Friday, December 08, 2006


Being american is one of those "unconscious privileage" things. It doesn't mean you are better than anyone else but it does mean that until very recently you get the cool comics, the big movies and TV shows before anyone else. Hell, some of the best known american TV shows have never been shown in the UK at all (I have never seen Gilligan's Island), and the ones that did turn up did so often years after they were first broadcast in the States.

Before comics were confined to specialist shops you could find them at selected newsagents (that's news stands to americans), but you never even knew if you would get to see the same titles two months in a row.

It's all different now. UK comics shops get the same selection as the USA only a day later, and if TV isn't broadcast here fast enough, who cares? We can download it the day after it appears in the US and get it on DVD within six months. Movies can still take a few months to roll around, but the pressure is on to minimise the time lag - at least to get it out before the american DVD release.

Even so, there's a lot of stored up resentment there. So anytime we get to see something before you guys, be it the season finale of Babylon 5, the climactic battle between the Daleks and the Cybermen, or the final race of Oban Star Racers (I know who wins! I know who wins!), I can't resist the urge to rub your faces in it.

Nyah nyah!


Anonymous said...

This reminds me of the time when they showed the episodes of Teen Titans Season 4...somewhere else before showing them in America. I had to avoid the Internet, until I realized that I wouldn't be able to see a few eps. So I downloaded them.

Still, don't Americans get the better deal on video games?

And on an entirely unrelated note, did you buy Manhunter?

Cullen Waters said...

You're so mean! :)

Richard said...

I hear what you're saying. I grew up as an obsessive fan of British music and movies and especially British comedy well before there was cable television or anything called "BBC America" let alone websites to clue me in on the latest stuff happening across the pond. Occasionally I could get an NME or some random British magazine full of context-free references to bands and tv shows and comedians I'd never heard of before and could only wonder if these things would be glorious life-changing experiences or huge letdowns. "Who is this Alexei Sayle of whom the sages speak?" I might ask, or "Is Eddie Izzard truly the promised one who will bring balance to the Force?" The lack of comprehensive information made these things even more tantalizing and mysterious and appealing. So did the lack of anyone else knowing what I was talking about -- see Bush, Kate for a prime example.

So I know that while it may be easy for me to say you're missing absolutely nothing by never having seen Gilligan's Island, not being able to see it for yourself makes that feel hollow. So please, by all means, gloat away!