I started this blog because I left Boston to live and work in London for a while, and I wanted to stay in touch with family and friends. I'm back now, but still have plenty of opinions on world news, politics, the media and the absolute craziness that comes from dealing with people. Bring it.

11 January 2006

Insane TV

Since I am now working from "home" -- when I'm not traveling -- I've quickly learned that working in silence is totally distracting. As a result, I leave the TV on for background noise while I'm working. I've looked up a couple of times to see unbelievable crap on the TV. Below, please find a list of American shows I would NEVER watch in the US that I happened to notice were playing in the background:

  • Golden Girls
  • Quantum Leap (multiple times a day, I think!)
  • Columbo
  • Murder, She Wrote
  • According to Jim (I was not even aware of this show's existence before arriving in London)
  • That weird cartoon show that happens in the year 3000 (I have no idea what it is called)
  • Charmed

On the plus side, I have caught one show (at night) that I love and I would never watch in the US, because they'd never have it in the US (except maybe on PBS at a totally odd time). Its called Balderdash and Piffle (a fabulous show name that would never get by the network suits in the US!) and is co-produced by the BBC and the Oxford English Dictionary. Basically, OED staff travel the UK and bring ordinary people into the act in order to research the origins and first uses of words in order to add them to the dictionary. Its fantastic. Was totally depressed when it was over on Monday night. If it does show up on PBS in the US, I highly recommend it. You can also learn more about it here.

UPDATE -- Shout out to Alex for remembering the name of the future cartoon show -- Futurama. She also added, "holy shit, people over there must think we're idiots."


At 1:45 PM, Anonymous CPotts said...

I know you're not gonna give "Quantum Leap" shit... you would never do that... that show was a staple of my freshman year at PC before going out for "refreshments" on Thursdays.

At 4:10 PM, Blogger Bubah3000 said...

OK, I won't give Quantum Leap shit... But I will give you shit... Something about getting together the week betwwen Xmas and New Year's... :)

At 5:05 PM, Blogger Tim Walsh said...

Uh, sorry, but I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with your comments regarding TV. I admit, I'm a little on the "watches-too-much-TV" side of the balances, but come on! You'd never heard of Futurama? Ever heard of the Simpsons??? Quantum Leap was awesome. Sam Beckett? He rocks! I'll give you Columbo, Murder She Wrote and Charmed. Watch for a show called Keeping Up Appearances. They show it here on BBC America but I've seen it over there on the BBC.

And, I like the Golden Girls. My mom has a purse just like Sophia's and carries it everywhere.

At 8:24 PM, Anonymous a13xa9dr1a said...

SImpsons: Fox, running 17 years.
Futurama: Fox, ran 4 years.
Tooling on people who love Futurama: eternally priceless.

Quantum Leap is the Blue Light Special of the Sci Fi generation. Scott Bakula also quantum leaped into the Star Trek series and bungled it just as badly.

But red herrings aside, the point is, these are not shows that should be airing in foreign countries as it is an EMBARASSING reflection of our country. I dont give a rats ass who likes what, I think L is saying that why is our first impression on foreigners a mindnumbing vicious circle plot and the land of geriatrics? Why not something a wee bit more substantial? Of course Im sure it's because it's the last front the moneymakers of these series can get from syndication since no one in this country sets their Tivo to Adult Swim. And if you do, please god, tell me so I can make even more fun of you.

At 8:47 PM, Blogger Squander Two said...

At The Beatles first press conference in the US, a reporter asked them what they'd really like to do in America. John said, "I don't know about the others, but I'd love to see Muddy Waters." The reporter turned to another reporter and asked, "Where's that?"

Sometimes, a piece of American culture becomes more popular and better known in the UK than in the US. That doesn't mean it's bad.

Besides, your reasoning is self-contradictory. Futurama only ran for four years because it wasn't very popular in the US. If that lack of popularity is a sign that it's bad, then its popularity here must be a sign that it's good.

At 4:57 AM, Blogger Bubah3000 said...

Squander Two -- you make a good point, but... your post also helps to makes my point about cultural differences. John's comment re: Muddy Waters could have been an "English vs. American" language misunderstanding (or the reporter could have been an idiot) and the interest in different TV shows can also be considered a cultural issue. In my travels to other countries, I've seen shows that are long gone from American airwaves -- Wiseguy, Airwolf, Futurama, etc. -- running regularly, sometimes 20 years after they were on in the US and with more of a following.

Similarly, in the US, many people watch "Are You Being Served" and "Benny Hill" every week. Would you consider those shows to be representative of UK culture today? You may like them, or you may not, but I bet you'd comment on the fact that they were on TV in the US.

And I happened not to like Futurama when it was on, because, other than the Simpsons, which I think is great, I'm not a big fan of cartoons. Personal preferences. We've all got them...

Great to hear the non-American perspective, though, although I'm still a bit surprised the most active conversation on this blog is the one on TV!


Post a Comment

<< Home