Yesterday they offered eight or so episodes of a BBC lawyer show, New Street Law, so I watched them all this morning. First in bed, then while I was changing the sheets, cleaning up my room, and sorting my socks [no, really!]. I enjoyed the show because the Brits have "solicitors" and "barristers". They wear wigs in court. And those accents slay me. Also because I love anything legal, but while I was watching, I realized the show would have to be entirely recast to suit American tastes, since the Brits hire people because they are good actors, not for their looks. And we hedonistic Yanks could care less whether somebody can act as long as they've got good hair/boobs/abs/eyes/lips/booties, the important stuff. We're all about style, she said, pointing with pride to The Biggest Loser, and Jersey Shore. They're all about substance. Masterpiece Theater wouldn't exist if it weren't for British programming.
Here's some photographic evidence to demonstrate the British Look of which I speak. This guy has been in a lot of Hugh Grant movies. Usually he plays a harmless sort, not like that insane Brit twit who was Grant's roommate in that flick with Julia Roberts, Notting Hill. In New Street Law he plays the lead lawyer. Sorry, too asexual, he'd never cut it in an American series. Too pasty for the girls. Too plain for the gays.
Same with the other people in the cast. Especially these next two, whose relationship gets hotter and heavier as the season goes along. Sorry, but entirely too British for me. I actually had to look away when they had their first big kiss. Ewwwww.
I can't believe someone hasn't done something about the bags under her eyes. And he looks like Drew Carey, which is fine if you're a comedian. Not a love interest. This next young woman is probably the best looking chick in the show. Except for a huge, honking mole on one side of her chin. And for some inexplicable reason she totally changed her hairdo in the middle of the season. What's that about? I didn't recognize her from one episode to the next. It's not nice to fool your audience.
Next there's a shot of one of the barrister's wigs we get to see. Amazing they haven't looked in a mirror to get a gander at how incredibly goofy everybody looks dressing up like 1776. I also did a screen grab at a bad time it seems. Even though it's just a still photo, you can almost hear his Scottish accent. Unless it's liverpudlian. Frankly, I can't tell one from another. They all just sound better than I do.
"Previously" refers to the previous episode. It just looks like they do closed captioning one word at a time. Also, a small issue, but a hurdle nonetheless -- the shows are 59+ minutes long versus 43 minutes or less for US one hour shows. It feels like watching a feature movie by comparison.
I don't know whether you watch episodes of the plastic surgery-challenged Inspector Lewis and his tall, gawky sidekick Sgt. Hathaway on PBS, two quintessentially British actors. One look at the cast and you know the show was destined for public televison.
Helen Mirren's crossover success was clearly a notable exception. I don't know where Hugh Grant came from.