Sunday, June 08, 2008

Confessions of a Closet Anglophile

Okay, I have a feeling that all this time I've been an Anglophile and didn't know it. Sure there were signs through the years... various friends from England, good friends, close friends, friends who introduced me to the benefits of Twinning's English Breakfast Tea and Constant Comment, with milk and sugar... and then there was that British Canadian punk biker loser I briefly dated, but I think that had more to do with his motorcycle than the accent, though some things might work on a subconcious level. Then there's the self confessed "Dr. Who" fixation in my very early Elementary school formative years... Dr. Who, Fred Flintstone and the Jetsons, I was a strange kid.

And then, in high school... I somehow got my hands on AbFab... how could anyone not love AbFab, right? And authors? Love Martin Amis, Nick Hornby, Janet Winterson... love 'em.

But it's taken until now, when the rest of our shortened TV season has ended post haste, before the summer goodies like Rescue Me and Burn Notice come back to entertain us, to discover how much I really really love what they're doing on the BBC these days.

Torchwood. Have I talked about Torchwood lately? Love it. LOVE it. Top notch sci-fi writing, very good acting (which is key when you're playing people who shoot hokey looking monsters that look like they're Creature Feature castoffs... but honestly, it's not about the effects or the great make-up for me in these things... it's all about the story, and do I buy into this world... in Torchwood, totally). Now Torchwood is, no surprise, a spin-off from Dr. Who... but a Dr. Who I confess I never watched, this new Dr. Who doesn't quite cut it for me.... I'm a loyalist, old fashioned. But taken on it's own value, Torchwood is hot. And sexy. And where else can you get a flagrantly bi-sexual immortal Tom Cruise lookalike playing the lead... BBC, you naughty Brits, your repressed reputation is such an undeserved bad rap... this show makes American shows look like a buncha puritans, legalized gay marriage aside. I mean Will and Grace, totally tame compared to some of the smoochy sex scenes and risque banter going about in this show...But the main thing is, like I said, really good sci fi stories, great premise, love it.

But it's not just sci fi that I love with the Brits lately... I then got hooked on Wire in the Blood... great show... about a psychologist who gets in the midns of serial killers so he can help the police catch 'em... excellent writing and Robin Green is awesome. Very addictive TV.

After I watched every one of those, I tapped back into the ol' Blockbuster Online queue and checked out MI-5. MI-5 has totally taken my breath away. I'm at the end of the second season in my DVD viewing and am so thrilled to see I've got 3 more seasons to go to catch up on (mind you, I don't get BBC America from my cable company... I tried to get them to buy into it, but they're not biting). MI-5 is just the piece de la resistence, I think. Why don't we have anything like it here? It's a mix of James Bond, Mission Impossible and the Mod Squad... but all done in a very modern day crisis, post 9-11 mentality which makes it fresh, and refreshing.... vital.. .and nothing like anyhthing I've seen here. I know they've tried to do CIA stuff but it's just missed the mark in making a good ensemble cast with good chemistry and very human, personable stories that we really care about. It's like the Grey's Anatomy of Spydom, or Spookdom as they call themselves "Spooks" after all. Everything's a crisis that's really worth freaking out over and the results are NOT that predictable... After the first season, I thought for sure they killed off some majorly sympathetic characters. Tears were shed. Thank God I could immediately have that all rectified by the beginning of the second season... I could never have waited months to find out what happened.

Anyway... what's next that I'm missing? East Enders? I'm not a soap fan but it seems there's no genre they're doing at the BBC world that I'm not liking. Come to think of it, I did used to really love Ballykissangel and Monarch of the Glenn... so this BBC fixation isn't new but... well, those things were more Scottish after all.. not sure if it fits the Anglophile profile, even if it was done by the BBC.

I know I'm not the only one, in any case. David E. Kelly's bought the rights to Life on Mars (which I've never seen, but sure I'd love) and is bringing it to "the states" this fall.

Now if only someone would pick up MI5, Torchwood and Wire in the Blood... Nah, why bother. The originals are great and still on the air... I'll just brew myself a nice cupa tea and get some bisquits and curl up with the DVD collections when they come out. That'll at least hold me until September.

Oh and yeah, we all know I'm supposed to be working on my next script, writing... which I am doing. It's a drama... by the way. And I'm also working on a Kyle XY spec script... really. But they put off the deadline off until July 31 for the Disney Fellowships so... why write today what you can write tomorrow... right?

Until next time... ciao, uhm cheery oh... oh Bollocks! Just take care of yourself, have some fun, wear sunscreen!


Here's a really funny BBC parody of Torchwood.

PS. You can order your own DVD collection of Torchwood, MI5, Wire in the Blood and more from this link.

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Also, the latest season of MI5 (season 6) which hasn't been on BBC america is available in January from this link. I know that I'll be pre-ordering mine now.

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