Ode to British Television

The BBC makes such exquisite documentaries. For instance, tonight they are running a documentary on Paris of 1928. He has taken us to the places where people were meeting, where the artists lived, where the musicians played. They explore the reasons that people flocked there. The philosophical and artistic ideas that it inspired. I am a big fan of PBS but the BBC outshines it in almost every way.

There are a few PBS shows that can hold their own though. Ken Burns’ documentaries illuminate American History in a style uniquely his. And of course Austin City Limits showcases the best of our musical talent. There are others but those two stand out in my mind.

I think it is probably because American television entrepreneurs are more interested in broad popularity. Thus we have Seinfeld where they have The Office. They sometimes attempt to import some of their shows to American television with mixed success. On the other hand, they have produced such extremely popular shows as Dr. Who and Sherlock. But these are not the Crown Jewels of British television.

Such shows as Midsomer Murders, Poirot, and Jeeves are just a few examples of the highest standards of both production and story telling. I’m obviously a hopeless anglophile but I think even those not nearly as obsessed with all things British will agree that the British produce engaging television.

The documentaries are the hidden gems though. They are usually standalone offerings on a given topic. They rarely exceed an hour and a half duration. But they inspire enthusiasm whatever their topic.

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