My hotel in London only carried a few channels, so I couldn’t see much, but on the other hand, this gave me a more accurate picture of the typical TV viewing experience in England.
In general, the television seemed far more low-key than American television, just as English movies seem much smaller in scale than American ones. We’re a big, loud culture.
If you’ve ever seen the movie About A Boy, you may recall they watch the show Countdown every afternoon, but they don’t really show what the programme is like. Well, I watched it and I thought it was like a smarter & chattier Wheel of Fortune (here’s a clip). They had Deal Or No Deal, which looked like it was shot in somebody’s basement and featured no showgirls at all. I’m pretty sure they don’t do special Star Wars episodes (see clips of the British version on YouTube).
On ITV’s Houseguest, you compete by hosting a dinner party and one sleepover guest. This seems totally British. There’s a group of people and each person takes turn playing host for a dinner party. Then, you pick a name out and one of the group stays overnight as a guest, like you’re now running a Bed & Breakfast. Then everyone votes on how you did. Next up: a new British reality competition on who can best brew a cuppa tea!