I saw my first Britcom (American slang for “British Sitcom”) when I accidentally stumbled across an episode of Rising Damp on my local PBS station. I think I was about 12, and I was hooked. The comedic chemistry between Richard Beckinsale and Leonard Rossiter struck a nerve with me, and of course, I found the flirty spinster character played by Frances De La Tour hysterically funny. I was delighted recently to find Ms. De La Tour back on the small screen in the hilarious new Britcom, Vicious, which also stars Derek Jacobi and Ian McKellen. The first season of Vicious is available at the Denton Public Library, as well as a number of other terrific shows from the other side of the pond.
If you enjoy shows with strong, memorable characters, Keeping Up Appearances and As Time Goes By are great fun. You must ‘meet’ Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced ‘Bouquet’) at once, if you haven’t already! The Vicar of Dibley introduces an assortment of interesting village folk, who aren’t quite sure if they are pleased with their new female vicar. If you were a fan of Friends, you’ll love Coupling.
If you have a strong stomach for uncomfortable awkwardness, you absolutely must see The Office with Ricky Gervais as David Brent. Yes, I loved the American version of The Office; I watched it from beginning to end. But after the first 4-5 episodes, it really became something else. If you like The Office, you may also like Black Books with the Irish comedian Dylan Moran. His bookshop owner character Bernard Black prefers wine consumption to actually helping any of his customers find books to purchase.
Comedy in sketch format is done brilliantly by David Walliams and Matt Lucas in Little Britain; please be aware of the envelope-pushing done very gleefully! If you prefer your comedy with a flavor of sci-fi, you may enjoy Red Dwarf in which a misfit crew travels through space in a mining ship 3 million years in the future. History buffs may find their funny bone itched with the Black Adder series with Rowan Atkinson. History is re-written as Richard III actually loves his nephew and whom eventually takes the throne as Richard IV – hilarity then ensues as he has a scheming son, Edmund, Duke of Edinburgh. His descendents somehow find their way through time during the Elizabethan period, the Regency, and World War I.
Each of these shows can be found at the Denton Public Library – please let us know what we can help you find!
– Kerry Montz, Assistant Branch Manager, North Branch and Business Liaison Librarian (who also has a very cunning plan…….)