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Thread: Good British serial/sitcoms/movies

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    Good British serial/sitcoms/movies

    For some reason, I understand spoken American English much better than spoken British English. While I have next to no problems watching American movies or serials (well, except when someone speaks with a broad South Carolina accent ), I find watching British movies rather stressful: it is harder for me to understand what is being said. So I decided to obtain some British serials or movies and watch them for practice. I would be happy to get some suggestions.

    My requirements are rather simple: it must be entertaining in some way, either funny or intriguing or full of suspense (like a crime story). Sci-fi is fine, too. As long as it is not dull, it is ok. Among the things that I do NOT like are chick-flicks and most soaps. A.L.F. is an example of an US sitcom that I rather enjoyed, especially the first season.

    Oh, and, of course, the cast must be mostly British. A British production about adventures of an American in Germany would be no good for my purpose

    So, guys and girls, what can you suggest?

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    Never seen it in English (though my German DVDs have the original soundtrack), but I enjoyed the series very very much.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/coupling/

    OK, I can only judge from the first 3 seasons out of 4. I haven't seen the last season because the actor playing my favourite character - Jeff - left the series between the 3rd and the 4th, so they cut the character completely. I just can't imagine the show still being that funny without him.

    P.S.: It may seem that "Coupling" would have something in common with "Sex and the City" - trust me, it does NOT. (Thank God, I can't stand the last one). It's sometimes compared to "Friends" (also not on my favourites list ), but I wouldn't sign this either.

    P.P.S.: That's funny, but I can't remember seeing a single British series on TV during my brief time in Wales. I remember zapping into "The weakest link" , some programmes in Welsh and many many US made series. And, of course, a daily programme about people finding useless (for me, at least) crap in their houses, selling it at auctions (not eBay, real auctions) for insane prices, other people buying that crap and being very happy about it.

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    Oh, now I see that you ask about movies, too.

    My favourite British movie with regard to various facettes of the English language is "Snatch" (and I don't mean the excessive use of the four letter words). If you don't know the movie it's quite impossible to follow it without subtitles, though.

    The "dags" <-> "dogs" bit (1:44 - 1:52) is one of my favourite scenes:
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=H9XQvJX6OiA&feature=related

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    Thanks for your suggestions, I'll look into them

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    I like Monty Python's Flying Circus and it is sometimes hard for me to understand what they are saying but I speak Americanese.


    Scott

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    The best British comedy ever is: Blackadder!

    I would recommend watching the series it in reverse order:
    Blackadder IV
    Blackadder III
    Blackadder II
    Blackadder I

    You'll be hooked!
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    Quote Originally Posted by kalinka_vinnie
    The best British comedy ever is: Blackadder!

    I would recommend watching the series it in reverse order:
    Blackadder IV
    Blackadder III
    Blackadder II
    Blackadder I

    You'll be hooked!
    Thanks, I'll try to find it.

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    It shouldn't be hard! Let me know what you think of it
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    Why the reverse order?

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    "Coupling" is a good suggestion, and it's only a few years old, so more modern than Monty Python's Flying Circus or Blackadder.

    "Father Ted" is also really funny, but it's set in Ireland, so with Irish accents. It's made by the British though.
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    Everybody is making good suggestions, but I could just add a couple of popular shows that have somehow not made the list: Red Dwarf and Absolutely Fabulous.

    My guess is that you would like 'Red Dwarf'.

    Monty Python is hilarious, but I'm not sure it would be ideal for your purposes. The only reason I say that is because much of the time they are doing false accents, or are playing women with screechy voices. It's funny, yes, but not natural. The humor might keep you watching, though, so there is that....

    "Life on Mars" is a really interesting series. If you like 'Lost', you would probably like it, I think.
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    Thanks for suggestions, everyone!

    Kot, you are right about MP being not right for my purposes . It is a bit too exaggerated. At least the serial, I haven't seen the much-hyped "Holy Grail", although I have been planning to for many years .

    OK, I am bit busy right now, but when I get some time I'll try and find everything you guys have suggested

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    Good British sit-coms

    Try "Shameless". I found a clip by finding bbc.co.uk and putting shameless into the search box.

    It is a hysterical tongue-in-cheek mick-take of working class Britain...... don't think this is how we really live!

    Also try "The Royle Family", another mick-take about family life.

    I don't know if this is the type of comedy you like but it's quite popular here. Full of irony.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TATY
    "Coupling" is a good suggestion, and it's only a few years old, so more modern than Monty Python's Flying Circus or Blackadder.
    I must confess that I haven't seen any MP material in English. Did the language change that much?

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    "The Full Monty", about some laid-off guys looking to make money
    I'm easily amused late at night...

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    I don't believe this ! A thread about British sitcoms and nobody has mentioned Fawlty Towers ?
    Granted, it's quite old, but it has aged well. (i.e. it's still very funny)

    Of course, as kalinka_vinnie pointed out, BlackAdder is the best British comedy. (I recommend watching them in order though). And obviously Red Dwarf is not to be missed !

    My top 3.

    1. BlackAdder (season 2 & 3 are the best)
    2. Red Dwarf (season 3,4,5 and 6 are the best)
    3. Fawlty Towers (If you can only watch one episode, make sure it's 'The Germans')

    One
    иещея вцч аиутніиб щітн д ндиdlе ои іт … іт медиs щояк !

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    Check the BBC site, you might find some short clips. BBC America has a few good shows.
    Absolutely Fabulous (Ab-Fab) was a good show
    Young Ones was demented.
    I'm easily amused late at night...

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    So, translations.nm.ru, which of our suggestions were hit, and which were miss?
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    Another reason to watch BlackAdder is that you'll pick up some great insults along the way

    e.g. "Your head is as empty as a eunuch's underpants"

    One

    P.S. @kalinka_vinnie. Why did you recommend watching the BA series in reverse order ?
    иещея вцч аиутніиб щітн д ндиdlе ои іт … іт медиs щояк !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Designation: One
    Another reason to watch BlackAdder is that you'll pick up some great insults along the way

    e.g. "Your head is as empty as a eunuch's underpants"

    One

    P.S. @kalinka_vinnie. Why did you recommend watching the BA series in reverse order ?
    I think BA 1 is only for the hardcore fans, because it isn't as funny as the later ones. So it is easier to get put off watching BA 1, missing all the glorious insults of the later BAs!

    "I want my mother."
    "Ah, yes Baldrick. A maternally crazed gorilla would come in handy at this very moment."
    Hei, rett norsken min og du er død.
    I am a notourriouse misspeller. Be easy on me.
    Пожалуйста! Исправляйте мои глупые ошибки (но оставьте умные)!
    Yo hablo español mejor que tú.
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