Jun 122013

The Bbc once again displays a rather odd view of America:

11 TV Shows That Explain American Culture (for a British Expat)

So what are their chosen shows?

  1. Veep
  2. Portlandia
  3. The Simpsons
  4. Girls
  5. The Daily Show
  6. The Colbert Report
  7. The O’Reilly Factor
  8. Glee
  9. Duck Dynasty
  10. Nashville
  11. The View

Hmmm. With the exception of #’s 7, 9 and perhaps 10, these all have a decidedly leftist slant. The O’Reilly Factor was included specifically to make fun of right-wing Americans. Interestingly, the author says this about Duck Dynasty: “a bunch of Louisiana “rednecks” who made a fortune inventing duck hunting paraphernalia aren’t archetypal Americans.” Oddly, he doesn’t say anything like that about the casts of freaks from Portlandia, Girls or Glee.

One obvious and glaring omission: “The Walking Dead.” If you want to learn about American culture, what about a show that revolves around a small group of productive people who believe in the right to bear arms and are surrounded by unthinking, uncreative masses of the unproductive, who exist mainly to consume Our Heroes.

I would also suggest the combo of Pawn stars and Hardcore Pawn. Both demonstrate the American entrepreneurial spirit, while also demonstrating the massive cultural differences between places such as Las Vegas and Detroit.

Any other suggestions?

 Posted by at 7:18 pm
  • Cthell

    I’d suggest Mythbusters, as a continuation of the fine tradition of skepticism and scientific thought that America was built on (In the interest of openness, I am a British person)

    • BScCollateral

      Darn, you scooped me.

    • Anonymous

      Well, to be fair if you add Mythbusters, you also have to add “Ancient Aliens.” Yes, we have a skeptical streak… but we also have a “let’s believe any wacky bullcrap” streak of credulousness.

  • Donut Argh

    But really, TV? When I need a fix, I visit this blog, or Winchell’s Twitter/G+, or Rand’s blog, etc….

  • se jones

    “Portlandia” is the only successful, satirical look at the sanctimonious left on TV.

    Mike Judge tried to do it with “The Goode Family”, but it flopped since it’s really hard to find anything really funny about the terminally earnest, NPR crowd.

    I suppose I can find “Portlandia ”funny because I live in Boulder where the nutty city council spends more time and effort on faux P.C. foreign policy than fixing pot holes.

    • Anonymous

      > “Portlandia” is the only successful, satirical look at the sanctimonious left on TV.

      I’ve only seen commercials; didn’t seem interesting. Here’s the thing I’ve noticed, though: quite a number of American shows will poke fun at the left, including The Daily Show… they find some wacky aspect of leftism and point an say “isn’t that silly.” For example, “Family Guy” some years ago poked fun of Bill Clinton by showing him walking around the neighborhood naked, singing about how great it is to be nude. But it’s a fundamentally different form of humor than what they direct at the right. Where the left gets pointed out as silly, the right gets pointed out a *stupid* or outright *evil.* And groups like the Tea Party gets slammed as being both evil & stupid, filled with cross-burning racists and the like.

      > I live in Boulder

      Shudder. I used to live near there in the late 90’s. I still drop by about once a year… driving through the university can certainly be an eye-popping experience (especially on warm days in early spring… oh my). And Pearl Street remains a wretched hive of scum and villainy.

      • se jones

        Well ya, I can’t argue with that.

        The closed we ever came to a proper retort to the “stupid or outright evil”
        Bill Maher et al. staple, was the Dennis Miller show.

        Dennis could rip em to shreds, make you laugh and all without a single vile joke about their children. Class act and funny. Miss him.

        • Anonymous

          > Miss him.

          You do know that “The Dennis Miller Show” is on for two or three hours a day, Monday through Friday, yes? Sure, you can’t see him over the radio, but he was never a visual-gag sort of guy.

  • Michael the Somewhat Civilized

    I’ve not watched broadcast TV — except in bars — since 2006, and every time it’s discussed I can’t imagine that I’ve missed anything significant.

    • Anonymous

      You’ve missed “The Walking Dead,” “Falling Skies,” “Adventure Time,” The Amazing World of Gumball” and “Defiance.”

  • Anonymous

    _Gilligan’s Island_. The best damn American television show ever made.