Sunday, May 6, 2012

Day 26: Across the Pond

The British confound me, in many ways.  It seems we are not only a people separated by a common language, but also separated by a common culture.

I've just finished watching an episode of the BBC Channel 1 series, "Sherlock".  It's a modernised take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous character.  I have not been enthralled by a show, nor found it as immediately captivating as this in a long time.  In a word, it was delicious.  I'm envious of the class of television that the people who natively get BBC programming are able to watch.  Me?  I've got to wait months or years until maybe someone with half a brain at PBS buys the rights and shows them under the Masterpiece Theatre banner.

I left the show I just watched longing for more.  They've got me.  They have entertained me and stimulated my intellect, I've bought in to their world and I want to visit it again and again... and I'm willing to pay for it.  I will gladly pay to watch excellence, in general.  But, when I go to Wikipedia to look up more about the show, I find that it has been treated with the casual disdain (to my eye) that every wonderful show in Brittain is treated.

I find that their are inexplicably only 2 seasons (series, as they call them across the pond), and there are only three one and a half hour episodes each.  The first three originally aired back in 2010.  My first thought was that it wasn't very popular locally, wasn't a commercial success, if you will.  But then again, when I look at the numbers approximately nine million viewers watched each of the three episodes (only 62 million people live in the United Kingdom, to give some perspective).  Maybe not a raging success, but less popular shows stay on the air in the States all the time.  And if it was a failure, then how do you account for the second season, first airing in 2012 (incidentally, the episode I watched was the first of the second season entitled "A Scandal in Belgravia").

The second season garnered even more viewership; approximately 10 million viewers for the first run of each of the episodes.  And then?  Nothing (so far).  How can you turn your back on a money-maker, on a success, on a provably good show with a growing viewership.  Even if your coming back to it, how can you not "make hay while the sun shines" as my Grandfather used to say.  

"No, that's just enough of that.  NEXT!"  It's such a British attitude; the self-assurance that there's nothing special about success, that whatever comes next might not be immediately as good, but something just as good, if not better is on the way.  It's just so British.  You know, if an American show like Jericho, or Dollhouse, or anything else with a small but loyal viewership gets cancelled, there's an immediate uproar.  That's just so American, I guess.

Anyway, if someone has the six episodes of this wonderful show they can let me borrow, then let me know. 

SIX episodes!  You barely need a single DVD!  It's so foreign to me (literally), I've got around eighty episodes in four season of Battlestar Galactica across a dozen or so CDs on my shelf, and I could have used more!  But, then again, it's clear to me who has the best stuff on their TVs in general. So... there ya' go.

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