Sunday, December 16, 2007

How Uncivilized

Because of the writer's strike, I have found myself channel-surfing a bit more than usual. I'm not much of a channel-surfer at all, that honor goes to my husband. I normally turn on the television when I plan on watching something, not just to see what is on that I could possibly watch.

Anyhoo, somehow it got onto Fox, and the show "House" was on. I have heard nothing but good things about it, however it never made it's way onto my weekly rotation. I don't have a DVR either, so House was just not on my radar. I watched it for a couple of minutes, and I remembered that the star, Hugh Laurie, is British.

I listened to him speak, and for the life of me, could not detect an accent. To be sure, he speaks a bit harshly, but that could be just his character, since I'm not all that familiar with the show.

And then I thought about how many times I have watched British actors, never knowing they were British until I read it somewhere. I am then floored that they have an English accent and are able to speak American so flawlessly. One of the actors on Battlestar Galactica comes to mind. Yet, even though I am obviously not British, I can always tell the American actors with their extremely fake British accents.

I don't know if it's that the American actors just don't care enough to really learn the accent correctly, or if they figure everyone knows they're American, so why put pressure on themselves to sound properly British? In some movies, the accent changes throughout the film, or they lose it entirely. Brad Pitt, I'm talkin' to you!

No wonder the British don't like us.

Come to think of it, nobody really likes us anymore, do they?

16 comments:

Awesome Mom said...

Who is the British BSG actor you were referring to? Inquiring minds want to know and I am too lazy to go digging.

Family Adventure said...

We like you. We're just intimidated by your size and power every now and then.

Heidi (taking it upon myself to speak for all of Norway :))

PS: Love House. You must add it to your weekly program.

Suzanne said...

If it makes you feel any better, not all British actors can pull off an American accent. Emma Thompson, for all her prodigious talent, had a very inconsistent American accent in Primary Colors.

My prize for the worst attempt at an English accent goes to Kevin Costner in Robin Hood. It's as if he gave up midway through and became the midwestern prince of thieves.

Anvilcloud said...

Maybe they just get more training? However, in one miniseries, I heard a Brit trying to do a Canadian accent, and he was pretty bad. In fairness, though, who would practise a Canadian accent or learn it in school?

Anonymous said...

You're right. Brits can mimick us to perfection, but we blow at being anything other than our own self-involved selves. Which is why no one likes us anymore. Can't say as I blame them.

A. Beaverhausen

Beenzzz said...

Sad, huh? I must agree with you on the Brad Pitt thing. Of course, he has the IQ of a blueberry.

Py Korry said...

I thought that James Marsters (who played Spike in Buffy the Vampire Slayer) did a pretty good Brit accent. Also, Gwyneth does and pretty good one as well.

Their accents do drop from time to time, but you're right about many Brits doing pitch perfect American accents -- and yes, Jamie Bamber is excellent in BSG. :-)

Sunshine said...

Cary Elwes actually does a spot on British accent. I give him props for delivering the goods.

My fav Brit playing American would have to be Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara.

Liz said...

I don't know if you watch Brothers and Sisters, but the one brother, who's character name escapes me but plays a gay lawyer, in reality has a thick Scottish (I believe) accent. Ever since I saw him on an interview, I keep trying to hear some of his accent come through on the show. It never does. The girl who plays Sarah has a British accent too.

gmcountrymama said...

I watched House for over a year before I caught Hugh Laurie as guest host on Saturday Night Live and I couldn't believe he had a British accent!

Scout said...

Hugh Laurie is my secret crush. Well, it's not a secret now, is it?

I haven't missed a House episode since the beginning.

www.boogiemum.com said...

House is one of my favorite shows. I, too, was surprised to find out that Hugh Laurie was British. He pulls the American accent off flawlessly.

Liz said...

It was bugging me so I looked it up. The lawyer character on Brothers and Sisters is named Kevin and he's actually from Wales, not Scotland.

Patois said...

Have not managed to watch TV for a number of years. (Damn kids!) But whenever I've been able to see House, I've watched. I'm now so addicted we're renting seasons at a time and watching two episodes a night. I'm in love with Hugh. Well, after Bruce, of course. Oh, and I better mention my husband.

Margaret said...

I've always marveled at british singers that don't sound british.

karla said...

I have always wondered the same thing, Gina. When I heard that (dreamboat) Hugh Laurie was British, I was all, STOP IT!, but then I heard him speak outside of House, and I was floored.

I never realized that Canadians have accents, until I met an American who pegged me for Canadian by the way I spoke. Weird, eh? ;-)