Monday, May 10, 2010

"The Book Group"

I just stumbled across this TV show on hulu.com, it's a British comedy, originally aired on Channel 4 eight years ago. I'm glad I missed it then, so many bits of it just wouldn't have made sense.

I only even clicked on it because the thumbnail had a picture of an actress from "Green Wing", also available on hulu, an utterly bizarre comedy set in a hospital, which originally aired in 2004 and 2006.

The setup is an American in Glasgow who starts a book group, the American is played by Anne Dudek, who played a doctor applying to join the team in "House MD". Eight years ago neither actress was familiar to me, a show full of completely new faces is harder to get into (for me, at least), nor had I much experience of the US and had barely visited Scotland.

Eight years is more than a quarter of my life, it's two thirds of my adult life, but it's not long enough ago to make the show seem dated, it just makes me a different viewer.

It wasn't exactly a major plot element, but an ongoing thread about the drinking of tea tickled me no end, I could see if the other way around, Anne Dudek's character simply didn't know how to respond to putting the kettle on and drinking tea and I know that feeling, it's striking how different a social event is, or even a professional contact is when it doesn't begin with making tea of coffee together, it's not just the drinking of it, but the making of it, there's something about standing in the kitchen, waiting for the kettle to boil, it changes the whole dynamic.

It also gives a purpose to a social interaction, it's much less threatening to invite someone over for a cup of tea than over for a chat.

There appear to be two series of 6 episodes each, presumably twelve books, the first being "On the Road", by Jack Kerouac, which I haven't read, I've heard of it, but barely, it seems to make top 100 lists, whether they be of the twentieth century, or the English language in general. Whenever I see one of these lists, I seem to have read more than average, but started and not completed about as many as I actually have read and most of those before I ever saw such a list - so I didn't start them to "score points", though I'm not sure why I did, though why I failed to complete them is potentially an equally significant aspect of my personality. Apparently if you bear with the nonsense language of "A Clockwork Orange", it makes sense in the end, but after chapter one I gave up! So I suspect I could be a 0/12 on if I've read any of the books they are discussing.

Maybe it will inspire me to read more, to try one of the books they discuss, or then again, maybe not, I prefer to laugh than to read "seminal works", I even had to look up what seminal actually means, then laugh at myself for having spent 15+ years knowing what a seminal vesicle does, but not noticed that seminal and semen are derived from the same root - which explains why I'm not particularly hot when it comes to languages!

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