Brit Night

One of the established traditions here in our home is what we call, Brit Night. It’s all about PBS. Joel and I always meet in the den at 10:00 to watch the line-up of British sitcoms that are broadcast by PBS. Last summer the kids joined us, but during the school term their bedtime is at 10:00, so that counts them out. Lynette joins us until about 11:00 then goes to bed because she has to get up and go to work in the morning...

Tonight, Nettl and I were already in the den and at 8:30 we turned to the PBS station and caught Mystery. That was pretty good. I used to be a die hard Mystery fan when I lived in Denver, back in the early 90s. I remember it was always on Monday night and my youngest son and I used to watch all the Mystery programs together. We especially liked Lovejoy. Many people don’t know that I’m a sucker for British mysteries, my favorite being, of course, Sherlock Holmes. I think I’ve read everything by both Sir Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. In the world of television I’m most fond of Lovejoy and Rumpole of the Baily.

Are You Being Served is typical British comedy theater and continues that long tradition that peaked in the 18th and 19th centuries. I’m happy to know I can enjoy today what the English have found so funny for centuries. My favorite character: Mr. Humphries. My least favorite character: Mr. Granger.

Keeping Up Appearances is, personally, a show I could live without. Every week I find myself silently wishing Richard would grow some balls and hire a hit man to take out Hyacinth. My favorite character: Onslow. My least favorite character: Hyacinth (although I adore actress Patricia Rutledge). My biggest issue with this show is the stock formula the writing follows. Yawn! If it weren't for Onslow I wouldn't watch it at all.

Next comes my favorite show, As Time Goes By. Why do I like this show? I surprise myself. Because it’s about a middle-aged couple who marry later in life. Like Nettl and me. The dynamics are very similar, except that I’m not sardonic and glum like Lionel and Nettl’s not meddling and cantankerous like Jean. My favorite character: Lionel. My least favorite character: Judith.

Lastly comes the infamous and irreverent The Vicar of Dibley. This is an insane show that often pushes the envelope. Just my style. The real plus, however, is that Dawn French is one half of the brilliant comedy duo, French and Saunders. Her partner in comedy, Jennifer Saunders, is the creator of Absolutely Fabulous (probably the best thing England has produced since the Beatles and Monty Python) and plays the part of Eddie in that show. My favorite character: Owen. My least favorite character: Alice. I just wish I’d composed the theme, which was written by the prolific BBC television composer, Howard Goodall.

We’re now in the midst of a huge thunder storm, so I’m going to end this and go watch the light show.