andy has gotten me hooked on BBC television. we started off working our way through all of the french and saunders videos (a comedy duo w/ some amazing parodies, including practically perfect parodies of fellini, star wars episode I, and the lord of the rings). then we explored some of french and saunders’ spinoffs, including jennifer saunders in ab fab and dawn french in the vicar of dibley (see above). the vicar of dibley is set in a quiet english country town that’s thrown into a whirl when their old vicar is succeeded by a female vicar with a big personality. a couple of choice quotes:

    Reverend Geraldine Granger : You were expecting a bloke… beard, bible, bad breath?
    David Horton : Yes, that sort of thing.
    Reverend Geraldine Granger : Yeah. And instead, you got a babe with a bob cut and a magnificent bosom.
    David Horton : So I see.

    Alice: You know that stuff they’re selling now at the local shop, ‘I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter’? Well, you know, I can’t believe it’s not butter. Then yesterday, I bought this other stuff, like a sort of home-brand you know. Well, I can’t believe the stuff that is not ‘I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter’ is not ‘I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter’, and I can’t believe that both ‘I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter’ and the stuff I can’t believe is not ‘I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter’ are both, in fact, not butter. And I believe they both might be butter, in a cunning disguise. And in fact there’s a lot more butter around than we all thought there was.

    Gerry: What’s so special about Jesus?
    Kid: His name’s a swear word!

so anyway, although i resisted getting sucked into the miss marple series (based on the agatha christie novels, of course) and the inspector lynley mysteries, i think i’ve fallen for all creatures great and small, which as you prob. know is based on the best-selling series by english vet james herriot (also set in a small town). (thank god for netflix.)

what is it about british television that’s so addictive? is it the accents? is it that they know how to avoid crossing the line into the realms of the intolerably maudlin? if the japanese reign supreme on cuteness, the british are definitely the masters of charming. i mean, how can you resist the escapism of a beautifully green countryside full of high-spirited, smiling country folk? i know i can’t.


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