Published: Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 29, 2012 13:10
As I mentioned before, I love telling stories. More than just telling people stories, I love to be told stories. As such, I don’t really enjoy television and movies for the cinematography, or the acting, or the special effects, but the overall brilliance of the story behind everything else. With my ongoing search for entertainment, my gaze finally shifted away from the realm of American television to our brother across the sea, England.
When you talk of British television, I’ve noticed that most people I know can really only rifle off one or two big names. Usually the first is Monty Python’s Flying Circus. A bit over the top of the driest of humors that ended in the mid 70s, Monty Python is quintessential when discussing British humor. We’ll get to the second in a bit. If you peruse the halls of Netflix, you’ll find a slew of television shows that are a bit more recent and still fantastic to watch. Among these are Merlin, Sherlock and Being Human.
Being Human is a supernatural drama about a werewolf, a vampire and a ghost all living together. I know, it sounds like the start of a terrible joke, right? But in its simplicity, it manages to create a working drama about these three beings all trying to make their lives work together.
Merlin is an interesting fantasy with a different take on the Arthurian legends of old. Instead of Arthur being king and Merlin being the wise old wizard that he is in most retellings, he’s instead a teenager with just a smattering of an idea on how to control his innate magical talent while hiding it from Arthur’s father, who has forbade its use.
Sherlock is the British equivalent of American crime dramas. Based off the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s literary figure that would solve missions through being hyper-perceptive and with the help of his roommate and former army doctor John Watson, the two take the stories from the author and apply a few liberties to make the story work for the modern world. If this show has a downside, it’s that it only has two seasons and six episodes between the two of them.
However, all of these pale in comparison to the show that next year will be celebrating its 50th anniversary, a Sci-Fi for all ages, Doctor Who. Doctor Who is, to put it simply, about a time traveling alien that cruises through time and space in what appears to be a British police telephone box. Though it sometimes has some pretty terrible special effects, and a recurrence of alien villains that started as large pepper shakers with egg beaters and plungers, the show has nonetheless captured my undivided attention.
So while you’re waiting for the next season of How I Met Your Mother or CSI, take a look at one of these four and maybe you’ll find something worth your time.
Stanley is a senior majoring in computer science.