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Cultural Drama Or Living Hell In The English Way?


Are you Angliophallic? Angliophilic? Angliophobic?

Either way, Oregon can’t get enough British TV.

America absorbs the English way fast.

Cast Thomas Cromwell and Thomas Moore in Downton Abbey and wait for the cheers.

King Arthur’s Round Table on Doc Martin? Who would blink an eye?

As long as there’s an English accent involved it’s all good.

Why? Any statement made in an English accent automatically makes it believable. More believable. Most believable.

Here this and you get ready to change cars: “Are you ready to step up in class? Turn your tired Mercedes in for a sharp Hyundai and you’ve made the right choice.”

I’m an expert on English accents. I hear one every day. And I’ve been to England.

But there’s more.My mother in law (MIL) grew up in the town of Street, County Devon, England.

She was a British Navy Wren, a signaler in WWII, who carries her homeland in her voice.

Even fifty years of living in LA didn’t wear it out.

She loves British television like a religion. Movies too.

We saw Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game. He’s the current golden boy.

He’s the king of this era the way Michael Caine and Colin Firth are kings.

Every British show has a Caine and a Firth, or actors impersonating them. Elvis didn’t start the King impersonations.

If Michael Caine has a new movie, we put it on the schedule as a ‘must see.’

Michael Caine delivers the English way for my MIL the same way Colin Firth delivers for my wife.

A movie with both actors? There is such a show and we saw it. I expected the guys to give their patented English anguish with pained expressions and clipped language.

A nice drawing room drama with two of the most celebrated English actors in the history of acting?

A story about round English pegs in a too square world?

Or a blood thirsty tale of hyper violence committed by gangsters, gentlemen, and the most lethal woman this side of Kill Bill I and II?

As the stabbing and shooting, slicing and dicing escalated I glanced over at my MIL.

Did she read a review? Is this the right movie?

She looked fine.

Mild spoiler alert: Samuel L. Jackson plays his part with a pronounced lisp.

He says to an Englishman, “You know, we speak the same language but somehow I can’t understand you.”

Maybe that’s our tribal fascination with England? We don’t understand what they’re saying either and makes us feel stupid. Yet we keep tuning in to feel smart.

Listening to fast pace English in a regional accent isn’t much different from hearing face paced Spanish.

Both make you want to learn the language. It’s why Rosetta Stones sell so well.

It’s like the feeling I had watching The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies.

I didn’t know the first thing about the Five Armies but felt like I should. Baby boomers grew up with The Hobbit.

In a way my ignorance of the Five Armies was permission to watch the spectacle of the freakish armies clash.

The violence was horrific, but not as bad as KINGSMAN: THE SECRET SERVICE.

Michael Caine and Colin Firth were more than hobbits and trolls. They were Kingsmen, the best of the best dedicating their lives to the English way.

America has nothing to compare with their elevated social status combined with cold blooded murder.

I kept waiting for Harry Potter to jump out. Harry Potter a Kingsman?

Such a lovely fit.

Before casting Kingsman II, the producers need to talk to my MIL and wife to make sure they get it right.

About David Gillaspie
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