back on the air. We'll be getting more of our favorite sitcoms and Gossip Girl this year, but a lot of my favorite dramas aren't coming back until the fall. So until we've got some new series to watch, here's a look at some fun British TV that you might have missed. It's Brit week here at Periodic Style!

British TV is great (I may be biased since I grew up on the stuff,) and most of the seasons/series are ordered for a limited number of episodes, which gives their writers a chance to set up and tell a complete story within their given span of episodes. There's no cliffhanger ending when a 13 episode order isn't given the back 7. There's no stretching out a great concept over five seasons when it would've worked better over one. Well, there totally is if you watch the soaps, but I may well be the only person who gets re addicted to Eastenders every time I'm back over there.

Anyway, here are my picks for some quick series to enjoy until our sitcoms and Gossip Girl are back on:

If you like the Office (US), OBVIOUSLY you should enjoy the Office (UK). It's a little meaner, a little more awkward, but Tim and Dawn are just as delightful as Jim and Pam (or, if you're Jeanne, more delightful times a million,) and the Christmas Special. OH THE CHRISTMAS SPECIAL.

Plus, as with anything on British TV, it is like a who's-who of British actors! There's Martin Freeman (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Hot Fuzz),Mackenzie Crook (PIRATE.) and Lucy Davis (Ugly Betty Fashion TV anchor and Shaun of the Dead).

Speaking of Hot Fuzz/Shaun of the Dead, who doesn't like Simon Pegg? If you do, Spaced is great for you. This series is hysterical, and weird, and everything you enjoyed about Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead (no really! There are zombies and guns and tiny dogs named Colin! And semi-ridiculous plots that have one foot still in reality land: Tim and Daisy pretend to be a couple in order to rent an apartment that is listed as being "professional couples only" and wacky hijinks ensue.

It's out on DVD in England, but now here, so consider this my official plea to get Spaced released on DVD in America! Until then, the episodes are occasionally played on Bravo, and you can find some of them on YouTube.

And last but not least of my picks is Doctor Who!
Now I know what you're saying. You're saying, "Kati, Doctor Who has like, seventy million episodes. Everyone knows it is Britain's longest running program." And you would be absolutely right. But what I am recommending to you all is ONE SERIES of Doctor Who, with a pretty much self contained plot arc and 13 episodes. Yes, The first series of the new Who is genius and j'aime bien it. I've enjoyed Billie Piper ever since her teen-pop star days, and she continues to be a delight here as Rose, and Christopher Eccleston (who you might remember as Claude from Heroes, back in the days when we were still watching Heroes) is great as the Doctor. It's obviously in the Sci-Fi Genre, so if that's not your cup of tea, this might not be either, but the relationship between Rose and the Doctor is compelling and kept me coming back for more.

And if you want to, you can just keep playing the "who's who in Brit TV" game with it too! Simon Pegg also does a guest-stint in the first series, and adorable Jessica Hynes (Daisy from Spaced!) guests in the third series.

Now who wants to come play Spot the Brit with me?

Images from www.spaced-out.org.uk and www.bbc.co.uk.


Susie Bubble said...

I would also recommend Peep Show too!

Karen said...

God, I just DEVOUR British TV, the BBC really knows what it's doing. For the more action-oriented, I'd recommend Life On Mars and the ensuing Ashes to Ashes, which is being broadcast right now, Spooks, Hustle, and hello, TORCHWOOD if you are a Doctor Who fan.

Peep Show is hilarious, as is Green Wing (like Scrubs only a million times better).

Kati said...

Susie- I haven't seen Peep Show, but it sounds hilarious! I'm adding it to my netflix queue.

Karen- I actually had a couple of paragraphs written about Torchwood and scrapped them because the post was getting really long! Plus the first series was a little uneven (I'm liking what I've seen of the second series though.) Life on Mars is on the list of things to check out.

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