British TV Pleases

We watch British television a lot at my house. Pam found an app for the Apple TV that lets us stream British television live. The catch is, when it’s six o’clock in Huntsville, Alabama, it’s midnight in London. We have learned a lot about late night British television.

For instance, on Friday nights we watch documentaries on popular music. I have learned a lot about popular music this way. I have been a fan of popular music my entire life. It was amazing how much I didn’t know about it. What is more amazing is that the BBC funds people to make these documentaries.

In the US, it takes a very motivated producer to raise the money to tackle a documentary of this quality and it has to have a stronger entertainment appeal. There seems to be more acceptance of history for history’s sake in the UK. They also recycle their old shows more than we do here.

On Sunday morning we watch reruns of Columbo. The British love Columbo. Not that I dislike the show but it is somewhat dated as far as I’m concerned. I just don’t get what they see in it.

Another show that we watch a lot is entitled 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown. 8 Out of 10 Cats is a popular panel show where two teams compete to try to guess the top five answers to a question that has been put to a group of randomly selected people. The host, comedian Jimmy Carr, is entertaining, if edgy.

After a while, the show had such a big audience that they started letting them do parodies of other popular BBC shows. One of the first ones was a parody of Deal or No Deal. It was called, strangely enough 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Deal or No Deal.

While entertaining, it didn’t stand up well to repeat productions. When they parodied the popular game show Countdown though, the hit pay dirt. The game itself, comprised of alternating word and number games, left plenty of time for the 8 out of 10 Cats crowd, all comedians, to get in plenty of dry British comedy between the more or less straight rendition of the game portions of the show.

They recruited two of the cast members from the regular Countdown show, Susie Dent, the lexicographer that passes judgement on the acceptability of words for the word game, and Rachel Riley, the mathematician that flips letters for the word portion as well as presiding over the number game. It is surprisingly entertaining.

As my wife said earlier tonight, the app to stream British TV live was the best $5 we’ve ever spent. In fact, when we compare the one time expense to the $181 a month that we pay for cable and internet, we’ve decided to start moving toward cutting the cable.

Sweet dreams, don’t forget to tell the ones you love that you love them, and most important of all, be kind.