Television, idiot-box, boob tube, TV, telly, baby-sitter.
It's the reason we set our Tivo. Hell, it's the reason we even have Tivo.
Television is the best friend of the American middle class.
Fun Fact: At one point in time Television sets would emit enough radiation to be picked up on a Geiger counter.
But, some of us are limited to only what we are shown here in these United States.
Fun Fact: Television shows are also made in the United Kingdom. In fact, a lot of the shows we have here in America are remakes of U.K. shows. Not to mention the censorship in the U.K. is a lot more relaxed than it is here in America.
So, here is my list of Awesome Telly shows from the U.K.
Neil Hiatt's List Of 10 Awesome U.K. Television Shows
Here is a clip from Spaced where Tim is ranting about Star Wars: Episode I.
Spaced follows the adventures of Tim and Daisy, who rent a flat under the pretenses that they are a couple. I know that sounds cliché, but honestly that plot point is hardly brought up in the show. Spaced is an homage to several pop-culture mash ups, including, but not limited to, Star Wars, Goodfellas, Pulp Fiction, Star Trek, and Dawn of The Dead , just to name a few. The show is littered with interesting characters like Marsha the alcoholic landlady, Brian the troubled artist, Twist (Daisy's best friend), and Mike the gun-crazy best friend. Between clever writing and stellar perfromances from the cast, Spaced makes it very high on my must see U.K. TV list.
The I.T. Crowd is a show about two computer nerds working in the Information Technologies basement of the spurious Reynholm Industries. Their boss, Jen Barber, is computer illiterate but holds the whole group together. I typically don't like "taped in front of a studio audience" TV shows, but this one has gags in top form.
A Clip from the U.K. Office (Jim is Tim in this version and Dwight is Gareth.)
No, I am not one of those people who thinks the British version is better than the American version and vice versa. But you have to respect where the American version comes from. Thank you, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, for creating this masterpiece.
A clip from Garth Marenghi's Dark Place (the bad dialogue, acting, and editing is intentional.)
Now here is a show that was WAY ahead of its time.
Garth Marenghi's Dark Place is a spoof TV series about an unearthed '80s horror TV show, complete with intentional poor production values, awful dialogue, bad acting, and hilarious violence. The series is set in a hospital in Romford, which is situated over the gates of Hell.
A Portion of John Cleese's Fawlty Towers.
Fawlty Towers is a television show created by John Cleese and his now ex-wife Connie Booth. Post-Monty Python, Fawlty Towers is a show about hotel owner Basil Fawlty's incompetence, short fuse, and arrogance, and how they form a combination that ensures that accidents and trouble are never far away.
6. Mr. Bean
Clip of Mr. Bean painting his house.
I watched this show on those late nights I couldn't sleep. It ran on PBS after Red Dwarf and Monty Python's Flying Circus. A hilarious show of ingenuity and very little brain power, Mr. Bean is about a man named Mr. Bean with a child-like nature. When faced with life's problems, he'll always be sure to come up with something inventive to assist him. Starring the ever-funny Rowan Atkinson.
7. Red Dwarf
The ship's robot goes through Psych counseling.
A show about the adventures of the last human being alive and his friends, stranded three million years into deep space on the mining ship Red Dwarf.
My Favorite Monty Python sketch Upper-class Twit of The Year.
Before the Holy Grail there was the Flying Circus. The original surreal sketch comedy showcase for the Monty Python troupe.
Funny moments from The Thin Blue Line.
Another Rowan Atkinson show, The Thin Blue Line involves various mishaps at a police station in an English hamlet. The main character is the anachronistic yet charming and funny Inspector Fowler. As a foil to Fowler, Inspector Grim is a bumbling, seething idiot.
10. The Black Adder
Funny moments from The Black Adder.
Finally, and, of course, another Rowan Atkinson-created show (co-created with Richard Curtis of Love Actually fame). Black Adder is about how Prince Edmund, a.k.a. the Black Adder, constantly schemes to take the crown from his father and brother with the help of Lord Percy and Baldrick.
There you have it, folks. The tip-top from the Brit-top.