05 March 2012

Mom Gail Asks...

So I was a bit surprised when I read a comment from Beth’s mom, Gail, in last week’s post. Not that I was surprised at the content of the comment but rather that I sometimes forget who all knows about and reads this blog. Gail (or as I call her - ‘Mom Gail’- due to the semi-raising she did of me during the very angst ridden 16th year of my life (and with a smile on her face during it no less!)) is one of those incredibly kind, gives the shirt off of her back sort of person. She’s also a great listener and as the comment so shows, also can throw out a good curse and sarcastic remark when the need arises. Because of this, I decided to answer her questions posed in her comment for you…and for her obviously. I’ve also sent a couple Radio Times her way.

Sadly, if there is anything I know about with great detail, its television. Television had a great hand in raising me too. Not only can I count to 10 in Spanish in my sleep, know which this is not like the other, but thanks to Kirk Cameron in that fateful ‘Growing Pains’ episode, I know that cocaine is Bad Business. For the thousands upon thousands of hours of television watching I’ve done in my life time, I think those three things alone are well worth any potential brain damage I might have occurred along the way.

With that said, this post will probably bore anyone who claims to “never watch television” or my personal favorite, “doesn’t even own a television – just watches a few things on the internet” to tears. Those who never watch or don’t have access to a BBC broadcast like BBC America won’t probably be that interested either. No worries. This one is for Mom Gail and for that couch I probably ruined sleeping on it night after night.

Mom Gail Asks….What The Fuck Happened to DR WHO? On BBC America I watched the WHO marathon in FALL and thought it lead to the new season,,,,But Noooo WTF

This is a tough one to respond to because I don’t know how far in the season Mom Gail has watched. Is she on the Matt Smith ones yet? I will assume that she watched the latest season that was broadcast last summer. That’s the thing with many British series. They will have 8-12 episodes in their season then that’s it for the year. Dr. Who, which is a popular show, has gotten a Christmas Special every year since 2005. The Christmas Specials are a tad longer than “regular” episodes with a Christmas theme. Some years they have thrown in an Easter special as well. From the official Dr. Who website, it doesn’t look like they’ll be having another “special” episode before the official season starts again this spring\summer. Basically, if you’ve seen “The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe” then you are up to date and I know no more than you do.

On a side note, my all time favorite Dr. Who Christmas Special was “the Runaway Bride” with Tennant as the Doctor and Donna Noble as his sidekick. The bit where the Doctor is waiting for the ATM machine just gets me in stitches…because I SO DO THAT. Well, the annoyed face anyhow. I wish I could get the ATM to spit out free money. (Note: This episode was cut short for the BBC America version to fit in the commercials and the ATM scene was completely cut out.)

"What are you deleting my best scenes for America?"

Mom Gail Asks…Is Graham Norton Big in Liverpool? I think he's a hoot.

I wouldn’t necessarily say Graham Norton is big out here but he certainly pops up in a lot of places…or at least it seems like he does. I haven’t really heard any negative press about him either so I’m assuming he’s pretty well received. The only thing I know of for sure is that his talk show used to be shown on BBC 4 – a channel that is known for taking risks on shows that might not do well with the general public but are usually the most funny and entertaining – and in the last year or so, the show was moved to the more mainstream BBC 1. You might have noticed a slight change in the format with this move. There are usually more guests on now and far less audience participation. I really miss the old format. The only reason why I started watching in the first place (I’m not a big fan of talk shows) was because the audience really got to be involved with the show and the guests. Now, not so much. Andy and I almost threw in the towel in regards to watching the show altogether with that horrible Madonna episode a few weeks back. Sadly, when we see “Graham Norton” recorded on the DVR, it’s no longer “Oh yay! A Graham Norton is recorded!” it’s more of a “there’s nothing else on – want to watch this week old Graham Norton episode?”

"I also do EuroVision, bitches."

Mom Gail Asks…What is the point of Top Gear or is that just shown is in USA?

I am so going to get in trouble for this one. And I want to clarify before I get into trouble; we will be discussing the UK version of “Top Gear” and not that Jell-O flavored remake with Muppets as the hosts “Top Gear” they tried to pull off in the States.

What is the point of ‘Top Gear’? Who knows? It’s an entertainment show about cars. Being a fan of cars though, I really enjoy ‘Top Gear’. Well, I should clarify again. The thing I like best about ‘Top Gear’ is not the Stig. I hate the Stig. I also hate the pointless reviews of super cars I will never in my lifetime be able to afford. I find the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car somewhat amusing. But what I absolutely LOVE about ‘Top Gear’ and the thing that keeps me watching week after week is the stupid challenges. It’s not so much seeing what shitty automobile can actually make it to the destination but more of how each of the hosts tries to fuck each other up with secret car modifications or awkward gifts that they are required to take with them. I still giggle when I think of Richard Hammond taking that 4 foot long replica model of a sailboat on a back of a little motorcycle in Vietnam with the broken mast flying in the wind. Basically, it’s the Top Gear Specials that I really truly enjoy and I would recommend watching them before completely dismissing ‘Top Gear’ altogether.

Oh, and the thing that will get me in trouble? I LIKE Jeremy Clarkson. There, I said it. He’s rude, obnoxious, a terrible dresser, completely unenvironmental, completely non-PC and pisses people off from time to time. I don’t know, he reminds me of my Dad.


Mom Gail Asks…I think An Idiot Abroad gives UK manhood a VERY bad look. It's kinda like our Paris Hilton shows with boobs. Oh wait, she doesn't have any.

You crack me up Mom Gail. Yes, I agree. Karl Pilkington does give UK manhood a very bad rap though I don’t think that’s the intention. I think part of the show’s humor is showing that some people in the UK don’t feel comfortable out of the UK…like Karl Pilkington. I think the show works outside of the UK because there are people everywhere that are like that. I know people in Wisconsin who the farthest they have traveled is to Illinois…once…in 1994. Their whole outlook is, “I’ve got everything here that I want, why go somewhere else?” As “Idiot Abroad” shows, it’s really quite humorous taking someone completely out of their comfort zone and forcing them to experience other cultures. Plus, I think it’s a reality check for those of us who romanticize travel destinations. I know that for myself the IDEA of trekking out to the jungle to see gorillas sounds awesome but as I’m watching Karl Pilkington complain about it the entire way, I realize that I would be complaining right along there with him walking for HOURS only to MAYBE see a gorilla that might just attack you. I think I’ll keep that one off the bucket list. Thanks Karl.

"Why did I have to come here?  I already have the picture."

Mom Gail Asks…Does Simon Cowell insult future stars or is he only in America now?

I haven’t seen hide nor hair of him since I left the States. I will cheerfully report that he must have fallen into a well and is currently being eaten by badgers.

Mom Gail Asks…So What is the Telly like after 8pm?

Good use in the word ‘telly’ there! I have sent you two complimentary copies of the Radio Times to answer that. You can use any British slang you might have roaming around in your noggin to do the crossword puzzle in the back. I’ve been here a year and without fail there is always one answer to a clue that was a Britishism that I had no idea about. Last week, it was “remould”. This means to “retread”, as in tires….or, since the Brits don’t think ‘Y’s are used enough, “tyres”.

Thanks Mom Gail for reading!


I have a gigantic chocolate Easter egg sitting on my table waiting to be sent to one lucky winner. Apparently my ploy for comments has failed…or the prize isn’t good enough. Free money if you comment! Free money if you comment! Free money if you comment! And by “money” I mean “lots of heartfelt thanks”.


  1. Ah - that explains the slight change in format of the Graham Norton shows . . . After my debate about whether it was worth paying $40 something a month extra to keep BBCAmerica and Graham Norton when Comcast changed its lineup, Comcast seems to have goofed, forgotten to remove BBCAmerica from our cable package - and I realized we actually haven't been watching it much anyway and wouldn't have missed it if it had gone . . .

    An Idiot Abroad? Hmm - haven't seen that one. I think it would either annoy the $%&* out of me, or I would find it hysterical. Maybe both at the same time?

  2. I wondered whether the humour of mr pilkington would raise a smile on the slap-stick loving folk across the pond. No one here thinks he is representative of most UK men. But his travel-phobic ways are hilarious nonetheless.

  3. Well, I've become a big fan of this blog in the last year. In fact, it's the only one I read. So I'll post here, now, that I think an Ooompa Loompa could probably conquer a poisonous tree frog, since the OLs are clever as hell and could figure out a rhyme that would make the tree frog poison itself. Terrific question, by the way!


  4. AA: I think I would miss BBC America if I didn't have it in the States. Though to be fair, you can find most things online nowadays so perhaps it isn't worth keeping. Speaking of which, find the first episode of An Idiot Abroad online and see if you like it. Give it at least 10 minutes. If you aren't humored at that point, don't bother to continue.

    VW: I think Idiot Abroad translates quite well. I've known Americans to pack toilet paper in their suitcases to foreign countries before too.

    Elaine: That's one hell of a compliment comment! Thanks for reading and you are in the official drawing for the egg. Good theory about the Oompa Loompas!

  5. Like Elaine, I have become a pretty big fan of your blog over the last 18 months. Aside from my own, this really is the only one I read as well.

    I must say that I am thoroughly disappointed to find out that parts of Doctor Who are getting cut in order to make room for commercials here in the U.S. How annoying is that?!

    In answer to your question, I think the Oompa Loompas would win because they're from the middle of a rain forest with plenty of weird roots and plants and they would just cure themselves if they get poisoned by the frogs. That is, unless the frogs turn out to be mutant zombie frogs and then they just win no matter what.

    I don't care if I'm too late for the chocolate contest. I just had fun answering your question and I wanted to let you know that I'm out here.

    Take care,
    --Stevie :)

  6. Stevie: Thanks also for reading! It really is a huge compliment to be the only blog read. And yes! You should be disappointed to know that your Dr. Who's are being cut short! I've found they tend to cut out little "funny bits" and things that they feel might not translate to an American audience. As always, you can usually find uncut versions of the episodes online if you do some digging. Or just move to the UK, whichever works out best for you.

  7. Ah - found lots of clips from An Idiot Abroad by googling it. It's hard to believe he's not taking the piss . . . quite entertaining in a bizarre way though. Thanks for the pointer!

  8. And now I've found it on the Science Channel - huh? Why the science channel? Last episode of the second series airing in 8 minutes :-) and I was going to go to sleep early tonight because the clocks change . . . Ah well!