The British Television

A question mark always strikes my mind when Americans claim that they don’t understand the British humor or the British Drama, when most of their successful shows are based on their British counterparts (i.e. Desperate Housewives, The office). Although, I have to admit that the British has a different way to reach to their viewers; nevertheless, their shows never ceased to amaze me whether if they were high-rated comedy or a serious, hardcore drama. I have created a simple catalogue for you to browse on some of my favorite shows that I watch on BBC America.



The show centers on the dating and sexual adventures and mishaps of six friends in their thirties, often depicting the three women and the three men each talking amongst themselves about the same course of events, but in entirely different terms. An American adaptation of the sitcom was briefly produced in 2003, but failed miserably and barely lasted one season. I'm pretty sure you are thinking: "It seems it is a FRIENDS wannabe", but it is so not. The show has a clever script and weird sense of humor that you will make you laugh your heart out.

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Spaced chronicles the agony and ecstasy of two disillusioned Gen X-ers adrift in a world where reality is as subjective as their taste in shoes. Defeated by the horrors of apartment hunting, Tim (Simon Pegg, Shaun of the Dead), a love-sick skateboarder, and Daisy (Jessica Stevenson), a wannabe journalist, pose as a professional couple to score themselves a cheap place to live. However, with their landlady’s large capacity for cigarettes and alcohol and the increase in sexual tension, Tim and Kate’s new place is far from ordinary. The show recently started in the US and I'm totally falling in love with it. Watch it.

Other Comedies:
ED vs. Spencer - Little Britain - Green Wings


Waterloo Road

Waterloo Road is a drama series about a comprehensive school, its teachers and students. When the current Headmaster has a nervous breakdown, Jack Rimmer is thrown into the hot seat – very reluctantly. Jack is only too aware of the fate Waterloo Road will suffer if it doesn’t improve and fast. He takes a huge gamble in recruiting optimistic, educational zealot Andrew Treneman who wants to give up his comfortable private school job to bring the benefits of his elite educational experience to Waterloo Road. Together with feisty Guidance Head Kim Campbell. The three teachers, all committed in their very different ways set to turn round Waterloo Road, painful step by painful step. It has been announced that another twelve part series will be aired in 2007 due to the good viewing figures obtained in the first series. I easily got hooked just by watching one single episode; also, the show isn't afraid to throw a bunch of Muslims or Arabs students in the background or have their own lines. Brilliant!!

Footballers Wive$

The show that inspired the creation of Desperate Housewives. Footballers' Wives is a British television drama surrounding the private lives of a group of professional footballers and their wives. It is immensely popular because of its soap opera format. The show centered around the fictional Earls Park Football Club (nicknamed 'Sparks'). The show is extremely sexy and sure gives Desperate Housewives a run of its money; sometimes, the show becomes so funny and so intense simultaneously. The girls sure will love it.

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Other Dramas:
Hex - Mile High


Ramsays Kitchen Nightmares - Cash In The Attic - Changing Rooms - Shipwrecked

And of course, not to mention BBC News, my reliable source for news.

6 Responses to "The British Television"

Caffeinated (visit their site)

BBC news is the lesser evil...especially when faced with FOX ...and dare I say it: CNN.

I think Americans don't "get" British humour (notice the "u" in humor...ha!) for the same reasons that many (English-speaking) Arabs here don't get Sienfeld or's quick-witted, and the topics that are addressed are done so in ways that the audience is not familiar.

It could also be the actual PRODUCING of the sitcom. For example, I grew up with when I watch Canada's "MuchMusic" (An MTV-esque channel) the editing simply jars me! The angle of the shots to the splicing of seems both childish and indie.

I like your picks; Coupling and Footballers Wive$ both seem like they would cross over well to the US. I haven't seen either, but I wouldn't mind after your review.

Bella Color (visit their site)

Honestly, I must say I havent seen as 1 of these shows. They seem interesting. I cant deny that most of these shows that u've mentioned remind me of famous american shows such as Waterloo Road reminds me of Boston Legal.

I luv watching shows, so i guess i'll purchase the DVDs soooon. khooooooooooooosh da3ayah ;)

Fallen Angel (visit their site)

@Caff: WOW, excellent analogy...I never looked at things from that point of view (and Canada has its own MTV, cool). I highly recommend watching those shows especially Coupling; It's extremely funny and very smart.

@Bella: I think Waterloo Road is slightly better than Boston Public (hence, that BP got cancelled). Just as I mentioned to Caff, you cannot go wrong with coupling. It will take some time to get used to British Comedy, but hey, we are liked Mr. Ben right? ;)

Bella Color (visit their site)

Sure did ;)

Abdulla (visit their site)

I love british humor !! espically little britian. i think they are creative with humour.

Fallen Angel (visit their site)

@Abdulla: Hey, welcome to my blog ^_^

Hmmm, well since you are currently (or maybe permanently) living the UK, I understand why you have loved those shows...and yeah Little Britain is hilarious even thought sometimes it turns to a freak drag show LOL