Top TV Theme Tunes

I mean, I am so obsessed with listing my favourite things, I have now gone as far as telling you my favourite TV theme tunes. It’s an important one. Deciding which ones are my favourites and then putting them diligently in order for you. I know you’re grateful, I can sense it via the internets and you are most welcome. So here they are, 15 of my favourite TV theme tunes in order and yes I have done a Spotify list at the end, which I know you will listen to all day. Also, if you don’t like my list, but want to check out a similar list, why not pop over to sex God Phil Taylor’s blog and read his post HERE and see what TV theme tunes he’s included (we have a few in common).

15. Big Brother UK 

The original of course and I was absolutely obsessed with it. Yes, I used to listen to it in my flat at full volume. Cos I was cool like that.

14. Panorama

I just love the dramatics, man.

13. University Challenge

For those of you who don’t know, University Challenge is a delightfully nerdy quiz show where different universities compete with each other with their general knowledge. I can usually only answer one or two questions per episode at the most. This theme tune suits the programme and its contestants perfectly.

12. Blockbusters

If you’re of a certain age, you probably loved this programme. It was a kind of a less geeky version of University Challenge, but with secondary (high) schools instead of universities. And with a block grid thingy. And the theme tune was absolutely solid. I was never more excited to hear it than when my very own school featured on it. I *think* we did quite well.

11. Grange Hill

80s British childhood succinctly represented with one perfect theme tune. Watch out for the sausage!

10. The A Team

Of course.

9. Cheers

Featuring this classic theme tune is not helping my current Ted Danson obsession any.

8. Bergerac

So we all danced to this theme tune in a kind of embarrassing reggae style with our best mate on a regular basis….didn’t we?

7. The Flintstones

Hearing this theme tune tells me it’s almost dinner time! How long will dinner be, Mum? I’m staaaaarrrrrving!

6. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Come on then, let’s do this rap together word perfectly.

Top 5

5. Cagney and Lacey

Best cop show ever. Don’t argue with me. And I love this theme tune so much, it is the actual ringtone on my phone. Fact.

4. Happy Days

Quite possibly one of the most cheerful TV theme tunes out there suiting it’s programme perfectly.

3. Ski Sunday

Oh yes, I did. Come on, it is fucking brilliant. Incidentally, it is also my highest ranking British TV theme tune. Oh and I couldn’t find a clip of the opening titles, so have an actual orchestra playing the theme tune instead.

2. The West Wing

Possibly my all time favourite American TV drama, but that aside this is a wonderful theme tune. Both my husband and I are such fans of this show that at our wedding we walked back down the aisle to this theme tune together. I told you I was cool.

And my all time favourite TV theme tune is…..

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1. The Muppet Show

If Happy Days is a cheerful theme tune, then this is cheerful whilst smacked up on E numbers on Christmas Eve. Hearing the theme tune reminds me of the start of Saturday evening TV and cosy Saturdays with my family in the 80s. It makes me feel warm and safe inside. This theme tune and of course the programme itself is, in short, everything that is right with this world.

So, you know the score. Please tell me which is your favourite TV theme tune in the comments below.

Next week, Top Ten Tunes is starting up again, so see you next week for 1960!

The Representation of Brits in American Culture

As you know, all of us Brits are incredibly posh, very wealthy, extremely intelligent, we’re all white and we all speak in the same posh southern accent (or RP = received pronunciation as it’s known). Yes, we are all a walking/talking everyday version of Four Weddings and a Funeral. All my male friends are just like Hugh Grant and I’m *exactly* like Kristin Scott-Thomas. Now, excuse me whilst I visit my pal at his beautiful large country house and chortle away the hours whilst quaffing* champagne.

Except, as you may have discerned from my tone or if indeed you in fact, like me, hail from the British Isles then you will realise this is not the case at all. It is in fact a grossly stereotyped idea of what Britain and the British are like. Don’t get me wrong, some people do live their lives like they’ve stepped straight out of a Richard Curtis movie, but this proportion of the British people is very, very small. For a small island, we are a varied breed. However, the representation of us Brits is never more strongly stereotyped than it is within American culture.

Now, please realise, I LOVE American culture. I’ve already praised it’s comedy HERE and have mentioned my love of American films, books and music throughout many of my posts. However, I can’t help but roll my eyes when a British character is introduced on American TV and film. Here we go, I think to myself, they’ll be posh, well spoken, a snob, white and no doubt probably quite dull. Or they’ll be plotting to destroy the world. One or the other. Either way, it’s never that pleasing and rarely accurate.

So here’s a few pointers about how American culture get their representation of British people wrong. Before I start though, none of the below is a dig at Americans, it is a dig at the people who make their TV shows and films. Americans can’t be blamed for thinking the British are only a certain way if that’s all they see of us:

  • We are all posh snobs. Trust me on this one, we are NOT like this. Most of us are not posh (I’m speaking from a personal perspective here) and most of us are very down-to-earth, genuine and self-deprecating. We are nice people who just like a good laugh. The worst example of this representation is bloody Emily (great, classic British name there. Really used your imagination coming up with that name, didn’t you?) from Friends. She was indeed very posh, spoke with the so-called classic British accent (more on this is in a moment), was a complete snob, uptight, showed no sense of humour and most of all was very unlikable. The most annoying thing about Emily is that the writers of Friends created her and the episodes that took place in London as a way to thank the British fans of Friends, but in actual fact all it did was insult us. It’s ok, we got over it once they got rid of the character of Emily as that’s the kind of easy going people we are (we are rarely represented as being easy going either). Interestingly, well respected British actor Helen Baxendale who played Emily was asked to return for the final season of Friends, but she declined. She says that playing Emily was the biggest regret of her career.

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  • We all speak with the same RP accent. We are a small country, a lot smaller than America anyway, BUT we have so many different accents  for such a small country. Geordie (Newcastle), Scouse (Liverpool), Brummie (Birmingham), Manchester, a variety of Yorkshire accents, Bristolian (Bristol), the west country accent, Essex, Suffolk, Home Counties, and at least 4 different London based accents…to name, but a few. Also, that is just England. There is also a wide range of Scottish and Welsh accents too. So, it is safe to say, we do NOT all speak the same. This has been made very apparent to me when I have spent time in the US. Too many times Americans have mistaken me as Australian when they meet me and hear me talk (I am rolling my eyes so hard right now, I’ve almost given myself an eye hernia). In Vegas once, there was this guy on the street that said he could guess what state you were from and if you weren’t American, he’d be able to guess what country. He seemed pretty sure of himself. We had to pay, but if he guessed wrong we’d get our money back plus a prize. I confidently handed him my dollars. I spoke and his answer was….Australian? Nah mate. Not quite. You’re just a whole hemisphere away. For the record, I come from the same part of the UK as both Kate Winslet and Ricky Gervais are from. My accent is half way between the two. Interestingly, the vast difference between Ricky & Kate’s accents is an example in itself of how varied British accents are as they are both from the same town. Occasionally, a “cockney” accent will be portrayed within American culture, but a) it’s usually done badly b) it’s not that often and c) it’s the same area of the UK as the RP accent. Therefore, yet again that British character with the token “cockney” accent is still only representing the same area of the UK.
  • We are all white. Whilst I’m probably not the best person to speak on this subject, being a white Brit myself, it is such a painfully important point, it needs raising. Plus it’s something that properly gets on my tits. Once, I was at a music festival in Coney Island, NYC. The British band the Noisettes came on stage and immediately performed their first song. The lead singer happens to be black. When they finished the song, the lead singer said in her broad London accent “ALRIGHT NEW YORK?”. I was then astounded when surrounding me, everyone turned to each other and questioned “oh my God is she British?” or….”is that singer…you know…British?! I’m so surprised”. They were clearly shocked, but not as shocked as I was that they couldn’t quite believe this black person had a British accent. That some British people could in fact be black. However, we can’t blame these shocked American gig goers. How often when a British character is introduced on American TV or in film are they black? Or Asian or anything other than white? The issue is whenever a black British actor gets work in America they play an American or an African. Never or very rarely do they get to play their own nationality. As I’ve already talked about in a previous post of mine, many Brits play Americans on American TV and if you look at my list HERE you will see that many of them are not white. It is seemingly the only way non-white Brits can get work over there. Idris Elba had to use his well-practiced Baltimore accent when speaking to The Wire fans at it would freak them out if he spoke in his own London accent. This might partly be that they couldn’t handle that this Baltimore character was played by a Brit, but am I too bold to suggest it might also have freaked them out hearing a British accent coming from a black person? After witnessing the reaction of those particular Americans at the Noisettes gig, it could also be a possibility.
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Gratuitous Idris Elba photo because…oh my God just look at the man.

  • The British are just English. I also feel American culture forget about the Scottish and the Welsh. If an Irish person does appear in American culture they are usually from the Republic of Ireland and very rarely from Northern Ireland. Out of these three nationalities the Scottish are probably represented the most. Yet, as you can guess they are largely stereotyped too. I’m thinking about the school caretaker in the Simpsons right now (maybe not the best example because as much as I love the Simpsons, they do like to stereotype- hello Apu). Welsh characters never appear within American culture. I’m struggling to think of one. Can you?
  • If we’re not uptight posh snobs then we are evil villains. We just don’t come across well to Americans, do we? If we did, then maybe just maybe we’d be represented more favourably. However, playing evil Brits has done/did wonders for the careers of Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Jeremy Irons et al. Whilst it’s not altogether pleasant, this stereotype doesn’t bother me as much (perhaps it should) as at least these villainous characters are quite fun unlike the boring, haughty British characters. I love this car advert starring Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleston and Mark Strong that sends up the stereotype of the British being evil villains.
  • We can’t rap. Admittedly, if I did a rap for you right now, you would be well within your rights to point and laugh at me until I walked off in shame. Nonetheless, there is a strong animosity towards British rappers in general. Last year, Drake released his new album and a few tracks featured British rappers Giggs and Skepta (as well as British singers Jorja Smith and Sampha). The reaction on the internet was not positive. Many Americans claimed that the album was ruined by the British rappers. People even created memes to show how angry they were about it (granted, the memes were actually quite funny. You can find some examples HERE). It seems that Americans don’t seem to appreciate our rap/grime music. Again, is this because British rappers don’t fit the only British representation that Americans are exposed to? Possibly, they hear the accent and think that a British person cannot relate to what rap music is about because all we do is drink tea and discuss the merits of Shakespeare over here? I get it to a certain extent. Americans are bound to prefer American music as it represents their culture more. However, to have no tolerance of other countries producing the same genre of music is hardly inclusive and thoroughly audacious. There is one thing that I cannot stand and that is music snobbery. A particular genre of music should never be limited to just one continent.
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British rapper Giggs

  • It rains all the time. So this is more of a stereotype about our country rather than its people. Every time an American TV show or film relocates to the UK, this is typically signified by rain pouring down on the streets of the UK somewhere. Yes, it does like to rain over here. That’s why are countryside is so luscious and green. I appreciate the rain for this reason, but here’s the thing, we also get other weather. We even get hot, sunny days. Only recently, America has been experiencing spring time snow and we on the other hand, have been sunbathing in our back gardens. We get weather that allows us to enjoys days at the beach, allows us to have BBQs in our gardens, picnics in parks and even swim in outdoor swimming pools. The problem being, that it will be like this one week and then a lot cooler and rainy the following week. Our weather is “interestingly” unpredictable over here.
  • We have bad teeth. Yes, some of us have bad teeth, but also lots of us have good teeth. We just like to keep things a bit more “natural” across the Atlantic.
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An excellent example of a natural British smile.

  • The one stereotype about the British that is 100% correct. We drink a lot of tea. First thing in the morning? Yup tea please. Just finished breakfast? Better have another cup of tea. Mid morning break? Tea. Just had lunch? More tea. Mid-afternoon, just got home from work, after dinner, after doing the washing up, after having a bath, someone’s just popped round, someone’s having a crisis, just broken your leg, just had your car stolen, someone’s died, TEA TEA TEA AND MORE TEA. According to us Brits, there is literally nothing that can’t be cured by popping on  the kettle and having a nice cup of tea. The Americans have this stereotype on the nose.

I am sure there are the odd occasions when the British haven’t been stereotyped within American culture, but it’s safe to say these occasions are few and far between.  Why should it bother me that we so often get misrepresented? American culture is huge and dominates across the world. Therefore, this stereotype of the British (and indeed other countries. Did you know that all Russians are also evil villains? Only when the British are too busy drinking tea to take over the world that is) is constantly being seen and compounded across the world. With the worldwide influence American culture has, comes great responsibility. Just to reiterate, I don’t blame Americans at all for thinking the British are all of the above. Also, I realise there will be many Americans that won’t think any of this about the British at all, as they’ll know that a whole nation of people won’t have the same personality and background. It’s just a touch annoying that American culture can’t sometimes broaden its horizons when it comes to representing us Brits. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to put the kettle on and make myself a nice cup of tea. Cheers.

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*WHAT THE FUCK IS QUAFFING?!

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Celebrities That Should Just Get Back Together

I’m a nostalgic person, ladies and gentlemen. This can be witnessed in my weekly music, film and news posts, which start from 1976 and will go through to 2017. However, it’s not just music and film that I’m nostalgic for. I sometimes look at celebrities who have yet again split up with someone and think “oh why didn’t you just stay with him that you once went out with in the 90s. I know your relationship was deeply flawed and you probably hate each other now, but just get back together. Just for me?”. So, here’s a little list of all those now dispersed celebrity couples that should never have split up.

Winona Ryder & Johnny Depp

 

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Please note the tattoo.

Yes I know Johnny is clearly bit of a dick and she can do so much better than him, but 90s Winona & Johnny were so cool and so beautiful (my God Johnny was beautiful back then), but I still want them to get back together. Incidentally, this is what they both look like now. Hmmmm, now who’s aged better?

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Britney Spears & Justin Timberlake

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Yes, I know he’s very happily married to Jessica Biel with a kid and everything these days, but ignoring all of that- look how cute Britney & Justin were! Britin? Justney? They quite rightly didn’t have an ambigram*, did they?

*I looked this word up. I’m not clever enough to know words like this.

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Julia Roberts & Kiefer Sutherland

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Okay, so she did practically leave him standing at the alter (she dumped him 3 days before the wedding. Julia mate, that wasn’t cool), but they were so cute and seemed so in love. I’m still mourning the break-up of this relationship today (oh I’m fully aware that I should possibly get out more. Leave me here, I’m happy).

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Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon

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I absolutely loved these two. Nothing brings me more pleasure than seeing Mariah happy (seriously, this is the woman who demands puppies to play with before a show so that she can relax. I 100% relate to her) and she always seemed so happy with Nick. Also, here’s the categorically best reasons for them to still be a couple, they have two children together.

Kylie Minogue & Jason Donovan

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These two should NEVER have split up. It’s the biggest mistake they made in their lives. I’m still very cross about it and I won’t rest until they are back together.

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Look! They still love each other, don’t they? DON’T THEY?!

 

Anna Faris & Chris Pratt

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Why did they do this to me? WHY? Whether celebrities stay together or not is definitely based on how it will make me feel, but arrogantly Anna & Chris never consulted me before they went their separate ways. They just went ahead without any consideration for my feelings and the word that best describes how this break-up made me feel is: gutted.

Jennifer Aniston & Brad Pitt

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Ooh, so this one might be the only one with some potential of reuniting. As you no doubt know already, Jennifer has recently split up with husband Justin Theroux and Brad ain’t with Angelina no more and apparently Jennifer and Brad have “reached out” to each other. Whatever that means. Anyway, fingers crossed, they were perfect for each other.

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The Couple That Were Never a Couple, But Really Should Have Got Together as They Would Have Been So Beautiful Together and Clearly Love Each Other in My Opinion*

*yes I can come up with longer subtitles if I tried, thank you.

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Yep, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio would have made a fantastic couple. I love their loyal friendship which has remained strong over the past 21 years since they made Titanic together. Kate’s currently married to someone called Ned Rocknroll, so that’s reason enough for her to split up with him and get together with Leo.

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Maturing has worked well for both of them

 

The Couple That Must Never Ever Split Up 

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If Chrissy Teigen and John Legend ever DARED to split up, I would give up on love and the idea of soulmates and leave my husband immediately*. They’re hot, they have a very cute kid together and another on the way and I love how much fun they clearly have together. In fact, my favourite thing about them as a couple is how much Chrissy trolls her own husband online. I mean that’s inspirational relationship goals right there.

*ok I may have gone a bit too far there. Possibly.

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So which famous couples do you wish were still together, but aren’t anymore?

Just Another Blog From a Woman has been nominated for an award. If you enjoy my blog and you have a spare few seconds, would you mind voting for me HERE It’s very simple and there’s no need to register or provide an email address, just vote for Just Another Blog From a Woman under the Best Pal category. Thank you SO much.

Top 10 American Sitcoms

A while a ago I wrote a post on my top 10 British sitcoms, so it only seems fair that I do one on my favourite American sitcoms. I think it’s safe to say that Americans are a funny lot (I’m referring to their humour here). I even know a few and they’ve made me laugh more than once. Sure, they’re not as funny as us hilarious Brits, but they certainly can crack a joke or two. So, it’s of no surprise that they know how to create a sitcom with admirable skill. I’ve always loved an American sitcom. As a child, I remember watching Taxi and then as I got older, as a family we all sat down together and watched the Cosby Show and Rosanne every week (ummmm, can I mention the Cosby Show?). My Dad was obsessed with both Cheers and Frasier, so much so that when I had to write an essay on a TV programme for my GCSE English project, he literally sat me down and forced me to write it about Cheers. Then, when I left home my taste in American sitcoms developed further. So much so, that some of my favourite TV programmes of all time are in fact American sitcoms. And I whole heartedly thank all those clever Americans for providing me with such joy over the years.

Disclaimer before we start: there’ll be plenty of sitcoms (yes that includes Seinfeld) that you’ll be surprised aren’t here in my personal top 10, but in all likelihood they’d probably all feature in my top 15, if that helps. So, here goes and just like my top 10 British sitcoms list, I found this so tough to do.

10. Rick and Morty

So let’s get this straight. Rick and Morty is disturbing, disgusting, confusing, ridiculous, completely over the top, surreal, harrowing and I absolutely love it. It may be all those things, but it is also intensely clever and not to mention- fucking funny.

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9. Cheers

Cheers was a master class in how to create and build up characters in a sitcom. We have seen the character of Woody repeated in so many other sitcoms ever since, it’s quite the tribute to the genius of Cheers.

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8. 30 Rock

Ok so from about halfway through season 4 and onwards 30 Rock went downhill slightly. However, Tina Fey’s multi-award-winning sitcom never failed to constantly make me laugh out loud before that. I adore the character of goofy, but lovable Liz Lemon, partly because I can relate to her obsession with food of course. However, it’s Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of the conceited Jack Donaghy and his unlikely friendship with Liz that really steals the show.

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7. Arrested Development

Like many of my favourite sitcoms, Arrested Development is just silly. Whilst, I wasn’t so keen on the fourth “return” season. The first three seasons are sitcom perfection. Picking a favourite character on this would be pretty tricky as like all good sitcoms each character is so strong. Poor old George Michael (the name alone is hilarious), Tobias Funke, Buster and my life role model Lucille are probably up there. Although, obviously I have to give a shoutout to Annyong Bluth and the characters played by Liza Minelli (Lucille’s vertigo suffering chief social rival) and Henry Winkler (their terrible family lawyer). And let us not forget that the whole thing is narrated by Ron Howard.

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6. Brooklyn 99

From one wonderfully silly sitcom to another. Brooklyn 99 follows the misadventures and blundering antics of a Brooklyn detective department. Jake Peralta is our whimsical protagonist and despite all of his and his colleague’s questionable approaches to solving crime, they always get the job done. Brooklyn 99 is laugh out loud stupidity and watching an episode of it cheers my day up endlessly. P.S. I am #teamCaptainRayHolt

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5. Parks and Recreation

There is something about Parks and Recreation that makes me so happy. I mean, apart from the fact that it’s absolutely hilarious that is. It just always leaves me with a nice, warm glowing feeling after watching an episode. I think it’s mainly down to our protagonist, Leslie Knope. Leslie is one of the best female TV characters ever written. She is a hero. Her optimism, vibrant energy, hard working ethics, caring nature and warmth leap out at you from the TV screen without ever being saccharine. If we all made the effort to be a little more Leslie Knope then the world would be a better place. Seriously. We might all have a worrying waffle addiction, but there’d undoubtedly be a lot less war and internet trolls. But it’s not just Leslie that blesses us with her presence in this gem of a TV programme. There’s the adorable, but beautifully simple Andy, super cool April, idiotic and lovable Tom, poor, stupid Jerry, another TV role model of mine- Donna (treat yo self!) and then there’s Ron Swanson. Oh Ron with your hefty dose of testosterone, your love of meat and carving wood and your sexy moustache. I won’t lie to you, he is my ideal man. Just writing about this programme makes me realise how much I miss it and Leslie.

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4. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

And on the opposite end of the spectrum from the lovely and fluffy Parks & Rec, we have It’s Always Sunny. A TV show with the most hatable TV characters possible. Similar to Rick & Morty, this is not a pleasant sitcom. It is grotesque, is borderline offensive and it is outrageous. Right up my street, in other words. The characters are idiots. Not even in a sort of likeable way. You have absolutely no sympathy for them, but thank God they exist. However you’re feeling or whatever you’ve done in your life, you can just reassure yourself and thank your lucky stars that you are neither Dennis, Dee, Charlie, Mac or Frank. Those guys are the worst (I love them obvs).

Side note: they were going to originally make Dee the “straight character”, but thankfully they thought better of it and made her just as despicable and hopeless as the rest of the cast. Could you imagine a straight Dee? What a waste of a brilliant comedic actor that would’ve been.

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3. Friends

Of course Friends is in this list. Of COURSE it is. The influence that Friends had on our culture is phenomenal. I mean, could it BE anymore influential? I don’t need to tell you much about Friends because you know it all anyway. Such is the legacy of Friends. Which Friend are you anyway? I’m a perfect combination of Phoebe, Monica and Joey (I don’t share food). PIVOT!

2. The Simpsons

You probably haven’t heard of this animated sitcom before, so let me summarise it for you. It’s based around a family of yellow people who only have four digits on each hand. The Dad is a lazy beer and doughnut addict, the Mum has blue hair almost the same height as herself, the son is a little shit that the Dad regularly strangles, the sister is clearly full of existential angst and the baby sister hasn’t uttered a word (or has she?)* for the whole 31 years that this cartoon has been running. Trust me on this one, it is absolutely brilliant and you will love each and every one of these characters as if they are your own family members. Especially the Dad. You will love him and all his relatable failings the most. He is all of us.

[Please note my daughter’s favourite TV programs is the Simpsons and she helped me choose this clip. She also wants me to tell you all that her name is Bessie]

 

So here it is , my all time favourite American sitcom ever….

 

And it is….

 

1. The Office (or as it’s known over here in the UK The American Office)

God I love this programme, so very much. It’s not just my number one American sitcom, but it is one of my all time favourite TV programmes ever. A warmer, more sentimental version of it’s British cousin, watching this programme is the comedy equivalent of wrapping a cosy blanket around yourself and putting your feet up, but you know, in a funny way. Steve Carrell as Michael Scott was comedy mastery. Pam and Jim were perfect and yes adorable. Dwight was a fabulous twat. The supporting cast had to be the best collection of supporting actors ever. Stanley, Kevin, Angela, Phyllis, Meredith, Oscar, Creed, Andy, poor, poor Toby, Daryl, Erin, Gabe, the brilliant Jan and my favourite couple ever Ryan & Kelly were just sublime. All of them were such strong characters. You loved them like you would your own work colleagues- fully aware of all their flaws, yet you have a strange affection for them all anyway. Unless you’re Toby and your boss is Michael, then he’ll just irrationally hate you despite the fact you’re the nicest person in existence. I could actually write a whole blog solely on my love for this multi-award-winning sitcom. It’s incredibly worthy of my number one slot….that’s what she said.

The one that almost made it: Broad City. These girls are basically me and my best friend 20 years ago in a different city.

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You know what I’m going to ask next, which is your favourite American sitcom? It will be interesting seeing the varying answers between Americans and non-Americans too.

*she actually has and was voiced by both Elizabeth Taylor and Jodie Foster. However, these are brief moments and the running gag is that she never speaks.

My 10 Most Popular Posts This Year

Right, let’s go straight into my 10 most popular posts out of the 37 that I’ve shoved your way this year. And because I’m not the least bit ashamed, I’ll also let you know my least popular post at the end. Just for balance.

Oh, but first please let me say THANK YOU so much for reading my blog. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have enjoyed writing it and my blog would be nothing without you all. You’re all superstars!

Click on the titles to enjoy each post.

10. A Guide to Hanging Out with Cloth Ears

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This may have been even more popular if I hadn’t published it just as a Facebook post first of all. This post runs through everything you need to know if you either want to know what it’s like to be deaf or want to know what to consider if you’re spending time with someone who is hard of hearing. Ignorance is not bliss.

9. Halloween Playlist!

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This did surprisingly well and still gets regular views today. Err guys, it’s not Halloween anymore.

8. Just Another Book Club- July Book

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My first dabble with my online book club and it went down very well. Lots of people had lots to say about this one.

7. Top 10 TV Character Fashion Idols

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This post provides a run down of all my favourite fashion icons that have ever graced our TV screens. From Denise Huxtable to Sybil Fawlty, it’s an eclectic collection.

6. Just Another Book Club

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An introduction to my idea of holding an online book club and luckily lots of people seemed to be as excited by it as I was. It also gave the list of books to read for the latter part of 2017.

5. F**KING SCOOTERS

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I stand by every word of this and I still fucking hate fucking scooters.

4. Love Your Body

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A lot of people sadly were able to relate to this. I talked about how there has been a steady increase of eating disorders in very young girls and I suggest ways we can all help to combat this.

3. Everyday Sexual Harassment

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Another post that sadly a lot of people could relate to. Whilst it was quite devastating to hear other people’s experiences, it was in some way slightly comforting to know that I am clearly not alone with my experiences of sexual harassment. This post still regularly gets daily views.

2. 10 Most Influential Albums of my Teenage Years

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This post is what you might call, a slow burner. It got moderate views when it was first published, but it receives views most days, which meant it slowly crept up my list of most popular posts.

  1. Dear Stephen

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Whilst this remains the hardest blog post that I’ve ever written, what is wonderful about this post being so popular is that so many of you lovely people read and heard about my wonderful friend. It helped make it the tribute that I wanted it to be. It would also be nice to think that it may have possibly helped someone somewhere.

The one that didn’t quite make my top ten: The Importance of Creativity for Children 3 views away from making the top 10.

My least popular post this year: Music Tag Thingy, but then again I didn’t really do a very good job of promoting it. It got a paltry 56 views- whoop.

My most popular post ever: Why Women’s Procreation Choices are None of Your Business. Nuff said.

Thanks again and see you next year for more irrelevant and irreverent shit (I really know how to sell myself, don’t I?)

 

2017 Culture Review: the best of TV, Films and Music

Here’s my succinct cultural review of 2017. It’s been a great year for TV yet again, not so strong musically, but a few corkers nonetheless. I’ve only bothered with a top 3 for each category, but there were of course, lots of other great TV programmes, films and music from this year. There’s a longer playlist at the end with 25 of the best singles and album tracks from the year for y’all.

Best Album

3. Colours by Beck

2. MASSEDUCTION by St. Vincent

1. Melodrama by Lorde (gloriously unapologetic pop, whilst remaining beautiful, dramatic and intimate)

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Best Song

3. Everything Now by Arcade Fire

2. Tomorrow by Anni

1. New York by St. Vincent (my only criticism of this song is that it’s far too short.)
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Best Film

3. Dunkirk/The Last Jedi (couldn’t decide between those two)

2. Trainspotting 2

1. Lion (released at the beginning of 2017 in the UK and I’m still reeling from the fact it didn’t walk away with the Oscar for Best Picture quite frankly. Read more about how this film made me feel here)

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Best TV Programme

3. Stranger Things

2. The Crown

1. Master of None (actual perfectionism)

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That’s mine. You know the score, now tell me yours.

 

Top 10 TV Character Fashion Idols

The style of a TV character can set trends emulated across the world, but for me when I admire the style of a TV character it’s more about how their wardrobe contents express their personality and how they wear the clothes. I like outfits that you see and say “oh that’s SO them”. I like outfits that I would probably look terrible in, but look amazing on them. And I definitely like outfits that shouldn’t work, but they somehow do. So don’t go expecting any Sex in the City ladies, Mad Men (though I loved the style of MM) or Rachel Green entries in this list of my personal favourite female TV character fashion idols. It’s an eclectic mix from over several decades, so I hope you enjoy some of the fashions. Oh and let me know, who your favourites are.

  • Sharon from Catastrophe

Not only is Catastrophe one of the best sitcoms to have come out of the UK in the past few years (it would be in my 20 favourite sitcoms if my blog post here went up to that number), but it also features the very stylish (and relatable) Sharon. She is all about clashing patterns and bold colours and ALWAYS looks great. How many people could rock a transparent yellow bra?

Catastrophe

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  • Ilana from Broad City

What I absolutely love about Ilana’s style is how it exudes her confidence. Now, I would look like a freaking mess if I wore any of her outfits, but Ilana just looks effortlessly cool. Or beautiful. Or dapper. Her style is so versatile and lively, and I love it. I mean Cheerios leggings, anyone? Plus she still looks good with a stain permanently on *that* white jacket. Also, kudos to Abbie who also always looks fantastic. As a side note, you won’t find on TV a better representation of female friendship than these two.

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  • Diane Lockhart from The Good Wife

Now if you think that anyone’s style says female power dressing better than Diane Lockhart’s then I’m just going to assume that you’re lying. Her image is flawless. It is perfection. Her style somehow gives you class, intelligence, elegance and “this is a woman not to be messed with” vibes all at the same time. When I grow up (not likely to happen any time soon), I want to be as cool as Diane. Also, you’d have thought after all those years of working together Diane’s sense of style would’ve rubbed off on Alicia. As much as I loved Alicia her style was always woeful.

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  • Aunt Polly from Peaky Blinders

Talking about women not to be messed with I present you with the glorious Aunt Polly. Man, this women can look stylish even when she’s got someone else’s blood on her attire. I adore 1920s fashion, so Aunt Polly’s style is right up my street.

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  • Denise Huxtable from The Cosby Show

Anyone who remembers the 80s/90s well, will remember that Denise Huxtable (and Lisa Bonet) were the epitome of cool. Well, at least I used to think so. Never would I ever be as cool as her, so instead I used to admire the way she just seemingly chucked a load of clothes on her and the ensemble somehow always looked immaculate. I give you 80s boho chic whatever.

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  • Jessa from Girls

Yet another on my list that exudes confidence in whatever she wore and only she could have got away with her chosen attire. Jessa often made her hairstyles a great accessory to her outfits. Plaits, hair swept to one side, tied up or just messy, her hair always looked stunning.

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  • Sybil Fawlty from Fawlty Towers

You cannot be surprised that Sybil is on my list, surely? The woman was an awe-inspiring, delightfully bold and delectable slick with her choice of outfits. She still managed to look stylish in rollers and her nightgown. The hair with a streak of blonde at the front, the make-up with bright blue eye shadow and eyeliner, all finished off with a cigarette permanently in hand. Just perfect.

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  • Myrtle Snow from American Horror Story: Coven

Notice how so many of these incredibly stylish women on this list are women you would not want to pick a fight with. Step forward, Myrtle Snow. Her name suits her style. Quirky, but oh so fabulously and outrageously divine. She even styled out being burnt alive for gawd’s sake [Spoiler soz]

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  • Tracey from Chewing Gum

I’m a big fan of this show and I’m a big fan of girl-next-door Tracey’s style. It’s all bright colours, lots of fun and cutesy plaits and she carries it off effortlessly. In real life, the stunning Michaela Cole (who plays Tracey and who I have bit of a girl crush on) is equally dapper and wears clothes her evidently very clever Mum makes her.

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  • Mylene from The Get Down

Oh Mylene not only do you have the most amazing singing voice, but you really do have the most amazing wardrobe. I’m all about 70’s fashion. Not so much the flared jeans and shapeless floor length dresses, but more for the fantastic prints and patterns. Everything Mylene wears I WOULD wear. Clearly, I wouldn’t look quite as stunning as she does (though let’s admit it I would look pretty fantastic), but I’d be vey happy indeed if I had all of her wardrobe contents. From 70s school girl chic to glamorous singer, Mylene always looks incredible.

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So that’s it, my top ten female TV character fashion idols. My favourite would probably be between Myrtle Snow and Mylene. Though a thought has just come to me…how could I forget Bet Lynch?

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Top 10 British Sitcoms

Despite its many faults (and I ain’t just talking about the rain), Britain has many strengths and I’ve always considered our humour to be its best (along with fish ‘n’ chips, how charitable we are, our Paralympics team and David Attenborough. Obvs). We are hilarious and nobody finds us as funny as we find ourselves. It’s not often us Brits can have a conversation without subtly (or even obviously) throwing a bit of humour in. In fact, if a conversation has continued for more than 5 minutes without anything humorous having been uttered then we start to break out in a cold sweat and somebody had better mutter something self-deprecating or joke about tits and willies before all hell breaks loose and British society implodes (this isn’t an exaggeration. Trust me).

The British Sitcom is an almost poetic portrayal of our unique humour. Yes, we love our irony and how can I put this- ‘piss-taking’, but our humour is often steeped in humanity and good old fashioned silliness. So, here is my list of my all time favourite British sitcoms. I’ve provided clips or a compilation of clips for each entry too for you to enjoy. Our favourite sitcoms are a very personal thing, so much so, I fully expect people to exclaim that they can’t believe I haven’t included this sitcom or that sitcom in my list or that I put a certain sitcom above another one, but it’s MY list and you know, you’ll just have to find a way of coping (Seriously though I would love to hear which are your favourites too). Deciding which of the plethora of excellent British sitcoms make my top ten has not been easy and I could have easily have done a top twenty.

Please be assured there is NO Mrs Brown’s Boys in this top 10.

(It is my no.11 though)*

10. Toast of London (2012-?)

There was an article written about Toast of London, entitled ‘The Funniest Sitcom That Nobody is Watching” and it is indeed strangely an undiscovered gem, so many have yet to unearth. If you want a wonderfully silly British sitcom, then here is a perfect example of one. Steven Toast is an old-fashioned, failing, middle-aged actor. It features an abundance of guest stars (John Hamm, Michael Ball, an alcoholic Peter Davison and not to mention a dodgy John Nettles) and is my most recent sitcom to feature on this list. So, if you haven’t watched it, I thoroughly recommend you correct this unfortunate error. The highlight of this show is when Toast’s world clashes with the world of the hipsters that he does his voice recordings with, so I’ve selected a clip which illustrates this nicely, with the great Clem Fandango for you.

9. The Young Ones (1982-1984)

My Mum wouldn’t let me watch The Young Ones when it was first on TV (I guess I was only 6-8 years old, but I do remember begging her to no avail once). However, she did my brother and I the Comic Relief single that they did with Cliff Richard (which is, incidentally, the best Comic Relief single to date). At 15, when I became obsessed with Bottom (the TV show starring Rik Mayall & Adrian Edmondson, not people’s posteriors) and maybe in some kind of defiance, I bought and absolutely loved the Young Ones double VHS. I loved its maniacal style and post-punk insanity that rarely made much sense. It all ended perfectly with them driving themselves off of a “Cliff”. Please excuse my Rik Mayall (I loved him) indulgence with the following clip.

8. The Royale Family (1998-2012)

Here is a sitcom that one minute will have you crying with laughter and then sobbing your heart out the next. We all remember the beautiful scene where Barbara brushes her ailing Mum’s Hair or the scene when Jim sits on the bathroom floor with Denise mid-labour, don’t we? Caroline Aherne was an extraordinary talent. She seemed to know how to make us all both laugh and cry in equal measure. The key to the Royale Family is its ordinariness and its familial charm. Here’s a clip of the perfect marital argument over the TV remote control.

7. Fawlty Towers (1975-1979)

Basil Fawlty was the perfect role for John Cleese. Nobody could’ve played the permanently disgruntled hotel manager on the brink of a breakdown as well as him. Not to mention his perfect physical comedy skills. His on-screen partnership with Prunella Scales as his wife, Sybil was outstanding. The pair seemed so utterly wrong for each other, it was a wonder what they saw in each other in the first place. This wonderfully farcical (and I usually hate farces) sitcom, always seemed very theatrical to me and it is of no surprise that it has now been turned into a stage show. Please enjoy this clip of Basil reaching the end of his tether yet again and Sybil not caring (yet again). A fine example of why Sybil Fawlty will always be my hero.

6. Blackadder (1982-1989)

This historical sitcom written by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, was hugely popular and featured a magnificent cast of some of our best comedy actors. An observation of Blackadder that I’ve only noticed in reason years, is how bloody sexy Blackadder was. Who could resist the ruff-clad Blackadder or the would-be-deserter Captain Blackadder? Not I now, clearly. We all remember the devastatingly poignant final moments of the final episode. They’re etched in my mind from when I first watched it with my family at 13 years old. I can still hear the whistles and Baldrick’s last claim that he has a cunning plan. I also remember Blackadder warning Hugh Laurie not to forget his stick just before they go over the top (“No, I wouldn’t want to face a machine gun without my stick” he replied). However, I wanted to show you a pure comedy clip from Blackadder and I’m sorry (completely not sorry), but my love for Rik Mayal prevails, so here’s another clip with him in for you.

5. Father Ted (1995-1998)

“Oh, but it’s an Irish sitcom”, I hear you cry. Well, I do see your point as it stars an Irish cast, was written by two Irish writers and was filmed in Ireland, BUT it is technically a British sitcom as it was made by a British television company for a British TV channel, so it’s in my top 10, so there. The genius of this show lies in Dermot Morgan playing the straight man in his role of Father Ted Crilly. The frustrations endured by his character only highlight the daftness of all the characters that surround him; the childlike and dim (but strangely sexy) Father Dougal, the perpetually inebriated Father Jack (DRINK) and the slightly unhinged Mrs Doyle (ah g’wan Father).

4. Black Books (2000-2004)

So bookshop owner, Bernard Black spends his days drinking wine, reading books and trying to ignore people. In conclusion, he’s essentially living the life I want to live. He also has a pet Manny running around doing chores for him, which is also a life goal of mine. C’mon, we could all do with a pet Manny in our lives. Black Books is set in Bloomsbury, London and considering Black’s lack of desire for customers it is a wonder how it ever managed to stay in business. Black Books won the BAFTA for best sitcom twice and features cameos from lots of the UK’s brightest sitcom stars of the time (Simon Pegg, Jessica Hynes, Nick Frost, Peter Serafinowicz, Omid Djalili, Lucy Davis, Olivia Coleman and so on). Oh and did anyone else fancy Bernard Black? Just me? And what is it with me and male sitcom actors?

3. The Office (2001-2003)

What an absolute joy watching copious amounts of funny clips from the Office was. Choosing just one one was very difficult, but an excellent reminder of how funny it was. Whatever your feelings are of Ricky Gervais, I still stand by the opinion that he and Stephen Merchant were comedy writing geniuses. I’m a fan of both the British and American versions of this sitcom, but the British version is less sentimental and essentially more difficult to watch. The cringe-factor is far higher and I think it is better for it. David Brent is also a less likeable character than Michael Scott. Here illustrates the genius of Gervais and Merchant, they even manage to make an unlikeable character such as Brent likeable (it’s ok I do realise how much I’ve contradicted myself here, but bear with). You feel so much affection for this absolute dickhead. He’s literally my favourite dickhead. I would’ve even liked him as a boss. Just think of the fun you’d have had with your colleagues, mocking him behind his back. Of course I’m not one to condone such behaviour. Ahem. So here’s Brent being an absolute twat. As per. Bless him.

2. I’m Alan Partridge (1997-2002)

Talking about loveable twats, here’s another one for you. Oh Alan with your monotone voice, late night radio show, v-neck jumpers, dated hair do, questionable TV show ideas, who’s best friend is a roadside hotel barman and with your dire social skills- I love you. Partridge’s life is so empty yet full of unfortunate events and badly handled circumstances. Much like The Office, it makes you cringe at the way Partridge tries to endure life. We need characters like Partridge to remind ourselves that we’re not doing so badly ourselves and that at the very least we would have dealt with life’s blows better than Alan would have. I thank you for this Alan. At least I’m not you. At least I don’t have “Cook Pass Babtridge” written in spray paint on the side of my car.

1.Spaced (1999-2001)

So here it is, my all time favourite British sitcom. Much like others on my list (Fawlty Towers, The Office, The Young Ones and I’m Alan Partridge), Spaced only ran for two seasons. Two faultless seasons. Spaced was written about two people and their friends in their twenties. It was on TV at a time when myself and my friends were also in our twenties. It very much felt like Simon Pegg & Jessica Stevenson (now Hynes) had watched my friends and I, and decided to write a sitcom about us. All of the characters in this sitcom are so strong, but my favourite will always be Marsha- my spirit animal. The cinematic style, heavy cultural referencing and hilarious script cemented its popularity and left diehard fans wanting more after it ended after two seasons. I still miss it.

 

The one that almost made it: The Day Today (1994)

A spoof of British news broadcasting, I think now more than ever, we need the return of the Day Today. Please Chris Morris. Please. If you loved this programme, here’s a rather obvious pick, but perpetually brilliant scene with Steve Coogan.

*It’s bloody not!

British Actors Playing Americans on TV Shows

Last year, The Guardian reported that a growing anger was emerging in the US about the number of lead roles on American TV that were going to the British instead of homegrown American talent*. This wasn’t an anti-British notion, more an anger about America seemingly not producing enough suitably talented actors to take on these roles. In fact, Spike Lee thought it all came down to the training actors receive in the UK compared to the US (he argues that British training focuses more on character acting). Another theory is that British actors are possibly cheaper. The savvy American TV industry is not going to pass by an opportunity to save a bob or two (or should that be a buck or two?). It is also suggested that by casting directors going “across the pond” they are provided with a fresh pool of talent.

Whatever the reason, it cannot be denied that there are quite a lot of us Brits on American TV pretending to be American. It is safe to assume that a lot of the time the American audience may not even realise they are watching British actors and not in fact, American actors. Whenever Idris Elba met a fan in America, he had to resort to his Stringer Bell Baltimore accent, as apparently it would freak out his American fans if they heard him speak in his native London accent. Now that’s dedication to a role. In fact, I even think some British actors have fooled the British that they are American.

However, I think it is interesting that it is quite rare for a Brit to play an American in a sitcom. In fact, I can only think of Idris Elba as the hunky Charles Miner in the American version of The Office (there are probably others, but I struggled to think of any more). It’s not because we’re not funny, we all know we’re fucking hilarious. It’s just that when we do appear in sitcoms we tend to just play Brits.

When an American plays someone British, either they are absolutely crucified for their attempt at a British accent (think Dick Van Dyke, Don Cheadle or Kevin Costner) or they are lauded for achieving the seemingly impossible- an American doing a convincing British accent (think Gwyneth Paltrow, Rennee Zellwegger or Angelina Jolie- hold on is there a pattern here?) . The point is an American cannot play someone British without it going unnoticed. The British however can happily play someone American without even an eyebrow being raised.

So, here is a list of all those many Brits convincingly playing Americans on American TV.

  • House MD. Starting with one of the most obvious, the Oxford-born Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House. The very British Laurie played House with such esteem that he won numerous awards for his performance over the years including two Golden Globes and two Screen Actors Guild Award. Also, along with delivering this outstanding performance, he also became something of sex symbol. In fact, in 2008 he was voted the second sexiest TV doctor ever (second of course to Clooney). What an accolade, something that not many Cambridge graduates** could claim.

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  • Sons Of Anarchy. OK so not only would Charlie Hunnam have fooled lots of Americans that he was American, but he actually fooled me. I remember perusing IMDb after watching several episodes of the fantastic Sons of Anarchy, and exclaiming to my husband that I couldn’t believe he was British. Then as I read on through his profile, I exclaimed again “OH MY GOD IT’S LITTLE NATHAN FROM QUEER AS FOLK“. Oh yes, in case you’re as slow as me, the very ruggedly handsome Hunnam once played the very sweet, but naive 15 year old Nathan who had a penchant for banging Aidan Gillen. His turn as American biker gang leader Jackson Teller is quite different from his days on Canal Street. Shirtless-Jax-Teller-Sons-Anarchy-GIFs.gif

It’s worth noting that Dayton Callie who played the hapless Wayne (and also played Charlie in Deadwood) was born in Scotland, but was brought up in the USA.

  • The Wire. Two of the main leads and rivals from the opposite sides of the law are played by two rather excellent British actors, Dominic West and Idris Elba (it also featured the above mentioned Irish actor Aidan Gillen). Apparently, most fans of the show were completely unaware of West & Elba being British because of their perfect Baltimore accents. The logistics of being British working in America became apparent when West required to spend more time back in the UK with his family, so his role was reduced despite McNulty being arguably the main character in the show. Also, Michael Hyatt who played D’Angelo Barkside’s Mum was born in the UK and was brought up there until her family migrated to the US when she was 10.
  • The Affair. Man, I LOVE the Affair. It’s like a slightly more credible Dynasty, but with much better acting and much less shoulder pad action. Again, the two main leads are played by British actors and again one of them is Dominic West (gets about a bit, doesn’t he?). The other one is played by the brilliant Ruth Wilson, who incidentally starred alongside Idris Elba in British detective drama Luther. 
  • The Walking Dead. Right, so we may as well just call this a British drama with all the British folk in it, right? Oh I’m only teasing America. Of COURSE it’s not, but you can see my point. Four of the main characters are British. Andrew Lincoln (who the British of a certain age will fondly remember as Egg from This Life and as Simon from Teachers) plays the show’s protagonist Rick Grimes, then there’s Lauren Cohan who plays Maggie (though she was born in the US, she was brought up in the UK), Lennie James as Morgan and David Morrissey as the villainous Governor. Also, there are the fairly new characters Jesus (played by Tom Payne) and Jadis (Pollyanna MacIntosh) that are also British. Who knew we’d make such great zombie slayers?
  • Homeland. So, much like The Walking Dead, four of the characters are played by British actors. Damian Lewis played everyone’s favourite ginger terrorist Nicholas Brody, David Harewood who played the director of the Counter-terrorism Center David Estes (Harewood has now gone on to star in the new TV version of Supergirl), Rupert Friend (from Oxfordshire) played Quinn and Sarita Choudhury who played Saul’s long-suffering wife Mira. British actors are all over the place.
  • Deadwood. Let’s just get this straight Ian McShane, who’s most successful role in the UK was that of a mullet wielding antiques dealer set in sexy East Anglia, then went on to play the sheriff of and brothel owner in the corrupt and crime riddled town of Deadwood, South Dakota. Set in the 1800s, Deadwood was critically acclaimed and was, as some say, cancelled far too early after three seasons. McShane won a Golden Globe for his performance as well as the show winning numerous Emmys and other awards. All a bit different from his Lovejoy days (though I think I can still spot a small trace of mullet).                            
  • The Good Wife. The marvellous Good Wife has two of its main American characters played by British actors. Archie Panjabi as the well-loved Kalinda and Alan Cumming as the charismatic, but highly-strung Eli Gold. In the final season, a new best friend for Alicia was introduced, Lucca Quinn. Lucca is played by British actress Cush Jumbo (brilliant name). As well as Panjabi, Cumming and Jumbo, British actor David Oyelowo (from Oxfordshire) played the part of a judge in one episode. Oyelowo as we know went on to play one of the greatest Americans ever, Martin Luther King in the bloody brilliant film Selma.                                        Alan+Cumming+Archie+Panjabi+AMC+Hosts+62nd+_2G3l0LzfV2l
  • Without a Trace stars Marianne Jean-Baptiste as special agent Viv Johnson and was set in New York. Jean-Baptiste was nominated for several awards for her part in Without a Trace. Interestingly, she was the first Black British actress to be nominated for an Oscar (for her role in Secret and Lies). Marianne can now be seen in the British detective thriller Broadchurch as the terrifying lawyer Sharon Bishop.
  • The Riches starred two of my favourite British famouses. The glorious Eddie Izzard and the lovely Minnie Driver. They played two travelling crooks who pretended they were rich. Ironically, the tagline for this show was “They’re stealing the American dream”. Just like all those other British actors coming over to America, EH? I loved this show and was very disappointed that it was cancelled after just two seasons.
  • Flashforward. Oh you know the one where everyone was suddenly in their future for a few seconds and it caused all kinds mayhem. It starred Joseph Fiennes and Sonya Walger pretending to be Americans. Sonya Walger was also in Lost, but played a Brit. Also, British actor Jack Daveport (who starred in This Life with Rick Grimes and Ultraviolet with Stringer Bell) was in Flashforward, but he was playing a Brit. Are you keeping up?
  • Oz. Gruesome US prison drama Oz stars two London boys, Eamonn Walker and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. British people may remember Walker in In Sickness and in Health (less said about that the better, yeah?) and The Bill (what British actor with any worth hasn’t been in The Bill?). He has gone on to work quite successfully in the US and is currently in Chicago Fire. Akinnuoye-Agbaje also played Mr. Eko in Lost, has appeared in Game of Thrones and appears in the Oscar nominated film Trumbo.
  • Boardwalk Empire. In my personal opinion, currently one of the best British actors we have, stars in Boardwalk Empire. Stephen Graham hails from Liverpool, but plays the American Italian gangster Al Capone and quite frankly he is terrifying in it. If you want to see more examples of his fine (but terrifying) acting you must check out This is England, both the film and the TV series. Boardwalk Empire also stars the handsome British actor Jack Huston (though we only get to appreciate half of his handsomeness in the show). The show also features Brits Kelly Macdonald and Charlie Cox. However, they’re both playing Irish characters. Cox has since gone on to play the American lead character in Daredevil.                         
  • How to Get Away with Murder. If you think you’ve seen Alfred Enoch who plays character Wes Gibbons before, then you probably have. Enoch played the young wizard Dean Thomas in 7 of the Harry Potter films. He is the son of English actor William Russell and has grown somewhat from a cute wizard into a man quite easy on the eye trying to get away with murder. These things happen.
  • Masters of Sex. Michael Sheen is not shy about playing the odd autobiographical role. The Welsh actor has played Tony Blair. Twice. He’s also played other real-life British figures including Brian Clough, Kenneth Williams and David Frost. However, here in Masters of Sex he plays the American scientist Dr. William Masters who pioneered research into human sexual behavior and sexual dysfunction. He’s been nominated for a Golden Globe for his role as the sexpert, but he is one British actor that because of his previous repertoire, I’d be surprised if Americans weren’t already aware that he was British. 
  • The Night Of was one of the best TV programmes of 2016 and features a plethora of British stars (ok 3). We have the show’s main protagonist Naz played by Riz Ahmed (known for his role in the unforgettable Four Lions), his rather hot, but slightly unethical lawyer Chandra played by Amara Karan (who was in the Darjeeling Limited and oh yes- tick!- The Bill) and Nabil Elouahabi who played taxi driver Yusuf and is best known in the UK for playing Tariq in cheerful Eastenders.
  • Fargo. Aaw lovely, little Martin Freeman played the rather unfortunate Lester in the award winning TV show Fargo, inspired by the Coen brothers film by the same name. We know Freeman mainly from the original British version of The Office as Tim (that’s Jim to anyone reading from America). Martin went from this to starring in a rubbish sitcom about a hardware store, then he was Sherlock‘s assistance, then he grew large furry feet and became a Hobbit for what felt like forever and then he was nominated for multiple awards for being ace in this brilliant American TV show. Well done Tim. Dawn would be proud. And not forgetting that the lovely (and I mean luuuuuuurvely) Scottish actor Ewan McGregor played the American Stussy twins in the latest season of Fargo too.
  • Breaking Bad It’s also worth mentioning Laura Fraser as business executive turned meth supplier Lydia in one of (in my humble opinion) the best American dramas of all time. Born and brought up in Glasgow, her American accent was apparently so convincing in Breaking Bad that many of her co-stars had no idea that she wasn’t actually American.

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There is no doubt that there are many, many more that I haven’t listed (plus I haven’t even mentioned the Australians and Jim Robinson), but I’d be here all night if I tried to list everyone and I’ve got wine to drink and more The Walking Dead to watch. However, if I’ve missed someone obvious out, please feel free to comment below. Nevertheless, I don’t believe America should really feel under threat from us British. Even though there are quite a few of us popping up on American TV, the vast majority of characters are played by Americans, by quite a long way. Rest easy America.

*There was also an article written about this concern in American magazine The Atlantic . 

**None apart from Laurie, in fact.