BBC Is a Breath of Fresh Air – from Masterpiece Theater to Downton Abbey

Last night, I discovered the BBC series River on Netflix, and I am reminded once again that BBC is a Breath of Fresh Air.

In a Jerry Maguire moment, I was hooked at one of the earliest scenes–after River’s partner is murdered and yet, she begins to re-emerge. The first time this happens, the murdered partner sings the Disco Hit I Love to Love but My Baby Loves to Dance.

Something about this moment says much about the series River–a program that is not at all your average cop show and not at all another Jane Austen knockoff. River is its own animal, and I love it–just the way that it is.

While Downton Abbey allows us a glimpse into the lives of 19th Century England’s aristocracy, River is a glimpse into the seedier side of more current British life. For example, River’s slain partner’s wake is held in a tavern. When the inebriated mother grabs the microphone and begins to sing to the coffin, we know that we are not at a British estate and we are also not at the shire. Yet, in its pithy realness, the tavern wake is great. It is just BBC-great!

It seems that all of my favorite television programs originated in Britain, and the feel of BBC has begun to hit the Big Screen, too. I cannot quite put my finger on what is unique about British entertainment. Perhaps good theater has always been British. After all, it was in England that Shakespeare raised the bar. I guess that the flair for good drama didn’t make it across the ocean. American television seems to be challenged to catch up with the Brits.

©Jacki Kellum April 17, 2016

Episode 1 & Episode 6 – I Love to Love

Episode 2 – I’m in the Mood






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