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April 26, 2007

Only in America

We haven't started watching many home grown TV shows here in Greece. We've found one cooking programme we enjoy - "Each Bite Delivers" - which we like for the cheery slightly wacky 50-something presenter, even though we don't really understand what is going on. Then there is Kydon TV's "Crete News And Life" in English, and a bit of news on Star or Mega, and that's about it.

For the rest, we either watch movies, or U.S. produced shows in English with Greek subtitles.

Now don't get me wrong, we are very grateful for our imported American TV programmes. There are usually two blocks of them on a Saturday and Sunday including Friends, and during the week Mak TV has The Simpsons and Seinfield on, highlighting the best type of TV that America produces.

20070415_homevideos We are getting really bugged though by "America's Funniest Home Videos" which follows them at 9pm most nights.

It isn't just the content, although that is pretty jaw-dropping.

At the end of each episode the studio audience vote for their favourite (or should that be favorite?) clip, which then goes through to an end-of-series finale to win $100,000. In the series we've just finished watching, the prize was taken by a clip of a four year old boy in his pants taking part in a muscle man competition.

Now, in the UK of course, this kind of behaviour wouldn't be rewarded with a $100,000 bounty, but by a visit from social services, and a hounding from the tabloids to the point of suicide for the parents exposing their children in their underwear to the nation as entertainment.

More than that, though, it is the theme tune that irritates us.

Surely a programme showing what a bunch of buffoons will do in front of a camcorder, could only in America be preceded by a nagging earworm of a patriotic anthem with stars'n'stripes graphics:

"You're red, white and blue.
It's the funny things you do.
America. America.
This is you"

Imagine that in the UK.

It's like 'Beadles About' being introduced with a theme tune evoking the spirit of the blitz, or 'All New You've Been Framed' starting with a jaunty number in praise of Her Maj.


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It reminds one of a kind of "Dunkirk Spirit" that we as British people demonstrated whilst enduring every episode of "Beadles About"

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