Five British Shows That Americans Should Watch

August 27, 2009 by  
Filed under - Home, Features

After nearly 250 unsuccessful years of attempting to reach teenagers with religion, it seems that America has opted for a sharp change in tactics.

By the time you read this, news of MTV’s last-ditch effort to make contact with the nation’s wayward youth will be unavoidable.

The TV channel that brought us the music video will be making a hillbilly version of the cult UK teen-show Skins – and if that doesn’t sort the kids out, then what will?

We’ve been swapping TV shows with our war-mongering buddies for years now, but it has come to our attention that there are a few other programmes urgently required across the water.

It’s for your own good America.

Freaky Eaters

According to Kent Brockman more than 34 million American adults are obese, and if taken together, that excess blubber could fill the Grand Canyon two-fifths of the way up. That might not sound impressive but keep in mind that it is a very big canyon.

Sadly for the population of the US, a nationwide knee-jerk reaction only sounds like physical exercise and actually burns no calories – which is a shame.


What we would really love is to see Steven Briers give these rotund red-necks an ear-bashing by explaining that the shovel belongs in the garden and not at the dinner table.

The World At War

In the average office there is one person whose career seems to be one long meeting. This individual wanders in with a cup of Costa, taps out a few e-mails and disappears muttering something about an ill child and the problems on the Northern line.


In the first half of the twentieth century, this was Uncle Sam’s role in the office that is international politics. Yet anyone who has watched a Hollywood war-flick could be forgiven for thinking that the US single-handedly defeated Adolf’s forces of darkness.

Examples are simply too numerous to mention, but instead of crowing about how “you would all be speaking German if it hadn’t been for us?, they should start listening to Laurence Olivier and learn some real history – that man never lies about facts.

Police Camera Action

The first thing that anyone watching this programme will notice is that – unlike in America – in Britain, criminals have rubbish cars. The chances of escaping from the piggies in a Volkswagen Polo are so slim that chavs are now opting to make their brief freedom bids on tiny BMX bikes.


Not so in the states where the lowliest crack-addict can afford a vehicle that would surely be more suitable for an assault on Baghdad.

We have vehicles that are big in Britain – we just call them lorries.

Russell Brand’s Ponderland

After the 2008 MTV awards, America developed the same love/hate relationship with Russell Brand that we have learned to cope with over the last few years – basically he loves himself and we hate him.


But that’s not to say that he should be underestimated as an educator of our gun-toting friends. The man acted like a herd of cattle set loose in a Hollywood china shop, and blew their tiny little candypop minds in glorious fashion.

He insulted the Jonas Brothers, made Britney Spears cry and then called George Bush a ‘retarded cowboy’.

America needs this man.


The best thing about the most boring soap on TV is that when you go away on holiday it takes about 30 seconds to catch up with the plot. In the US, soap fans can’t go to the toilet without someone dying, as the shows have a higher staff turnover than the average fast-food outlet.


But we at OTB understand that everyone has their own excitement threshold – that’s why we go bungee jumping at weekends while the chaps from Empire iron their socks.

What concerns us in the vast differences which can be drawn between these programmes and their viewers. At least the average Emmerdale fan has an outside chance of looking a bit like someone that might be on the show – especially after the appearance of Zak Dingle.

Surely tubby Americans would feel better about themselves if Dean Gaffney was on their telly everyday?

Sean Marland

If that makes you feel like you’re missing out on a truly great British institution, head over to our Soap Spoiler Galleries for all the latest gossip and goings on in Emmerdale, EastEnders and Coronation Street. Or for more embarrassing examples of reinvention FAIL (let’s face it – US Skins ain’t gonna be great) read our list of the TV Revamps That Fell Flat On Their Face!

NDV says:

I would love to see you delete this, it will show that speaking your mind can only be done in, what were the words, awaiting moderation……I wanted to add that I do find myself going to your websites watching your shows and I really like them, just as much as I like ours. Frankly American and British shows are about the same, just a different accents. I have no issues with you, if you have an issue with us, then I am sorry. We will survive. Please, just get over it.

NDV says:

Ok, so apparently you don’t like Americans. Let’s just get along shall we? I am sure that you have the same problems over “the pond”. You are not that different from us, it’s about time you stop acting like you are. Pot, meet kettle and get over it already.