Why I like British TV

I’ve always had a soft spot for British TV.  During the years I spent studying theater and acting I realized how deeply trained even the extras on most of their television series were.  That’s a gross generalization of course; but over all most actors over the pond spend a lot of years studying old plays and play writes.  A British actor trains hard in old dead manners and dialects.  It’s why Hamlet has a British accent.

I respect that, the devotion to the mechanics of the art, the small details that theater actors bring to a character.   On stage it’s hard to see a face and you’re always in view so you learn to have character quarks so you aren’t standing there like a wax dummy while the action is going on around you.  There’s a deep dissection of what makes the person tick, likes and dislikes.  Whole pages are devoted to a character’s likes and dislikes that an audience never badly sees but are there just the same.

Also, I like the British sense of humor.  Monty Python and Benny Hill make me lose it every time.

There is something a lot deeper to my enjoyment of TV across the pond though.  There if someone is a slightly chubby middle aged mom she looks like a slightly chubby middle aged mom.  And slightly chubby isn’t defined as a size 4 instead of a 0.  The women have thighs and the men have crocked teeth.  People are cast based on something more than looking like you came from the same plastic mold as the three people who came in during the cattle call before you.  Perfection of looks takes a second seat to perfection of  talent and the character.

Not to say there aren’t plenty of pretty people on TV over there because there are.  It’s just that it’s nice to watch a show and see actual talent and not a canned laugh track with a teased out size 0 mom who’s always whining about an extra 5lbs while you wonder where the hell she hid it.

Of course that they gave me both Benny Hill and Doctor Who doesn’t hurt either.


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