Over the years, it has almost become a guaranteed conversation starter on both sides of the pond to weigh the relative merits of and/or discuss the many differences between British and American television. Be it comedy or drama, a majority of individuals who reside in the UK think that American television is better while their Americans counterparts will say, without hesitation, that British television is superior in every instance.
As an American who thinks the best television on television comes out of the UK, I really have tried hard to understand how those that get a steady drama diet of Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife, Poldark, Endeavour, Lewis, Sherlock and Mr. Selfridge or endless comedy greatness such as W1A, Miranda, The Detectorists, Lead Balloon and Moone Boy could possibly think that American drama or comedy was better.
It finally dawned on me after comparing schedule offerings that American audiences see the best of the best that comes out of the UK and UK audiences see the best of the best that comes out of the States. If you watch telly in the UK, the American comedy shows you see are Family Guy, Friends, 3rd Rock from the Sun, The Simpsons, Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother. It’s easy to see why you believe American comedy is spot on. Fortunately, these same UK viewers are not subjected to the likes of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Duck Dynasty or Hillbilly Handfishin’.
The same holds true here in the States in that we see the best of the best with Sherlock at the top of the list. In both cases, I can assure you, there’s A LOT that you both don’t see. Hopefully, the newest contribution to lowest-common denominator television soon to hit the air in the UK will not see the light of day in the U.S. Britain’s Hardest Grafter, which has been likened by some to a ‘real-life Hunger Games‘, will bring 25 of Britain’s lowest-paid workers together and pit them against each other in a ‘serious social experiment’ which will end when the ‘hardest grafter’ is given a £15,000 cash prize.
Unfortunately, the streets are littered with network reality series that live on the exploitation of willing participants in ‘quality’ television, Of course, if you happen to disagree with me and think the series has potential and can’t wait to be exploited, feel free to follow the instructions below and put your name in the proverbial hat to see if you’ve got what it takes to become Britain’s Hardest Grafter! I wish you well.
Let’s hope America never gets a chance to see Britain’s Hardest Grafter and that UK audiences will never be afforded the opportunity to get hooked on Hillbilly Handfishin’.
In: Odds & Sods