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Of Blackadder and ‘Allo ‘Allo

May 20, 2011

I’ve always loved sitcoms. I know sitcoms is short for situational comedy but I decided to look for the definition anyway out of curiosity. According to the British Comedy Guide (www.comedy.co.uk), sitcom means, “A humorous radio or television series featuring the reactions of a regular cast of characters to unusual situations, such as misunderstandings or embarrassing coincidences; a sitcom.”

I enjoy both American and British sitcoms, but more of the British variety. The only American sitcom I watch is “Seinfeld”. It chronicles the lives of Jerry, George, Kramer and Elaine. On a side note, they started with only the three guys (Jerry, George and Kramer). The series was deemed as a failure due to bad ratings. Then they included Elaine. The ratings improved and the rest, as they say, is history. I honestly believe that the inclusion of Elaine signalled a rebirth of Seinfeld. A sitcom with three guys talking and hanging out is not really interesting, isn’t it? Apart from good jokes, we guys need some eye candy as well. That’s just how we’re made.

Anyway, Seinfeld is dubbed as the show “about nothing”. After watching all nine seasons, I can vouch for the “nothingness” part. The guys and Elaine would just sit around and talk about literally, nothing. There’ll be arguments about nothing as well. For example, there’s this scene where Jerry sits with George at a diner. The conversation went on like this, “Where is the Netherlands? And what about Holland?”, something like that. I like pointless stuff like that. No thinking involved. Just straightforward hilarity. Maybe Seinfeld is not for everybody but it’s way better than Friends in my view. No offence to Friends’ fans, but Seinfeld is definitely way better. But that’s just me.

Seinfeld’s just about the only American sitcom I enjoy to be honest and to a lesser extent, Frasier. I’ve tried 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother and the others but they just don’t cut it for me.  Currently Frasier is showing every night on FX HD on Astro (channel 726 if I’m not mistaken). Since I don’t have Astro byond in JB, I try to watch it whenever I’m in KL. But I would at times take out my collection of Seinfeld DVDs and watch them for hours on end. Never fails to crack me up.

Apart from Seinfeld, the sitcoms I enjoy most comes from Britain. Now, don’t get on about “mengagungkan penjajah” or anything like that. I love the sitcoms for pure entertainment value. For me the two best ones are “Blackadder” and “Allo ‘Allo”. Blackadder was the gem in which Rowan Atkinson played the title role before he became Mr. Bean. The writing is simply marvelous. Blackadder would talk metaphorically and always at extremes. It’s a definite recommendation from me. An interesting nugget of information – Hugh Laurie, the star of “House” (the medical series playing on AXN) stars in Blackadder as one of his cohorts. One season is set during the medieval times, the other during King George’s time and one more set during World War 1. In all, Rowan Atkinson stars as Edmund Blackadder. Hilarious. One of the lines which reflects the brilliance of the writing of Blackadder:

Blackadder: “I know from long experience all my men have the artistic talent of a cluster of colour blind hedgehogs in a bag”.

Notice the comparison? Simply brilliant. Wouldn’t have thought of that in a million years.

The other British sitcom is ‘Allo ‘Allo. Set in France during the German invasion, it tells the story of Rene Artois, the French Resistance fighter masquerading as a pub owner. Everybody in the story was supposed to be talking in French (the show’s in English). There’s this British secret agent who disguises himself as a French police officer. Instead of saying “Good morning”, his French version would always sound like “Good moaning”. Again, hilarious. Then there’s Yvette and the others. Rene is this guy who is irresistable to all womenfolk (kind of like every guy’s fantasy isn’t it?).

Come to think of it, there are other British sitcoms like Fawlty Towers and who can forget Mind Your Language, although I didn’t enjoy that half as much as I enjoyed Blackadder.

This is what I’m doing at the moment, blogging. If you’re at all interested to know, I didn’t get to watch Thor tonight. Didn’t feel like it. At least I didn’t have to watch a single Yuna commercial on terrestrial TV tonight. The made up American accent is quite irritating if I’m being honest. Oh, and my appointment with the Astro guy is tomorrow afternoon.

Well, another day dawns. Until then!


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