Cultural Differences

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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby EvilJekyll » Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:17 pm

Zombie Protestor wrote:This is probably the best place to put this, but after years of hearing the hype about it, I saw that Doctor Who is available on Netflix and decided to try the first episode.
Oh, it definitely gets better. The first say, 5 are pretty campy, but in an endearing way.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby sum yun gai » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:13 pm

fanelian wrote:This makes me smirk whenever I see an American talking about a "war on Christmas" or some such, because of the use of that phrase. In my mind "Happy Holidays" is just another way to wish for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, you know, for variety.


i was just thinking the other day how obama should have tried to pass the healthcare bill during christmas time. that way the selfish people of dubious character of the US would not be able to say things like "why should i have to help someone who can't afford health insurance" without a poopcakes-ton of people smacking them upside the head with a lot of talk about how it's the season to care and all that jazz...
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby ntw3001 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 11:34 pm

jvcc wrote:He's been on QI and hosted Never Mind the Buzzcocks, too. And he does Eurovision, right? I'm mainly interested because he did that terrible interview with David Bowie which I can't find on the internet.


He used to host Eurovision. Now Graham Norton does that. Oh, and nobody watches it any more. Coincidence? Probably. Who could dislike Graham Norton?
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby jvcc » Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:01 am

I didn't dislike him, and then the BBC assumed nobody could ever possibly dislike him and that he should host everything. I mean, he hosts a decent talk/chat show, sure. I would rather watch him than Jonathan Ross, for instance.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby chrismachine » Sun Dec 18, 2011 12:37 pm

How do you find time to do other things with all of the British TV you watch?
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby jvcc » Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:48 pm

Not watching much American tv is a start. I like the have the tv shows on while I'm doing other things, like light homework or trying to fall asleep. Or in the morning while I'm putting my makeup on or fixing my hair. But if I go to Oxford over the summer as I am planning (the applications for the school trip aren't out yet, but according to one of my classmates if you're willing to pay they'll let you go) then it will all pay off.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby chrismachine » Sun Dec 18, 2011 3:32 pm

My guess is you will get there and find a bunch of people like yourself who don't watch much British TV. ;)

Good luck with getting the trip to happen though, that sounds super awesome.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby MysticalDescent » Mon Dec 19, 2011 7:15 am

Some various things:

Dr Who - yes it gets better. There are some good episodes in that series, but it's mostly a bit tame and straightforward. Anyway, it was just a gentle reintroduction to the series. Then they get David Tennant and it has an alright series then it goes through a terrible slump where every episode is a tedious drag then they take a haitus where they insist on only doing Christmas/Easter specials, then they give up on that, then they get rid of Catherine Tate to the sound of worldwide joy, then they get rid of David Tennant in an excessively drawn out way, then they get Matt Smith who seems to split people 50-50 (I like him as the Doctor, I know plenty of people who don't) and then Karen Gillan comes in and it's all pretty good. A new man ended up in charge, and all the episodes are suddenly better than before, with a bit more depth than the straightforward style of camp enemy appears, camp enemy is defeated after some deliberation, everyone goes home. Beware, that first series contains what appears to be generally accepted (no, really, it is generally accepted) as the worst episode of all time. It's a monstrosity. There is lots of gratuitous 'we are BBC Wales, we will have everything set somewhere in Wales'. For example, the worst episode of all time opens with the cast eating in a then-present day cafe in Cardiff. To confirm, that's a future man who's been across all of space, a Time Lord and two humans who want to see aliens and stuff, eating in a grotty, pointless cafe in Cardiff.

It turns out that when Steven Moffatt cast Matt Smith as The Doctor and Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes, he was actually considering appointing them the other way around. I could see Cumberbatch as The Doctor, but could never see Smith playing Sherlock Holmes.

Terry Wogan - old man, used to be on the radio and do the Eurovision, but he doesn't do either any more. That's terrible grammar but it's early and I'm not fixing it. I've just looked at the clock, it's actually 11:15 AM, which isn't as early as I suggested. He presents Children in Need, I think, and every year there's some newspaper controversy about how much money he makes from it in wages.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby EvilJekyll » Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:07 pm

I always thought the general consensus of the people who don't like Smith as the doctor was that he wasn't really his own doctor, but more of a Tennant clone. I agree with this to some extent, as the two characters have some awfully similar qualities, but Smith does have a certain way of delivering his lines with a bit more genuinity than Tennant.

I also enjoyed most of the Torchwood series(es) though, despite some of them being a little over the top. The most recent one was a little harder to get into, but wound up paying off for the most part.

Do we need to make a Doctor Who thread now?
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby MysticalDescent » Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:01 pm

I was fed up with Tennant at the end. It was all tired and cliched. I do think Matt Smith is different to him, though, I'd never put him as being a clone.

What annoyed me with Torchwood was that it could have been better. Instead, they insisted on going down the route of 'this is like Doctor Who except it's for adults, which means that the entire plot must revolve around one of the cast becoming sexually intimate with whatever the alien in question is'. They also knocked the gratuitous Welshness all the way up to 11. I watched one series and then gave up on it. It didn't seem worth bothering. Oh, and the main character (Gwen Cooper? Played by Eve Miles?) just irritates me.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby jvcc » Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:31 pm

Christopher Eccleston was my favorite new series doctor because I think that he is the best actor. He brought darkness to the role, if that's not too cliche a thing to say; darkness that was intimated through his acting, not just the black leather jacket they put him in. Tenant was good but got on my nerves near the end, and what annoyed me most was the persona he created as "David Tenant". He became some sort of nerdy heart throb. I haven't seen Smith fall into that, which is good. Of the old doctors I don't know if I like Davison or Baker more. I watched Baker host Have I Got News for You and he seemed delightfully insane.

I can't see Matt Smith as Sherlock Holmes. I couldn't see Robert Downy Jr. as Sherlock Holmes either, and yet the movie screen has assaulted my eyes with it anyway. Cumberbatch could be a good Dr., but I kind of wish that they'd have an older one soon. It seems slightly on the nose to have only relatively young actors for the new series.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby James » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:12 pm

Benedict Cumberbatch is the poshest name in the world, and possibly the best one, too. That he's a pretty likeable actor is a bonus.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby jvcc » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:16 pm

It is a lovely name.

Speaking of posh, Giles Brandreth is another public figure/tv personality whom I'm finding it difficult to know what to think about.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby James » Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:45 pm

He's one of those people who are pretty much OK because they don't take themselves at all seriously. You've got to appreciate a bit of self-deprecation.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby MysticalDescent » Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:30 pm

When I read that Benedict Cumberbatch was going to be Sherlock and that it was going to be in a modern setting, I thought 'this man is going to be a tosser and the show a travesty'. It turned out that he isn't and it wasn't. It was way better than the film, which the more I've watched it appears to just be a generic action film in Victorian costumes.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby jvcc » Tue Dec 20, 2011 7:35 pm

MysticalDescent wrote:which the more I've watched it appears to just be a generic action film in Victorian costumes.

Yes. It upsets me greatly that so few people see that and praise it as a good adaptation.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby Nyperold » Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:46 pm

James wrote:Benedict Cumberbatch is the poshest name in the world...


Followed by "esquire the third", it would probably cause a poshness overload.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby jvcc » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:24 pm

Hey, how many Americans here use the word "shall" with any regularity? I looked up its grammatical function a while ago, and was surprised to find that it is now mostly considered to be part of British English.

To be fair, I may not use it as the average British person would, since I picked it up from my Victorian novels. Suffice it to say, I tend to use "shall" rather than "will" to emphasize the will of the speaker ("I shall return to this presently," etc.). In speech I do this without thinking about it, but when it comes time to write an essay (as I was doing moments ago) and I have the opportunity to reflect on my word choice, it seems overly formal.

Thoughts?
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby EsBe » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:42 pm

I use it regularly when writing in an instructive tone. As in "Let us assume..." and "We shall begin by...", that kind of tone. I typically only use it in speech when I'm delivering deadpan humor/sarcasm, though it's slipped out plenty of times when I've least expected it, which I have heard on good authority is what she said.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby ntw3001 » Sat Oct 13, 2012 7:07 am

jvcc wrote:To be fair, I may not use it as the average British person would


If you use it at all you're not using it as the average British person would, really. I don't think it's a commonly-used word on either side of the Atlantic nowadays, and it probably gets nominally lumped as 'British' because it seems formal.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby Low-Tech » Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:21 pm

Outside of certain "legalese" applications, (i.e. "The undersigned shall make payments in the total of... " or, "upon receipt of payment, the Commonwealth shall issue a building permit") I don't see that word used either.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby jvcc » Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:04 am

Aww man. Stupid evolution of language.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby chrismachine » Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:35 am

I picture you sounding hilarious sometimes.

Anyway I only ever use shall in relatively common expressions, usually in jest, like "shall I ... (ex. get that for you, open it*)", or "we shall see".



*Must be said using the voice of Whisper from that Bond movie.
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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby jvcc » Sat Dec 22, 2012 3:31 am

For the purposes of this observation, I'm going to consider late 50s/early 60s American culture and contemporary American culture to be two different cultures (in the way that two national cultures are distinct). I'm not one for idealizing the past, so it annoys me when I see comments below the YouTube clips from the 50s about how things were so much better back then ("Oh, she's lovely, but also modest--not like girls these days," etc., etc.). I have noticed, though, through watching the old game show What's My Line?, that things were certainly taken more slowly and calmly. Game shows these days certainly have a lot of time where nothing is happening, but these are moments that are attempting to build tension rather than moments of genuine repose. When some action is taking place in contemporary game shows everything has to be fast, fast, fast.

Now, from what I've read, the idea of the importance of using time management as a means of increasing productivity didn't start come about until just after the Regency period (as far as English-speaking Western culture is concerned, anyway; I can't speak for other countries or cultures). The idea of things needing to be done more quickly and more efficiently increased as technology advanced (you can see this in a lot of late Victorian and modernist novels which consider cities to be hectic, mechanical places and express fear about the industrialization of rural areas). I feel that we're in a similar age now.

So, I guess my question then is: what happened in the 50s and 60s? Am I inferring too much from one television show? Most of the people on that show did speak with the cultivated Transatlantic accent, so maybe it was only representing one aspect of American/British culture--specifically, an aristocratic or pseudo-aristocratic aspect. Maybe there were other aspects of 50s life in which speediness was considered paramount.

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Re: Cultural Differences

Postby sum yun gai » Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:36 pm

i would argue that sputnik (1957) accelerated the US desire to not be second place to the USSR. in 1960 when JFK took office, he pushed for much more funding for science programs around the country and a genuine desire to be better than everyone else began around that time period. but, i am no history buff, this is just my own interpretation of that time period.
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