Sunday, January 6, 2013

Catching Up With Quelle (12)

Pillow Talk (1959) - My boss gave me a B&N gift card for the holidays and Carlos and I used it to have a date night at our local B&N store. We had some drinks at the cafe and had fun browsing through the DVD/Bluray section. I bought Pillow Talk (1959) on BluRay. It's a restored anniversary edition and what I liked about the package was that it came a BluRay, DVD and access to a digital download and also a fun 4-color booklet inside. The booklet is not removable so you can't lose it! I already had an old DVD of this but the quality was so poor that I am glad I made the upgrade. I played the BluRay on our HDTV and there was a noticeable improvement! But for some reason I couldn't watch the film all the way through. Something about it annoyed me. I think I need to distance myself from the film for a while so I don't fall out of love with it.

Have you ever fallen out of love with a classic movie? Have you upgraded one of your old DVDs to a restored DVD or BluRay?

Downton Abbey Rant - Downton Abbey's Season 3 premieres tonight in the States. However, the entire season has already aired in the UK and a DVD will be available with limited access fairly soon. Why is it that we in the United States, as rabid Downton Abbey fans as we are, cannot get access to the series when it airs in the UK? Why can't it be a simultaneous premiere on both sides of the pond?

I want to make the case to ITV in the UK to allow PBS's Masterpiece Series to air the episodes simultaneously for season 4. My first reason is to reduce piracy. I already know of a few American bloggers who have watched the full third series before it aired in the US and they did this by getting access to pirated copies. I didn't do this myself because I like PBS and would rather support them. Not that I'm above accessing pirated copies of shows, I had to do that with Mad Men when I didn't have cable (I'm both sorry and not sorry about that).

My other reason is that a lot of UK shows are supported heavily by American audiences. I would like to offer two case studies.

From what I have heard in the past, this show was marginally successful in the UK but a huge hit on PBS in the US. It was especially popular around Christmas time and I remember seeing lots of episodes on PBS during the holiday season. The series continued on primarily because US audiences wanted more. I wish I could quote a source on this and if I find it I will link or quote it here! We helped keep this show going! And while I adore the Vicar of Dibley, it's full of very odd references to UK culture that we just don't get. In fact at one point, I started making a glossary of names and references so I could better understand the show! But audiences in the US still love it for it's quirky characters, funny jokes and overall charm.

I was watching a fundraising special on PBS some years ago (after the series had ended) and on the special were actress Moira Booker, she plays Judith, and Philip Bretherton, who plays Alistair. Both Booker and Bretherton said on the fundraising special that the support of American fans was one of the main reasons this series lasted so long. TV shows like these do not have very long lives in the UK and the longevity of this one was a result of the support of PBS and American audiences. I absolutely adore this show and my repeat viewings and the fact that I own EVERY SINGLE DVD IN THE SERIES is definitely part of that support. Both Booker and Bretherton had also mentioned that they came to the US with the other actors in the series for some public event and were wowed by how much support there was here for the show and how much audiences here loved it.

Why do we love British shows so much? Because they are so well done, we are sick of all the reality crap and want something well-done and entertaining like Downton Abbey. Please do not punish us! Let us be a part of the experience by doing a simultaneous release for Downton Abbey Season 4!

Will you be watching Downton Abbey tonight? Have you already seen season 3? (NO SPOILERS PLEASE)

UPDATE: Thanks to Twitter I found out that the delay in Downton Abbey being aired in the U.S. was a decision made by PBS and not by ITV or by any rights issues. I think that decision on PBS' part is stupid and I hope they'll reconsider in the future.


  1. I grew up watching British television on PBS and VoD and As Time Goes By are two of my favourites! Thanks so much for featuring them! Like you, if it came to watching PBS or getting my hands on a pirated version of a TV show, I'd definitely opt for supporting PBS - they've been a mainstay in my life and I respect their programming :D

  2. I'm sorry to say, that the Vicar of Dibley has always been hugely popular here in the UK, but it's good to know that it's also well received the US too, I'd always considered it a very 'English' comedy that wouldn't translate well, nice to be proved wrong sometimes.


Leave me a comment! If it is a long one, make sure you save a draft of it elsewhere just in case Google gobbles it up and spits it out.

Popular Posts

 Twitter   Instagram   Facebook