British TV Comidies

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So once again here I am talking about British stuff…this time its comedies.  Growing up on PBS in America there were lots to choose from; everything from real life settings to ribald humor. Here are a few of my favorites:

IT crowd: I have watched seasons 1 and 2 and I think there are four so far available on Nexflix. This show revolves around the unloved IT department that is literally in the basement of a major corporation. There is Jenn ( new manager with no clue), Moss (the brains and terrible nerdy) and Roy (don’t really know what Roy does). The show gets its charm from the mundanes of office life and the quirkiness of the characters. This is a good show for people not accustomed to ribald humor and interested in a more realistic comedy.

Chef!: I have watched all three seasons of this funny show. Unlike “reality” based shows this series is about the head chef of a restaurant in trouble. Gareth Blackstock and his wife Janis try their best to make things work with slacker staff and various parishioners and managers. The rub happens when Gareth’s high standards clash with lack of skill on the part of his staff and a tight budget; the war of words and standards is a hilarious ride.

Fawlty Towers: Okay this one ranks pretty high on the “I could watch it again and again” list. My favorite episode is “Basil the rat.” John Cleese plays Basil the woebegone hotel owner, struggling to manage his staff and wife. Calamity ensues on a regular basis, leaving the staff scamming to keep the guests happy and safe. This is a wonderful series, funny and simple. As a side note: if you have never watched any of the Monty Python films you should.

Are you being served? This series centers around a group of people who work in a department store in ladies and men’s wear. From the young and innocent, to the curmudgeon there is a place for all the shades in between. I loved this show when I was younger, Mr. Humphries was my favorite, I loved his crazy personality and innuendo’s. This is not a show for the sensitive, it could be considered a little off-color but only to young viewers.

Mr. Bean: Rowan Atkinson brings is outstanding as the practically mute Mr Bean. There is a soft place in my heart for characters like Charlie brown and Mr Bean, they try hard but always seem to get the short end of the stick. Yet they pick them selves up, smile and go on. If you like physical/ slap stick comedy this is definitely for you. Family friendly, Mr bean has an innocence to it that most humor leaves behind.

Red Dwarf: This is my all time favorite. I have watched the entire series and am quite certain that I will do so again. This series takes place on a deserted mining ship called the Red Dwarf. Everyone has died except Lister (was in stasis) a hologram Arnold Rimmer and a creature that evolved from the ships cat. The outlandish crew of this ship travel haphazardly though space taunting one another and having a great time. If you like to laugh this is the show for you.

The Black Adder: If Mr Bean is Rowan Atkinson being good, Edmond is him being bad. Through out the series we see Edmond trying to get a head by deceiving, black mailing and taking advantage. Of course it never works out but he  tries any way. There is a LOT of innuendo and out right ribald humor. It is not appropriate for young or sensitive audiences but if you can take a little “potty” humor this show is quiet funny.

Keeping up appearances: This series centers around a married couple and their extended family. Hyacinth Bucket tries to make her life bigger and better than it is in every way mean while her husband and sisters try to bring her back to reality. I really felt for her husband Richard, constantly being hounded by his wife, dispensing useless advice. I live this show, it is funny because we all know a busy body who has to tell everyone in their life how to do everything. Much to her dismay Hyacinth’s family continue to be the colorful people that they are.

Waiting for God: This is a very funny show about a pair of friends who live in the same nursing home. They hate it and spend their time mischief to keep from being bored to death. Underneath their curmudgeon exteriors there is a deep commitment to each other while on end of their journey in life. The staff at the nursing home provides lots of ripe moments to play off of. Tom and Diana shine a light into the latter years that is funny and poignant.

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2 responses »

  1. Where would we all have been without the Britts to simultae our minds and help us have a healthy laugh at our own short comings. It is just a shame that local PBS stations are woefully inder-funded and their viewing areas have hrunk…we can no longer receive it unless we up up a very expensive rotating tower!!!

  2. I loved watching most of these as well… I haven’t seen Chef or IT Crowd… but I’ll have to check them out on Netflix… my favorites have to be between Are you Being Served? and Fawlty Towers…. I love Col. Peacock!

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