We’ve been here a little over a month now, and there are quite a few American things that keep popping up. I see them in their media, I hear them referenced in person. I can’t escape from them. Some of them may surprise you.
(Note: Please don’t scold me for generalizing. These are things I have noticed, and no, I don’t expect that every Brit or even most of them actually like these things. But “Surprising American Things That Maybe A Few English Love” doesn’t have quite the same ring.)
This isn’t really that surprising, is it? Ten years of one of the most popular shows to ever appear on the telly… Every now and then I’ll watch it and it makes me laugh – Could Chandler BE any funnier? – but overall, not one of my favorites. But when we moved here, and especially after we got our cable hooked up, we realized that you can find Friends on at just about any time slot of the day on at least one channel. So apparently there’s a draw for it if it’s on t.v. round the clock, and we saw this evidenced when having our furniture delivered. Have you seen this episode?
Our mover quoted this while trying to get our box spring up the stairs. “PIVOT!!! … Have you seen that episode of Friends?”
There you have it… a Friends reference on its own Keep Calm poster. (But then again, what doesn’t have its own Keep Calm poster now?)
I think the appeal might be in the here-with-my-mates-gathering-in-a-public-or-intimate-location theme that is very similar to the English pub experience. Cheers, Frasier, Big Bang Theory, and How I Met Your Mother are also on television all the time over here, probably for very similar reasons.
2. The A-TEAM
Surprising, right? Now, I haven’t even seen the actual show on t.v. since we’ve been here, but the references are everywhere! First of all, there’s a British company that uses the theme song on their adverts, so we hear it often. Secondly, it is referred to quite often in dialogue on other t.v. shows. In the last week on various shows, I can count at least 3 A-Team allusions. (Which reminds me of a Mr. T reference in Friends, actually.)
Then, of course, there’s this classic British reference to the A-Team in Spaced. 🙂
3. OUR 90’s/00’s BOY BANDS
Now, I personally have no problems with this. As someone who freely admits to having her bedroom basically wallpapered with Backstreet Boys and Hanson posters in the junior high, it’s quite fun to see those familiar faces and hear those memory-filled melodies.
But what I think is funny is that I’ve seen/heard American pop and boy bands far more times than I have seen/heard European bands like 5ive, B*Witched or even the Spice Girls, who were all just as big in their time, probably more so over here.
I’ll have to write another post someday about what American music we’ve heard here and take a crack at any logic behind it (it’s not quite the stuff you want your country to be known for). These guys would definitely be on that list though. In the limited errand running I’ve done here, I’ve heard Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, Hanson and 98 degrees (and lots and lots of ABBA.) And yesterday I found an hour and a half special on t.v. of the top 20 Backstreet Boys and N*Sync music videos (and heck yes, I watched it… while unpacking and cleaning, of course).
There was one other thing I had in my head when I started this blog, but alas, it is gone from my mind. I might think of it again and tag it on here if I’m at my computer. A few other American things we’ve noticed here are TK Maxx (not a typo… they changed the TJ to TK), Burger King and KFC (they’re everywhere though, right?), and, per the trend, terrible reality television. The main reality shows representing the U.S. are, I’m sad to say, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Lizard Lick Towing, and Billy the Exterminator. Although, don’t worry, we aren’t being represented by Snookie or J-Wow, but that’s just because they have their own version called Geordie Shore.
The more you know… 🙂 Have a great day!