What I've learned from watching British Television and Films

1. Chimney sweeps and barmaids have better manners and vocabulary than the average American (see: every Dickens production.)

2. Bastard children are the worst - I mean they get treated like crap - whether they're sent off to live with a pig farmer to avoid scandal or to an orphanage (see: Downton Abbey, Gosford Park.) Sometimes they murder their asshole fathers! (See: Gosford Park, every Poirot.)

3. Although aristocrats/gentry say it's "vulgar" to talk about money in polite company, it appears to be all they do talk about as everyone knows what everyone's annual income (for doing absolutely nothing) is. (See: every Jane Austen production.)

4. You must be "interesting" and tell people what your "accomplishments" are.

5. English gentry who consider themselves "poor" attend lavish balls, go on vacation for weeks on end in Bath, and have servants (see: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility.)

6. In America, most families would jump for joy to see their child land a marriage to a Solicitor(Lawyer), but to the English ruling class that's like one step above a grave-digger.

7. Wales and Scotland and Ireland are dark and cold and most people are mad and sad but don't talk about their feelings and get really drunk and murder people(not necessarily while drunk.) (See: Hinterland, Shetland, Quirke.)

8. It's hard being an extremely sexy woman breaking the glass ceiling who chain smokes long cigarettes and runs the police murder squad (see: Helen Mirren in Prime Suspect.)

9. The Royal family is dumb as a box of rocks.(See: Young Victoria, The Crown.)

10. Children go without seeing their parents - for like years.

11. Don't even think about lying to Hercule Poirot, his "little gray cells" will bust your ass in front of a group of your peers at your country house before you've finished your Sherry. (See: David Suchet in Agatha Christie's Poirot.)

12. Housekeepers are brilliant badasses always thinking steps ahead of everyone. They would have never let MI-5/MI-6 be infiltrated by the Russians. (See: Mrs.Hughes of Downton Abbey, Mrs.Wilson of Gosford Park.)

13. Always swap finger sandwiches or martinis with a friend you don't like very much before eating/drinking in case it is poisoned (See: Miss Marple and Agatha Christie's Poirot.)

14. A penniless gentleman never picks up a check and is always looking for a rich tradesman's daughter.

15. There are a lot of extremely poor white people in the UK (see: every Dickens adaptation, Call the Midwife.)

16. Even if you're a Lord in Cornwall, your house is a dump and you wear the same filthy clothes every day (see: Poldark.)

17. English aristocrats do not know how to dress themselves, comb their own hair, or put on jewelry. They are f**king helpless (see: The Crown, Young Victoria, Gosford Park, Downton Abbey.)

18. Upside - Alcohol is widely distributed and consumed daily.

19. Dame Judi Dench once won an Oscar for less than eight minutes of screen time(see: Shakespeare in Love.)

20. Men belong to private clubs where they discuss politics, drink countless scotches by a roaring fire, and consume large quantities of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding. How do I  join?

21. If you can't ride or shoot, you're gay.

22. If you murder someone, you will hang. If you steal a rabbit or a turkey from a rich person, you'll hang, too. They are very strict in England.

23. A barrage of insults and backhanded compliments might mean you are deeply loved (see: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.)

24. Vicars fuck - a lot - and also smoke and drink and listen to jazz(Sidney Bechet, specifically.) If you catch one of these Adonis's in short, tight swimming trunks by the local pond, convert to Anglicanism. (see: James Norton in Grantchester - immediately!)

25. The English hate the French and tend to confuse them with their one-time ally, the Belgians (see: Agatha Christie's Poirot.)

26. I would like to start referring to people by a letter only (see Q, M, etc. - see: James Bond)

27. The Nazi-loving Duke of Windsor was the absolute worst; fictional spy George Smiley was the absolute best. (see: The Crown; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy; Smiley's People.)

28. Bleak House is actually a lovely place.

29. Before Dame Maggie Smith was Professor McGonagall in the Harry Potter movies or Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey, she was a hot piece of English ass in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

30. Bill Nighy (nope, not the Science Guy!) is like the David Bowie of British intelligence. Watch The Worricker Trilogy and enjoy the slow burn of one cool cat. 

31. When my true love, Colin Firth, starred in a movie with Cameron Diaz, I hated him for a little while...but then I forgave him after he agreed to do Bridget Jones Baby. They couldn't have made it without him. Good chap. That's why I love you! And you're married to an Italian!

32. If you don't bawl when you hear W.H. Auden's poem read aloud during the funeral scene from Four Weddings and a Funeral, de-friend me.

33. I thought Kate Winslet had murdered Emma Thompson so I was happy to see she was alive in Bridget Jones Baby.(You saved the day again, Colin Firth!)

34. I think Daniel Day-Lewis and Anthony Hopkins are warlocks. How else do you explain their evil genius?

35. Piano Forte used to be huge.

36. Puddings are still huge.

37. "Priest Holes" are a thing, and not what you're thinking they are.

38. No Bond has ever worn a tuxedo as well as Daniel Craig, period. Or had six pack abs. Or tasted as delicious as a Spotted Dick (only a wild guess here! And, no - not that kind of dick!)

39. You want to go to public school in the UK. You still get beat up at UK public schools, but by like Earls and shit.

40. Winston Churchill saved the world as we know it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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