British Invasion

I would like to bring up something that amuses me to no end.  Okay, okay, I’m easily amused.  What can I say?  Anyway, the U.S. is on the cusp of celebrating the Fourth of July—a holiday that reaffirms the independence our forefathers fought valiantly to bestow to their future generations after escaping the clutches of British tyranny— yet we sure do seem to copy a lot of their stuff these days.

It seems like every show, movie, and game an American station airs is some knockoff of a British version. We copied the “…Got Talent” series. We re-vamped Being Human (even though ours sucked). We re-imagined Sherlock Holmes and Family Feud and Life on Mars and House of Cards and The Office. We even got The Weakest Link from them! Is American originality so far gone that we must import all the good ideas from England? Seems like it. Can’t say as I blame the producers really. It’s good stuff we’re talking about here. After all, they came up with Doctor Who. Which by the way has garnered a significant American fanbase (myself included).

When we do try to come up something on our own, something patriotic, what do we get? Jersey Shore. Teen Mom. Party Down South. And a host of Bigfoot hunting, river monster seeking, Honey Boo Boo inspired reality show detritus.  Okay, so maybe our thievery isn’t necessarily a bad thing after all. The last thing we need is yet another show about the nation’s pride in gluttony (10 pound stacks of pancakes and banana splits made with a full gallon of ice cream). The list goes on too. Check out all that we’ve “created” based on a British template.

It’s not just media either. We welcomed their music with open arms, which is great because it rocks. The Beatles, Dave Clark Five, The Animals…there’s even this thing called the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, a genre of music specifically targeting British metal bands that have influenced American ones. More examples, should you be interested, are here.

And what about the food? Brits get a lot of grief about their food, but I don’t buy into that negative hype. In reality we’ve stolen their fish & chips with gastronomical glee and taking in a daily tea is becoming more and more popular each day with those who want to be “hip.” Scones haven’t quite made their mark on this side of the Atlantic yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were all the rage after this kale fad fizzles out. And I for one would welcome it. I love scones.

I can’t help but find it funny that for a country that once rebelled passionately against being anything at all like England, we sure are doing a hell of a  lot to mimic them now.

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