Anyone who knows me more than superficially knows that I have deep abiding love for the UK. This started at a fairly young age. I enjoyed the Beatrix Potter stories, and gobbled up other classics of children's literature that hail from that fair isle. One of my first crushes was on Peter Pan albeit the animated Disney representation of him. And everything just snowballed from there. My favorite music, movies, books, television shows, and plays are filled with British works and/or actors. I even took a survey of British history from 1603 to present in college. It had a cumulative final by the way, all essay. I love the language, and all of the various dialects therein. I find myself wanting to use British English spellings. I love their slang, and turn of phrase. I love the concept of tea in the afternoon, and I love fried toast. I love their dry wit, and their ability to find the humor in sadness and dark situations. There is just something about the British Isles that captivates my imagination. The Celts! Boudica! Stonehenge! The Tower of London! White Cliffs of Dover!
I don't think you can chalk this passion up to DNA, because while England is heavily represented so are Ireland, Germany and the Netherlands. (If heritage held that much sway over me I would be constantly at war with myself). But really, the amount of quality creative output that comes from the UK is amazing. Think about it: Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, Roald Dahl, Agatha Christie, the Beatles, The Stones, The Who, The Cult, Noel Coward, Shakespeare, George Bernard Shaw, Michael Caine, Tim Curry, Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet, James Bond, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Peter Rabbit. All from the UK! Do you enjoy The Office? Based on a BBC show. Trading Spaces? Ditto. Weakest Link, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Big Brother? Ditto. Whose Line is it Anyway? Yep, British. Antiques Roadshow? Yep. Say what you will about his style but Andrew Lloyd Weber changed the face of musical theater. Monty Python is the benchmark of sketch comedy whatever anyone else says.
And ok, I realize that I've been using British and UK interchangeably, and I know that those of Scottish descent/birth take exception to this and my apologies. If it makes you feel better I did my reference pathfinder on Scotland during grad school. And an entire semester's work devoted to that fair country of the British Isles. I told you I have a passion! And I'm not even factoring in Australia, New Zealand or Canada at the moment.
Perhaps it's a size thing; it is much easier to produce crap for the public consumption in a big country like ours. Perhaps it's an age thing; the US is really just a spoiled teenager compared to the rest of the world. Perhaps it is just me. And what has prompted this outpouring of love you may wonder? BBC America. I switched to Directv last week and I am in hog heaven. I'm hooked on Robin Hood. I end up watching at least one show a night on that station. It's dangerous for me I tell you. I already slip into a British accent when feeling silly or sarcastic which is like every other sentence lately. Everyday it moves a bit closer to an obsession as opposed to merely a passion. I give my friends permission to smack me if I start writing colour or theatre or if I ever refer to diapers as nappies.