Great Shows From the UK

I am an anglophile. There. I said it. And I absolutely love British TV and films. Recently, on Hulu Plus, I have discovered some great shows that I want to share with you. Amazingly, three of these shows star an actor called Darren Boyd who was completely new to me. And the fact that he is in three of the shows is a complete coincidence and one that I didn't even realize until I sat down to write this post. So that seems like a great place to start: Whites, Spy, and Rev.

Whites premiered in England in September of 2010 and unfortunately had a run of only six episodes. The series follows Roland White (Alan Davies), an executive chef that works in a posh hotel. We watch as he and his sous chef, Bib (Darren Boyd) get into all manner of hilarious situations while trying to run a kitchen. White is quite enamored with himself and can be seen getting haircuts in his office while just outside, in the kitchen,  the flames and tempers are boiling. Some of my favorite episodes concern transporting sperm from the kitchen to a fertility clinic during a car show and poisoning one of the famous guests who then bokes all over the dining room. Even though it's only 6 episodes, it is worth watching.

The second show is Spy. At this point, I have only seen two episodes as they are released every Tuesday on Hulu Plus. Darren Boyd stars as Tim Elliot, a single father with a very precocious 9 year old son and an ex-wife who is dating the headmaster at his son's school. He is working at a low-paying sales job at a computer store and seems to have absolutely no ambition. But he is continually demeaned by his son regarding these facts, so he decides to quit his job and look for better work. He is sent by an agency to what he thinks will be an interview for a civil service job. But due to a variety of misunderstandings, he ends up becoming an agent with MI-6. He is also sworn to secrecy so that even though he now has an exciting career that would impress his son, he cannot tell him about it. As you can imagine, hilarity ensues.

The third show is also a new one with only two episodes on Hulu Plus as yet. It's called Rev. and concerns an Anglican vicar in a shabby, inner city church. Tom Hollander plays Adam Smallbone and Olivia Colman plays his wife, Alex. The congregation is small but full of interesting characters including Nigel, a layman who works in the church office with Reverend Smallbone, Colin who is an alcoholic with his heart in the right place, and Adoha who is known throughout the clergy for her ability to climax during a stirring sermon. Reverend Smallbone is plagued by a lack of money and a lack of interest in his church. He is regularly quizzed by his superior regarding these issues while riding in the back of a hired car. After the conversations, he is summarily dropped off on random corners of London and has to find his own way home. Enter Darren played by Darren Boyd. He is a charismatic, evangelical preacher with a huge, young following. He proceeds to rent out the shabby church and puts on quite a show. Reverend Smallwood is caught between an obvious moneymaker for his church and a preacher that rubs him the wrong way. I can't wait to see how this show turns out.

Another great little gem is Mongrels, also on Hulu Plus. This series involved five animals who hang around in the back of a pub. They are played by puppets. The characters are a fox named Nelson who is quite eloquent, an Afghan hound named Destiny who is promiscuous and bitchy, a cat named Marion who is a bit slow, a pigeon named Kali who sits above the rest and can be counted on for humorous commentary, and finally Vince, Nelson's brother, who is a homocidal maniac that curses at least once in every sentence. Even though this show involves puppets, I can assure you that it is for adults only. The themes involve cannabilism, underage loves, incontinence, and catnip overdoses to name a few. And each episode features a great musical number with dancing.

Another show I have enjoyed is Teachers which stars Andrew Lincoln in the first 3 seasons. You may remember him from Love, Actually. He is the guy in love with his best friend's new wife played by Keira Knightley. This show concerns a group of teachers in what we would call a public high school here in America. Lincoln's character has a very laid-back approach to teaching and is constantly at odds with his colleague, Jenny. He also secretly has a crush on her. I have only seen about 3 episodes. It was fair, but not my favorite.

So join up with Hulu (or Hulu Plus) and check these shows out. They are Hulu Exclusives. I hope you enjoyed these reviews and remember, you've just been buzzed!