I watch a lot of British tv – sitcoms, called Britcoms, and dramas and dramadies.
My favorite three shows right now are Escape to the Chateau, Doc Martin and Midsomer Murders; in that order. I can watch Dick and Angela Strawbridge on Escape to the Chateau forever. I’ve seen each episode so many times, it’s basically background noise at this point. I want to live with them, live in the French countryside and do everything they do, except for all the hard work.
I also want to live in Portwenn, Cornwall, where Doc Martin lives. I love small towns. And as for Somerset county in England, I don’t know if I would want to live in all these charming small villages only because there seems to be non-stop murders on a weekly basis there!
I love so many other shows, the list is countless. But what I’m finding after all these years is that I am starting to use British terms and words. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But I find it interesting.
My mother was always into British tv and movies. She loved to call a Jaguar car a “Jag-U-ar,” in that British way. And so many times when something was on tv like, Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced Bouquet) in Keeping Up Appearances or Are You Being Served, my mother would call me to ask if I was watching. My father and I would love Death in Paradise, which has been on for 12 seasons, with completely different casts, but with the same concept.
Doc Martin, driving on that side of the car, with Louisa, Aunt Ruth and PC Penhale
One thing I never understood was why British tv shows only have six to eight episodes per season. There really aren’t many episodes in a whole series. By the way, we call a tv series a whole body of work, the British call a tv season, a series.
I always use an expression from “Absolutely Fabulous” (Ab Fab) to a snob at a store – “Drop your attitude honey, you’re just a shop girl.” I think I’ve said it in my head more than saying that out loud, though. And don’t get me started on Vera, the female Columbo, or Broadchurch, which I finally got around to watching, and am obsessed with. Unfortunately, Broadchurch’s three seasons (series) are only 24 episodes total. That’s one single season on American tv. In America, that would be 72 episodes total.
I used a British expression last week that horrified me – I said, “He’s called Joe,” rather than “His name is Joe.” Ang I find myself saying Oregano as OR-E-GAA-NO. The British/European way.
And the strangest thing of all? The other day I was getting in my car which was parked at a meter at the curb and I attempted to get into the right side, the passenger side, to drive. For a moment I thought the steering wheel was on the passenger side, as it is in Britain. I draw the line at calling eggplant, “aubergene” though.
I have a friend who is the spitting image of Hyacinth Bucket, she walks and talks like her and has her build and high voice, minus the British accent. When she goes on and on about something I’ll say, “Ok Hyacinth,” and she gets it and laughs.
I do love All Creatures Great and Small and Miss Scarlet and the Duke, and Downton Abbey and so many of the newer shows on PBS.
And I know it seems that all I do is watch tv, but I do have a life – I travel a lot, draw all these cartoons you guys read daily, I own a business and run it daily, am on the condo board and for 15 years I was editor and publisher of our local news and was at every meeting and event in town for all those years. So I do manage to get things done between watching the lives of Dick and Angela and Doc Martin.
I’m thinking I’ve got to get more of these people or more British stuff in my comics. It’s there for the taking.
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