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British Sitcoms


I was bored this weekend and watched some things that the TiVo recorded for me. Three of these things were British sitcoms which is a new experience for me.

I was actually intrigued by the commercials and had it record an episode for me. Not bad and I thought it had a good balance of funny and serious. Much more adult than say ... Friends.
I don't always get British humor but I kind of liked this show and might try a few more episodes to see what I really think.

The TiVo accidently recorded this (the cable box doesn't always flip to the proper channel) so this was a surprise. I like Anthony Stewart Head and quite a different role than Giles.
I have to give this show credit for showing some nipples and saying "fuck" during a 8pm timeslot.
Seems decent enough and again had a good balence between funny and serious.

The Office
This was recorded during the same accidental recording so I only saw half of the show. Very strange and hard to understand a lot of the "Britishisms". Not sure it is my kind of humor.

So, what do other people think of these shows are are any of them worth getting into.

Heh, if I add season passes for these shows, I think BBCA will be getting a good chunck of my season pass space.
I've watched a few British sitcoms in the past but my favs that I've seen are (and forgive me if they actually don't turn out to be British):
Faulty Towers
Red Dwarf (Sci fi or sitcom?)
Black Adder (funny funny shite)
Haven't yet seen Faulty Towers but my husband liked it when he watched it a few years back.

I think Red Dwarf is a sci fi show and I don't like it but the hubs does.

Black Adder ... who is in that and what is it about? Sounds familiar...
Fawlty Towers can be so funny it's painful to watch, even if you've seen it before. Two Ronnies was great, but not exactly a sitcalm (as I like to call the US stuff), but it's all downhill from there...
OMG you are watching British SITCOMS TOO?!?!

As if "Ground Force" wasnt enough for you...jeez...

Black Adder was hilarious!
I wish our PBS station carried it. I saw it all on vhs.

I suppose one day I'll buy Mr Bean, too, but I really found Black Adder to be so good, I know I'll feel let down.
Even though they are both Rowan Atkinson, I find Black Adder and Mr. Bean to be different styles of humor. Personally, I prefer Black Adder. Your milage may vary.

As far as I am concerned there is one problem with Fawlty Towers. That is that there are only something like 12 episodes, total. It is hysterically funny.

As for the current (or at least just now being broadcast in the US) British sitcoms (Britcoms) in the original question: easily my favorite of those three is Coupling. I stumbled on it by accident in the middle of an episode back in the first series (currently in the first showing of the third series; S1 = 6 eps, S2 = 9 eps, S3 = 7 eps). Now I have the DVD of the first series and have all of the eps that have aired in the US on tape. I know the humor won't be everyone's taste, but it is not uncommon for me to be laughing so hard that I'm crying. So was the episode that you saw this past Sunday's with the dinner party?
I loved Blackadder but can't stand Mr Bean. So be prepared... they're quite, quite different in nature.

Fawlty Towers... eh. I remember loving it the first time I saw it but it's seemed to get worse each successive time and now I don't think I'll want to see it again for a very long time. Somehow it managed to be hysterically funny the first time and after that, just annoying.
It's a bit the same way for me with Absolutely Fabulous.
Can't say that I've ever heard of it, so my guess would be that it isn't shown here.

Several years ago Comedy Central carried Drop the Dead Donkey for several months or a year. Murphy Brown has never seemed to do as well in syndicated reruns as its initial success would indicate. I think the newsroom setting forcing a lot of the background conversation to be very well pinned to a particular time has a lot to do with that. DtDD had the same problem, only with many of those references being completely unfamiliar to many Americans. I liked the show, but it didn't last long here. I still love the line "Maybe Gerard Depardieu is French for Michael Caine". In context it was hilarious, but it took a relatively huge amount of setup.
I've seen Coupling a few times, and ManChild once. I liked them, I'm interested in seeing more of them.

What I really like is Graham Norton, though. He comes on weeknights at 10pm-11 for me here. I haven't watched him lately since it seems I've already seen all of the ones BBCA has. You might check him out for a couple of nights, Lyta.
Ahh, now you've found my weakness. I love that show. It's still quite possibly the funniest thing I have ever seen.
Same for me. IMO Black Adder is fantastic british humor. Superb show - only Black Adder I is slightly too british for my taste, but Black Adder II and III are best comedy you can get on TV. I can't praise it enough.
The Office
This was recorded during the same accidental recording so I only saw half of the show. Very strange and hard to understand a lot of the "Britishisms". Not sure it is my kind of humor.
I remember once, someone asked my boss whether he'd seen The Office. Apparently he thought it was a documentary.
If you ever get the chance to watch "Spaced" you should. It's basically a sitcom about us! It's so funny, and has a gazillion geek references in it.

Also "Black Books" is very funny, plus it has the Godlike, Klingon resembling Bill Bailey in it.
Yowza, lots of people to reply to!

Recoil, indeed. What has the world come to?
There isn't much else worth watching and the channel is already on (Changing Room, Ground Force, House Invaders, What Not to Wear, etc.) so I figured I would give some British sitcoms a shot.

Faulty Towers - now my hubby recorded an episode but haven't gotten around to watching it yet. He said it wasn't as good as he remembered which could just mean that he got a bad episode.

Black Adder - I might have to give that one a shot. I don't really care for Mr. Bean but if it is different, then it might be ok.

DaRkEnEdStAr said:
"well hyp our humour is a lot more ... shall we say intelligent than amercian humour is ...."

Ok, confusing since you replied to my post but called out Hypatia's name. *grumble* I would consider getting a new avatar if I didn't like what I have now.

*forces Hyp to get a new avatar so people stop confusing us*

As to the topic about humor ... in general, I haven't really gotten "British humor" (so does that make me stupid?
) but I think that was mostly due to Monty Python that I just don't care for. There is also a lot of "American humor" that I don't care for either so I think it is just a matter of preference and taste.

Pillowrock said:
"So was the episode that you saw this past Sunday's with the dinner party?"

I didn't say I saw a recent episode ... only that I got around to watching some british sitcoms this weekend.
Our TiVo holds over 100 hours of programming so the episode was one that has been featured a lot in the promos. I don't know the name of it but it was about being "nether freckled", someone handcuffed to a bed and sex with Judy's religous boyfriend. (Sorry, I don't know many names ).

tygir, I have seen the ads for Graham Norton and it does look intriguing but thought it might be a bit too campy. However, I can try recording it and give it a shot though too.

Nuke, The Office does have that documentary feel and quite dry humor as well. I am just not quite sure I get it yet. It is not very likely that I will see it again since it was an accidental recording and don't really feel compelled to go out of my way to watch more of it. Who knows, it could grow on me.

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