I’ve been an Anglo-phile for a long time, and the BBC is largely responsible. As a kid, we had PBS on a lot, so I got a lot of exposure to costume dramas, via Masterpiece Theater, and Monty Python. In college, I spent a summer in England. I already had the Tudor thing. And it got worse when a good friend married a Brit and moved there, becoming a reason to visit and a resource on the excellent current programming the BBC continues to produce (as well as the continuing steady stream of costume dramas).
So I am of course concerned when I hear references to the Beeb under attack from the new Conservative government — which is closely tied to the Murdoch empire, and if you think this is a bit paranoid, read this investigative takeout from the New York Times. And when I saw a reference to this video on Neil Gaiman’s Twitter feed I immediately checked it out — and was charmed. I just love goofy dorks. I’ve had this song stuck in my head for a week now — and I’m still not sick of it.
Even more amazingly, they posted it, at my suggestion, on the Smart Bitches Trashy Books blog. Woo hoo! Long live the BBC! The comments section is pretty fun, too.
Lots of Americans, of course, know about Monty Python, the costume dramas and newer offerings on BBC America, like the rebooted Dr. Who and Top Gear. But this song lists — and everyone should consider a region-free DVD player so you can watch — a lot of other great shows, including The Thick of It (if you liked the movie In The Loop, this series is its genesis and continuing sequel), Steve Coogan’s brilliant Alan Partridge shows, and Shameless, Paul Abbott’s great series set in a Manchester housing project, with David Threlfall as drunken, useless but endlessly entertaining patriarch Frank Gallagher. This series also helped launch James McAvoy and Anne-Marie Duff, among others. Another Abbott production is State of Play, a six-hour miniseries that is available on U.S. DVD format (we even have it at the Key West Library). McAvoy’s in that one, too, but the real treat is Bill Nighy as the crusading editor and Kelly Macdonald’s Scottish accent (you haven’t heard someone pronounce “It’s muhrr-duhrr” until you’ve heard her).