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So You Think You Know British TV?

Visual aid to the talk delivered at SerialCon 2017 in Kraków. I reserve the right to be identified as the author of this compilation, but not the subjects it refers to. All rights go to respective owners and creators. Made for educational purposes.

Anna Belcar

on 6 May 2017

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Transcript of So You Think You Know British TV?

Alternative comedy of the 1980s
The Comic Strip Presents
Five Go Mad...
The Beat Generation
Bad News Tour, More BN
Dirty Movie
A Fistful of Travellers' Cheques
The Bullshitters
Mr Jolly Lives Next Door
Four Men in...
Rik Mayall
Kevin Turvey
Rik & Ade Edmondson
The New Statesman
The Young Ones
Dangerous Brothers
Filthy, Rich & Catflap
French & Saunders
Absolutely Fabulous
Chris Morris
On the Hour/The Day Today
Brass Eye
Nathan Barley
Blue Jam/Jam
Four Lions
Armando Iannucci
Steve Coogan
Alan Partridge
Coogan's Run
The Trip
Channel 4
Father Ted
The IT Crowd
Black Books
Garth Marenghi's Darkplace
Netflix, HBO GO
Graham Linehan
Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg & Jessica Hynes
Matt Berry, Richard Ayoade & Matthew Holness, Alice Lowe
Green Wing
Peep Show
The Office
The Mighty Boosh
The Thick of It
Nighty Night
Marion & Geoff
Short Poppies
Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy
2010 and up
A Touch of Cloth
Chewing Gum
Amazon Prime Video
Human Remains
So You Think You Know British TV? One Fan's Guide
To British Cult TV Comedy And Its Creators
by Anna Belcar

Thanks for clicking through!
Clearly, what I am suggesting here is a development of what might be termed '
comedy verite
', in which the visual characteristics of verite have been adopted by sitcom for comedic purposes. However, comedy verite is more than a definition of style.
It also indicates a use of television comedy to interrogate the processes and representations of media forms, in a manner similar to the aggressively involved characteristics of cinema verite.

(...) by using the characteristics of other genres, and removing those traditionally associated with sitcom, the pleasure offered requires at least a working knowledge of other television forms.

Comedy verite, then, is comedy for audiences raised on television formats.
Brett Mills; Comedy verite: contemporary sitcom form. Screen 2004; 45 (1): 63-78. Oxford University Press
Comedy verite
Click through to my whole Prezi on Alan Partridge
Searching titles on https://www.comedy.co.uk is recommended. Or, you know, Google.
Go to the popular Google-owned public video service.
Check out Couchtripper's resource.
Search your VOD services (
I flagged only the things that are available in Poland, the situation's could be a lot better anywhere else.
Other ways I can't mention.
If you love a thing and/or have cash to flog, buy DVDs on Ebay, often for no more than 5 quid.
When you're converted or just wanna look up some pretty gifs, visit my tumblr: http://britishcomedyoverflowing.tumblr.com/
15 Storeys High
Toast of London
Fresh Meat
all available on Audible or to be caught repeated on BBC Radio 4 and 4 Extra
The Mighty Boosh
Cabin Pressure
Flight of the Conchords
The Mysterious Secrets of Uncle Bertie's Botanarium (New Zealand)
I, Regress
Snuff Box
AD/BC: A Rock Opera
That Mitchell
& Webb Sound
A Bit of Fry and Laurie
Big Train
Smack the Pony
That Mitchell
& Webb Look
Robert Webb & David Mitchell
Charlie Brooker's Screen Wipe
Doon Mackichan, Fiona Allen and Sally Phillips
Mark Heap, Simon Pegg, Kevin Eldon, Julia Davis and Amelia Bullmore
League of Gentlemen
Horrible Histories
Withnail and I
It is a film but it's a classic chunk of British comedy from the 1980s, and it's widely quoted and referenced.
Paul McGann & Richard E. Grant
Episodes most recommended
There are both films and series:
I prefer the series myself :)
Lots of Brooker's scathing humour
plus a crash course on British TV history.
Sketch/clip shows
Jeeves & Wooster
If you like Fry & Laurie's dynamic, or the very classic sparkling wit with a period drama flavour, check this adaptation of Wodehouse's books. A true comfort viewing :)
Yes, it's a kids' show, but it's genuinely funny and the cast get on like a house on fire. :)
Netflix on 12th May '17
How to go about finding the stuff
Julia Davis
Julian Barratt & Noel Fielding
Rob Brydon
Rich Fulcher & Matt Berry
If you like Black Books, watch Dylan Moran's stand-up shows. :)
Knowing Me, Knowing You
Blue Jam (+18)
Originally presented at SerialCon 2017, with later additions.
It's a resource to a live talk, but I could expand on the written form should you show interest in getting it.

Find me here:
Let's go.
Full transcript