Tuesday, February 15

Best of the British Boob Tube

I think we can all agree that the American culture does not always have the best reputation abroad. It has been criticized for being crass and unrefined in more ways than one. (Jerry Springer anyone?) In many ways, it is true. The fact we are on Season 487 of The Bachelor and have allowed the Kardashians to have not one, not two, not three, but FOUR spin-off shows certainly speaks volumes about our television society today.

But with that being said, I think we need to shift our focus away from those crazy kids in the Shore house (I'm lookin' at you, Snooks) and focus on some popular British television shows, because trust me it ain't all BBC and Shakespeare by the Fireside up in here. Ohhhhh no, far from it in fact. Turns out, Britons and Americans may have more in common than we think.

Ladies and gents, let me introduce you to some of the "best" British television programming has to offer:

The Joy of Teen Sex

According to their website: The Joy of Teen Sex is a documentary series which offers a frank exploration of the love and sex lives of today's teenagers. Ummm...hmmm...uhhh....

So if I'm understanding this title correctly, there is cause to celebrate the wondrous joy of kids engaging in promiscuous sexual endeavors with one another? Judging by the promo shot, we should also be throwing our hats up in salute to the underage orgy while we're at it. Woo hoo! Remember all the fuss over the Gossip Girl promo billboards when the show first premiered in the US? At least that show is very clearly fictional.

I must admit, I haven't actually watched this show in its entirety. Sean and I have seen it on the TV Guide channel several times and stare at it shamefully like a nearby car accident. A couple weeks ago, I finally summoned up the courage to watch it, but I felt so dirty three minutes into it, I had to switch it off and take a shower. And wash my eyes out with bleach. I'm so sorry God. I promise I'm not a pedophile.

Embarrassing Bodies

In this show, three doctors travel around the UK seeing patients who are "too embarrassed" to go to their regular doctor for their medical problems. So let me get this straight: you are too ashamed of your medical ailment to make a private appointment with your general practitioner, but you are totally comfortable having said problem filmed and then blasted all over television for millions of people to witness? The types of ailments and issues you would see on this show are much different then the US as regulations and censorship rules are much more lax here. Balls, boobs, bums...they all make cameos.

Side note: how freaking creepy is that promo picture for the show? Mr. Doctor Man, you are not getting anywhere near this va-jay-jay with that thing. (Sorry for using the v-word on here Dad, but it's true)

Hotter than my daughter

The premise of this show is exactly as the title sounds. It is a reality show where mothers discuss how much better looking they are than their daughters and persuade them to get a makeover. No words. No freaking words.

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding

Now this is truly a guilty pleasure. This is a show I can get behind.

How do I even begin to describe this show to Americans?

To provide some background, gypsy travelers are typically Irish (sometimes British) families who live in colonies of caravans (trailers) around the UK and Ireland. They have their own culture, customs, and ways of life and very strictly adhere to them. For example, allowing their young girls to dress up like prostitutes and grind it out to techno music at their First Communion.

But don't worry. Girls are not allowed to curse, drink, or go anywhere without their parent's permission until they are old enough to be married...which is usually the ripe old age of 16 or 17.

At that point, the bride-to-be does everything in her power to find the biggest, ugliest dress possible for the ceremony. Bonus points if it lights up or has more than 10 butterflies/flowers/crystal disco balls attached.

Just to clarify, the rules are: at age 8 you must wear neon spandex stripper clothes, but by 18 you need to cover yourself up in 200 yards of cheap crinoline. Got it?

All taunting aside, I cannot get enough of this crap. Every week, I sit dumbfounded at what happens in each episode. The clothes alone are feats against nature, humanity, and all that is holy and good in this world. If I could bring one show back to the US with me, this would most certainly be it.

Please, I beg of you: take 2 minutes of your day, sneakily turn down the volume, and watch this clip from the show. You won't be sorry.

Maybe I need to start rethinking my wedding dress? Hmmm....
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