Most British TV shows suck

Most British TV shows suck.  This shouldn’t be a revelation.  Not everything can be Monty Python or The Office.  Most American television sucks, too, but I think that’s easier to realize for American viewers like me.  We generally don’t see most terrible foreign shows; the ones we get have been vetted by the local critics and audiences.  Because of this, I think greater leeway is given to foreign shows from critics.  Stuff like Dr. Who and The Black Adder are respected critically and have sizable fan bases, though the former is at best campy with Sci-Fi Channel made-for-tv-level special effects and the latter is, well, not funny (or maybe it used to be and hasn’t held up in the slightest).

This is probably closer to the state of British television than I'm comfortable with.

This is closer to the state of British television than I'm comfortable with.

In this biased, prejudiced mindset, I set out to see a few episodes of a couple shows I knew I wouldn’t like: The IT Crowd and Coupling.  I went into The IT Crowd expecting The Big Bang Theory, the biggest television abomination.*  It wasn’t that bad.  Now, it was still bad, just not eye-stabbingly terrible.  Richard Ayoade is decent, but his intentionally bad presentation isn’t nearly as effective here as in the fun romp that is Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace.

I must concede that it does have a pretty slick title sequence.  However, most everything else about the show is bad, standard sitcom fair.  It’s close to When the Whistle Blows, the show within a show from Extras.  With all of the geeky tech stuff around, you can tell it’s written by passionate geeks.  Unfortunately, they are passionate geeks with terrible taste in television.

*The Big Bang Theory offends me not so much as a geek, but as a television viewer.  Really, CBS’s entire Monday night lineup is an affront to humanity. How I Met Your Mother, Rules of Engagement (I haven’t seen it, but it’s at an impressively terrible “28” on Metacritic), Two and Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, CSI: Miami – that is an All-Star team of terrible television.  My god.  CBS in general has terrible programming though.  The only thing I ever watch from CBS are AFC football games.  That is it.  I can’t say enough about how bad CBS’s programming is.

Coupling seems to be a sexed-up version of Friends.  The jokes are juvenile (not that there’s anything wrong with that) and predictable with storylines and hijinks that were stale fifteen years ago.  The laugh track is horribly out of place, as it always is in single-camera sitcoms.  The inappropriateness is somewhere in between The Flintstones and the first season of Sports Night.

Also, I’d like to point out that my suggestion for Aaron Sorkin’s next show wasn’t too far off from this.

Arbitrary song of the day: Shout Out Louds – Impossible (Possible Version by Studio)


One thought on “Most British TV shows suck

  1. British TV sucks. This is something on which we can agree.

    I think a lot of American TV sucks too… but our production values are generally higher, and with a much higher volume of shows being produced, we’re bound to get a lot more good ones.

    I have to vehemently disagree with one of your points, though. Well, two…. sort of. “The Big Bang Theory” and “How I Met Your Mother” are two of the best shows on television right now. And this is coming from a guy who HATES (and I mean deeply rooted loathing) about 95% of sitcoms out there. Both of these shows have amusing, cute, or interesting characters, unique formulas, and of course some decent jokes. Way better than most of the crap out there.

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