Anyone with a love of intellectual humour will find two English sitcoms very entertaining. This is television writing and acting at its very best. I am not sure whether or not these are available outside the United Kingdom, but anyone with a brain and sense of humour should seek them. I am talking about Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister. Although they are about the British political system, one can interpolate to any politics. This must be seen to be believed and appreciated.
I don’t know if it’s me or....
Feeling a bit under the weather, I swallowed two aspirin and parked myself in a comfortable chair facing the television. Then, I spent about one half hour searching various providers for something to interest me. None of the programs interested me. The movies I had not seen ranged from uninteresting to stupid. I wondered who is foolish enough to spend money to produce and who is dumb enough to watch them. Here’s the title of one that sticks in my mind: Vampires and Strippers. And, that was on a main-stream channel.
Fortunately I like to read. If I were forced to rely on television for all my mental stimulation, I would soon become weirder than I already am. If anyone ever wants to torture me, they must merely set me in front of a television and force me to watch what’s on offer...
One set of words that drives me up a wall and reveals in what a sad world we live is “Realty TV Star”.
I shouldn’t admit this at my age, but I find How I Met Your Mother entertaining. This show is probably aimed at the 18-to-25 target market, but proves that you can be immature all your life.
I enjoy watching The Actors Studio, because I learn about the art of acting, discover people’s backgrounds, and experience unscripted spontaneity. And, they never utter the words “Who are you wearing?”
But, I find the show typically American, because the highlight seems to be the point where a famous actor is asked to reveal his or her favorite curse word. The entire bit with the “questionnaire” lowers the value of the program.
I miss the old days. There was a time when carefully casted men--or, especially, women--did not stick a microphone in the face of an athlete or coach, who has just endured a competition, and ask inane questions. Always the same stupid questions. I do not know how those facing the inquisition refrain from belting the questioner. It must be the amount of money they make and the hours of PR training they receive. Of course, few are articulate, so the response are usually as lame as the questions. Sport is best enjoyed, if one must watch, with volume muted and the television shut off at the closing whistle.
I have no idea what the appeal of Duck Dynasty might be, but copious headlines and accompanying visuals suggest that this--like much television programming--is not my cup of tea. Perhaps, this explains why Americans fight so hard to keep and carry guns. Then again, political leanings surely plays a role.
Here’s a program recommendation for anyone with an intelligent sense of humor or intelligence and a sense of humor or a desire to chuckle about something sad but true...more or less. This is an old British sitcom, which might be difficult to find. Reruns often air of obscure British channels. I doubt that this ever aired outside the United Kingdom, because it is so quintessentially English. Still, it is some of the best comedic writing ever aired.
I am talking about Yes, Minister. This parodies the workings of the British government, displaying the daily interaction of ministers, government staff, colleagues, and the press. I am certain that most governments operate in a similar manner, with the staff running the show, running circles around elected officials, and fooling the public.
I could never get into Friends. Other than Rachel, I did not like the characters and found the dialogue mostly unfunny. On the contrary, I enjoy How I Met Your Mother. At times silly (which provides some of the appeal), there are moments of laugh-out-loud humor. I like the unusual mix of characters, and particularly enjoy the digs at Canada. Including a Canadian character was a stroke of genius.
I am amazed at how long they can stretch waiting for the denouement (which has yet to cross the Atlantic). And, I feel sorry for the two young actors that play the children, forced to sit in front a a camera for years and pretending to be interested using only facial expressions.
I have read that many are disappointed with the actress chosen to be the “mother”. I will have to wait and see if I agree.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.