Tuesday, 16 September 2014

TV Tuesday - Three British Shows You'll Love

As a matter of fact ...

Here in Canada, I often get asked what TV shows are like back home in the UK. Well, they're different. I love many shows from North America and all over Europe but British shows just have something to them; something unique I cant put my finger on.

This is most obvious in the comedy. Every time someone says to me 'You're British? Have you heard of this show called ...' it is usually a comedy show. I usually have seen it and then ask them if they've seen another show that is very similar. They shake their head. Although a fair amount of people here have seen British comedy shows, not many have seen more than a handful of the most popular ones.

If this sounds like you then fear not; I've come up with three British comedy shows you might not have heard of but will probably find very funny and thank me for it later. Wordy title I know. Here we go:

1) Peep show

Created by comedy duo David Mitchell and Robert Webb, this brilliant show lasted 11 years on British TV, finishing just this year. It follows the lives of housemates Jezz and Mark as they venture from their twenties to their thirties whilst trying to keep their head above water. 

Aside from the hilarious and often ridiculous scenarios they get themselves into, I find Jezz and Mark's relationship a shiny piece of comedy gold. Jezz has nothing to live for at times but lives twice as hard anyway whilst Mark has a comfortable job and life but is crippled by self doubt, pessimism and an attachment to Jezz that forever seems to bring him down. In reality, the pair are a perfect match. 

Their believable and relatable nature are only helped by the show's unique filming style, where the entire show is filmed from the eyes of the characters involved. You see what they see and it only makes it funnier.

With 8 series, there is a lot to get your teeth sunk into.

2) Father Ted

THIS IS NOT BRITISH. It is Irish. Just had to start by saying that. I couldn't leave it out though as it has been lovingly adopted by British people over the years and held up as the poster boy for what we find funny on this side of the pond.

This 90's show follows the antics of Father Ted, Father Dougal, Father Jack and Mrs Doyle as the inhabitants of a Catholic parochial house on the fictional Craggy Island. Ted, the self appointed leader, was moved to the Island after his gambling addiction landed him in the red. He's been trying to escape ever since.

Ted having to deal with his own problems is funny enough. However add in the dim witted Dougal, alcoholic Jack and straight up weird Mrs Doyle and you have a show that is as ridiculous as it is timeless. 

From hunting for the island's 'beast of the moors' to kicking a bishop up the arse; this show is as visually funny as the consistently witty dialogue. 

A must watch for those who want something different and love the absurd. 

3) Fawlty Towers

I mentioned my love for this show in this blog's first ever post and I don't care if I'm repeating myself: it is brilliant. Fronted by Monty Python's John Cleese as hotel owner Basil Fawlty, this 70's masterpiece is on another comedic level.

Fawlty Towers is a crummy hotel run by a crummy manager in the form of Basil Fawlty. He sees guests as a burden unless they're rich, he sees his wife as a killjoy in a loveless marriage and he sees his staff as incompetent despite the fact they repeatedly dig him out of his own holes.

As you can expect from one of the Python crew, the show is as slapstick as it is witty. Don't worry if you don't think slapstick is your thing, many people I've shown this show too said that at first. However they soon realise that it's not the physical comedy that makes the show: it's the buildup to it. Every episode will rip your sides apart watching these timeless characters try to plug the sinking ship that is Fawlty Towers.

With just two seasons to its name, you really have no excuse to not go and watch it right now.

So there you have it. Three shows you might not have heard of but will probably find very funny and thank me for it later. You're welcome. If you have any suggestions for similar shows, feel free to leave a comment! Happy viewing. 

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