Thursday, 13 January 2011

A Touch of Frosty Nostalgia for Old England

Thanks to my cousin Pauline for sending me a You Tube clip from the British TV series, The One Ronnie.

It induced a brief moment of nostalgia when I watched it, although the point of the sketch - making fun of computer terminology - started to pall about half way through. However, the nostalgia was more induced by the sketch's homage to another TV series, Open All Hours.

Although the basic format of Open All Hours - an old fashioned, small shop, with its owner and assistant - was not funny in itself, the script and its two main actors made it worth watching, at least until its originality palled. (I don't think I have much of a sense of humour compared to other people, to be honest.) The main actors, Ronnie Barker and David Jason can be listed amongst the versatile, greatest and most popular of British comedy actors. The first clip above reminded me how good British television could be on occasions. Indeed, David Jason, in addition to comedy acting, turned serious in an excellent TV detective series called A Touch of Frost, which used to be shown in Poland on Universal Channel (available with the N satellite network - I don't know about other networks).

Not that I have any nostalgia for British television generally. I used to think that two hours worthwhile viewing (of general entertainment channels) in a week was a good week: three hours was really exceptional. I even managed to live without a TV at all a few times (which made social conversation a tricky thing to manage - about half of daily conversations seems to start: "Did you watch X last night?"). (Interesting ending punctuation for that sentence.)

I can't even have any rose tinted view based on inability to watch British TV. I have routinely had BBC World in Poland, which I would happily nominate as the world's worst news/current affairs programmes: it even made computerised Euronews seem a quality channel. I finally stopped watching BBC World in the middle of a continuous and completely politicised propaganda attack during an election in Zimbabwe. The saturation coverage of this minimal world event just made the channel's complete lack of objectivity too much to bear. In any case, now having the N network, there is a wonderful assortment of English language news channels from around the world.

BBC HD has also recently been added to N's channels - standard BBC rubbish on the whole. As opposed to engendering TV comedy nostalgia, it has some of the most gob-smackingly awful comedy possible. Polsat's Kiepskich (lots of clips here) just knocks it all out of the window. If you remember the recent series of three Mummy films, where, in the first film, the revived Mummy had to absorb his body parts from living humans to regain his full power, the following adds an essential deleted scene. There are also connections to other Kiepskich clips.

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