Features |  back to Issue 9

 Niffer lives in New Haven, Connecticut. She claims they invented pizza there, but we know better. E-mail her at: jsgelband@syr.edu .

    Greetings NIMBY! readers. After spending a hallowing four months in London recently, I now have acquired a taste and a knowledge of British culture and media that is completely exclusive to England. Contrary to popular belief, this posh young lifestyle does not dwell in crowded Leicester square nightclubs, nor the anti-trend Camden Market. Itís all a myth that London thrives in the hustle and bustle of postcard images, thatís there for the tourists. While cramped up in my moldy, unfurnished, urine-scented flat, I came to understand why the BBC, and television in general, is Londonís greatest asset. This newfound proverbial golden goose is so utterly insane that I cannot bear to keep it to myself. I have constructed a guide to the best of British television so that when you embark on travels of your own you will know where and how to spend your time.

5.  The Parliament Channel. All Parliament, all the time. You get the House of Lords and the House of Commons feuding and dueling like they did in the old days. Well, not exactly, but if there is anything more boring, it is actually going into the Houses like my Poly Sci class did. The TV show is neat, while learning about nail bombs and Kosovo and Neo-Gothic acoustics, the camera guy plays little pranks like often panning to the old guys sitting in the back, cocked over and asleep. More often than not these guys are drooling. The best part is that even the MPs making all of the great governmental decisions are bored to death with it, and all of this is real.

4. Beat The Crusher. This is a game show. A couple goes on and answers questions against another couple in Double Dare-esque fashion. Each couple bets their family car and if they get a question wrong their car moves up notches higher on a platform until there are no more notches and the auto succumbs to the fate of the crusher. When itís all squashed the couple can go home carrying their car under their arm. There is a blond girl, like a Jenny McCarthy or a Vanna White, on the show who wears very little clothing and Brendan adorned his walls with magazine prints of her, but her job was never clarified before the final episode. The show was cancelled, it seemed to be doing well so the reason remains a mystery, but then again the point of the show does too. If not for a desire to be on TV, the question still lingers as to why anyone would go on this show. We never figured out what there is to win.

3. The Westminster Guy. This was a TV short done in-between shows, and it ran frequently. It was like a Saturday Night live skit mixed with Candid Camera. One guy played bizarre pranks all around town. The reason that I liked this show was because he played a prank right under my friendsí apartment building ó he put out a bin next to the trash and recycling bins and painted on it ďDead Pets Only.Ē He threw some pets in there in front of pedestrians, it wasnít funny, but then he put a deer in and it wouldnít fit. Ha Ha. Hmm, I was the only one laughing then too.

2. Exotica Erotica. Yup, porn. Prime time and no need for cable, this weekday evening event showcased some of the best that Americans just canít get. Aliens, orgies, murder, and of course camcorders and lousy acting. It was exciting and always enticing, picking out whatís real and whatís fake; it was a party every night for girls and guys alike.

1. Britainís Bounciest Weather. By far the most absurd and weird moment on television. After a fix of this show you are left dumbfounded and wondering if what you have seen really happened or if it was a figment of your imagination; a feeling you must squelch and suppress because it is too politically incorrect and to question it aloud would expose your sick mentality. I had to see it a few times before I realized that my sick mentality was not to blame. Hereís the scenario: a midget pointing to different cities as he bounces on a trampoline telling the weather. Sometimes he dressed up like a witch or like he was on a safari.

Damn, I miss London already.