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I am a BBC American. That's what you're called if you're someone who enjoys the TV channel BBC America, available on cable.
There's much to enjoy, especially if you're a lover of mystery stories, which I am. The British have always been good at the standard formula mystery. You know, with a crime solved by a Scotland Yard detective, or a police constable, or, better yet, some sharp old lady living in a quaint village. There are quite a few of these stories on BBC.
There's one big difference between American and British programming. While we have our top series on once a week for years, they have maybe six or eight episodes and that's it. Sometimes, the series will return but more often than not, the actors will appear in a brand new series. The British are great for Repertory Theater and this idea is carried out on TV. I must admit I would prefer to see a favorite story line or actor go on for a longer time.
For a long time, British television programs have spun off to the United States, with different names and adapted to fit American locales. Archie Bunker and "All in the Family" is a good example. In Britain, Archie was a cockney blue-collar worker complete with prejudices and loutish behavior. He had a long suffering wife, a shop girl daughter, and a liberal son-in-law. "Sanford and Son" was another popular British series that moved over to the US with Redd Foxx.
There have been several more. Currently, the makeover craze has jumped the Atlantic to us with everything from gardens, houses, and people being transformed by TV experts. These are the kind of series that stay on in Britain for years. Apparently, the British can't get enough of seeing people bullied into redecorating a neighbor's home, or having their wardrobes thrown out and replaced or their own home being torn apart.
One that is my favorite has two people entering someone's home and taking over, sometimes fairly brutally. I know everything is done with permission, but sometimes you have the feeling that the victim regrets having signed the contracts. The interesting thing to do is put yourself in the picture. Suppose it were I, answering the doorbell and letting the TV crew in?
There was a program a few weeks ago that is hard to forget, probably because it was too close to my own truth for comfort. On the other hand, it was good to see that, on this planet, there was someone far worse than I in the clutter department.
The lady was a widow who lived alone. She had twin daughters in their early 30's who had turned her in as a candidate for a home do-over. They really enjoyed the work involved.
The premise is, all your belongings will be divided into four piles. One will be for donations to charity, one for sale at a flea market, one for dumping into a crusher, and one to keep.
At one point, everything was assembled in the back yard for distribution into the various groups. This included every piece of clothing in the lady's closet. The lady in charge of the clean up was ruthless. Any article of clothing not worn in a year was out. Mementos were dumped without mercy.
The sale was interesting. Stuff was transported to a place where people sold items we would put in a yard sale. The selling techniques were fairly aggressive and the lady took home a nice piece of change.
The kitchen was an unbelievable horror. They cleared two large cupboards of foods years past expiration shelf dates. Another cupboard had had something explode inside and she had merrily shut the door on the mess. The refrigerator was so crammed with food its shelves were collapsing.
All through the program I was looking around at my own place imagining its being cleaned out in like fashion. It would be wonderful. I don't think my back yard would be big enough to hold everything. I swear I'm going to start filling big green garbage bags with stuff. Anyone know where I can rent a crusher?
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