Monday, November 17, 2008

The Joy of BBC America

Category: How to keep a nerd entertained

Besides that time I figured out that I could make a bag with the likeness of Simon Amstell on it, the best thing that has happened to me this year is moving into a house that gets BBC America. Despite the fact that it is far from perfect (where is Never Mind the Buzzcocks? Ponderland? The Mighty Boosh?) BBC America is like the holy grail of nerd television. It's British (which automatically gets it points), and it broadcasts such nerd mainstays as Monty Python's Flying Circus and Doctor Who. After ridiculous amounts of time spent in front of the television with a cup of tea and my knitting (the only way to do such a thing, really), I have compiled a guide to my favorite shows currently broadcast by BBC America for your nerdy perusal. 

I've never considered myself a sci-fi person, but I love Doctor Who. See, he's a Time Lord, and right now he's in his tenth regeneration, and he travels in the TARDIS which is like a messed up time machine, and he has a companion, and they travel through time and space and combat evil! (It's way cooler than it sounds. I promise.) A bonus about watching Doctor Who on BBC America is that it's usually on on Friday or Saturday nights, so I can enjoy it while other people are out partying. Doctor Who is actually so nerdy that some may consider it to be TOO nerdy. (I say there's no such thing, but hey, whatever). I think everyone should watch it at least once, if only for the purpose of being able to have conversations with those who are obsessed with it.  

Okay. For reals? Do I really need to explain the majesty of Monty Python's Flying Circus? The parrot sketch? The Spanish Inquisition? SPAM? That guy who says "IT'S"? "And now for something completely different"? "Stop the sketch, it's getting silly"? Pepperpots? The Argument Clinic? Go watch some. You'll feel better.

If you're going to watch Little Britain, you'll have to access your inner twelve-year-old boy. It's a sketch show devoted to showcasing the lives of various British people, and the humor is somewhat cheap. However, it's the kind of program that is pretty funny at one in the morning. Also, there's tons of crossdressing, which I have come to think of as a common denominator of British comedy. 

Oh, Spaced. How I love thee. And yet BBC America does not show you, in all your British sitcom glory, nearly as often as they should. I can't imagine why. I mean, you feature what most of my country thinks of as "those dudes from Shaun of the Dead", along with Jessica Hynes, who I think of as "whatsherface from Shaun of the Dead" and Anna thinks of as "that lucky wench who got to hug Simon Amstell". Either way, it's a very funny and clever show, and BBC America doesn't show it nearly as often as it ought to. I feel a letter-writing campaign in my future.

In an ideal world, BBC America would show more of the British programming that I've stooped to watching surreptitiously on Youtube... but for now I'm pretty happy. 


  1. Jessica Hynes got to WRESTLE Simon Amstell! That makes it a bazillion times more jealous-worthy!
    And... the Flying Circus... Oh yeah. :)

  2. Amen and amen to Monty Python. :)

  3. I love Spaced!!! And I would say that Doctor Who isn't too nerdy, but is just nerdy enough. ;)