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Vanderpump (does) rule

Vanderpump Rules

I’ve been in a funk since the election and with the inauguration and this hot mess of the past week in the news, only one show cheers me up: Vanderpump Rules.

I discovered it on Hulu last fall and after a couple of episodes, I was hooked. Somehow the over-the-top antics of this twenty-something restaurant staff at Lisa Vanderpump’s Sur restaurant in West Hollywood was just what I needed. It’s soapy and silly and reality TV at its best when you just need a light mental break from the heaviness of life. It’s the visual equivalent of a sweet, bubbly, decidedly pink cocktail.

If you don’t know Lisa Vanderpump, she is the very British owner of three L.A. hot spots – Villa Blanca, Sur and Pump. She is grounded and funny and smart, despite her millions, a wonderfully accomplished restaurant head, a confidant and voice of reason with her young staff, and she is so delightedly British and likable.

This past weekend, I finally finished Season 4! If you haven’t watched it, give Vanderpump Rules a try!

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BBC’s subtitle blunder is hilarious

Picture it. Today. Inauguration Day for Donald Trump (boo….) and BBC delivers this peach of a blunder, airing subtitles to BBC children’s program “The Dumping Ground” over their live coverage of the inauguration.

TV map to Britain

TV map of Britain

Thank you, Tim Ritz, for creating a very detailed map for every fan of British TV! This is pretty genius! Click the map for a closer view.

What if Gordon Ramsay went nuts on “Masterchef Junior” kids?

What would happen if Gordon Ramsay treated the contestants on “Masterchef Junior” like contestants on “Hell’s Kitchen”?

Someone just put the two into a blender and, well, the results are quite magnificent. NSFW on account of the crazy bad language.

The Great British Bake Off

Great British Bake Off is Back

Have you seen The Great British Bake Off?

This is the first year that we’ve been watching it (you can find most episodes on YouTube without much delay) and I love it – love the challenges and the recipes and the Britishness of it all.

Where else can you see home bakers create things like this:

Lion bread

Gingerbread fire truck

And even this…

Black Forest Gateau gone wrong

Yes, it’s high drama and hot kitchens and creative handiwork. Check it out, if you like a good bake off!

Misconceptions about Newcastle Brown Ale

Have you seen the latest Newcastle Brown Ale advert “Misconceptions”?

i just saw it for the first time yesterday and was sure it was a goof — until I Googled it and discovered that it was a real ad. What say you? Yay or nay?

(And for the record, it’s been years since I have had Newcastle, but am thinking of trying it again … I, too, thought it was too bitter at the time).

Peter Kay’s Car Share

Peter Kay's Car Share

Peter Kay and Sian Foulkes star in “Car Share.”

I’ve just discovered the funniest British TV comedy that I’ve seen in ages – “Car Share.” I’ve binge watched it this past week and it’s been so hilarious with heart and the greatest soundtrack to boot!

The story centers on Peter Kay and Sian Gibson, who have been randomly assigned to ride share every day to and from their job at a supermarket. They chat. They listen to a fictional radio station of classic tunes called Forever FM. They bicker. Think “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” meets “The Office.” There’s great banter and a little will-they-won’t-they tension that makes for great watching.

And I’m not alone – the new show has become BBC iPlayer’s most successful series to premiere as a box-set.

You can find episodes on YouTube – all six of them. Yep, that’s sadly all there is, but it has a great and complete ending with room for a second season.

Here’s the trailer …

What the “Love Actually” cast looks like now

Colin Firth

How has Colin Firth fared since “Love Actually” was filmed in 2003? Read on…

We are only weeks away from Full-on Christmas Movie Season (hurray!) and so I bring you this glimpse at what the cast of “Love Actually” actually looks like now via Buzzfeed.

You know, Bill Nighy, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Keira Knightley and the list goes on… Take a gander!

John Lewis’ 2014 Christmas advert

Nothing says “Christmas is coming” quite like John Lewis’ annual Christmas advert.

Here’s this year’s present.

What do you think? Do you like #Montythepenguin? I’ll admit that I cried the first two times I watched it. (It’s definitely an improvement over last year’s bear advert, but not as good as the 2011 version)

Gracepoint vs. Broadchurch

Gracepoint

David Tennant and Anna Gunn star in “Gracepoint.”


Have you been watching Fox’s new show “Gracepoint”?

It’s the new 10-episode mystery, based on the successful BBC drama “Broadchurch.” Set in a Northern Californian fictional seaside town of Gracepoint, the mystery begins with the disappearance of a young boy. And I am positively hooked!

As I understand it, the first couple of episodes of “Gracepoint” and “Broadchurch” are identical from scene to scene, including main character Emmett Carver, played by Scottish actor of “Doctor Who” fame, David Tennant (although Tennant puts on a dubious and often criticized American accent in “Gracepoint”) but that is where the similarities end. I haven’t seen “Broadchurch” but I understand that the killer is different in “Gracepoint” and that they’ve taken the plot a different direction.
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