The Best (or Worst) of British, (or in this case Australian on British), TV: Summer Heights High

No offence, but the best show I’ve seen lately is Australian. To be specific, Summer Heights High, which is a fabulous faux-documentary from creator, writer, actor, and all around funny man, Chris Lilley that is playing in London right now. Summer Heights High tells the ‘story’ of one term at the high school of the same name, specifically focusing on three characters: Ja’mie, Mr. G, and Jonah.

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The Best (or Worst) of British Television: Lost in Austen


Welcome to the first edition of The Best (or Worst) of British Television, starting with the series Lost in Austen, which recently aired on ITV here in the UK. This column is the beginning of a semi-regular look of the happenings of British television. I will cover both series currently airing and plan to delve into the annals of British TV (covering such gems as The Office and Coupling, amongst others). There might even be a guest columnist or two on this topic. Before I begin it may be helpful to point out a few differences between British TV v. American TV. The major one being that unlike in American TV, most seasons of television that air across the pond usually consist of, at most, 13 episodes. They also tend to have less seasons, with the exception of the soap-style dramas, which go air each night and go on forever, just like our soaps. These two facts lead to tighter stories than perhaps happens in American television. Another fun fact is that the Brits call their seasons, series, such as Series One of Lost rather than Season One of Lost.

My first Olympics away from home

Before I get going, I must say in the interest of full disclosure, I LOVE THE OLYMPICS.  I love everything about them: the sports, the athletes, the outfits, the cheesy commentary, the tear-at-your-heartstrings features, the commercials…literally everything.  But, for the interest of a blog about TV, I am going to focus (as much as possible) on the television aspects of the Olympics and the overall viewing experience.

To Love TV from Afar

Of all the complaints I may or may not have about the United States, one thing is for sure: we make great television. From writing, acting, execution, location, down to the general look we have definitely set the standard of TV. Don’t misunderstand (or is that ‘misunderestimate?’) me. I like television from other countries, BBC America for one, has shown some of the best of British TV (Life on Mars, Dr. Who, Coupling, etc). I certainly don’t like American TV at the expense of other TV…I am an equal opportunity television watcher.

But, what’s difficult, is trying to watch that great, well-made American television when you are in a foreign land, without actually owning a TV. Yes, my friends, a (new) television blogger without a TV. I swear it is not because I’m one of those people (you know the kind) who say, “I don’t watch TV” or “I have no need for a television.” No, it is because I am a poor graduate student living in London, who can’t afford that TV.