Friday 26 November 2010

Expats on TV?

What is it about Americans that make us fair game for jokes?  Is it "special relationship" between the US and UK that makes it funny rather than offensive to spread stereotypes about Americans?

I tuned into a new comedy show called The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret and was surprised to find the show is about an American salesman who moves to the UK to sell an American energy drink in the UK.  As you can imagine, it is full of jokes at the expense of the American character not understanding the "British way" of doing things, including him trying to make a reservation for dinner at a neighbourhood pub and making a dick out of himself when he shows up (in typical 1800's England garb) asking for his reserved table.

I tried (I really tried) to not be offended by this show and see the humour in it, but reinforcing the same stereotypes over and over again are not really funny or unique. I realize I am probably not the best audience for this show since the character's experiences (being an expat at least) are a bit too familiar, but if you are going to produce a show like this, I really suggest you come up with a few more "American characteristics" to exploit.

Here's an episode if you have a more forgiving sense of humour than me and want to check it out for yourself.  (you have to watch a bit of advertisement at the beginning)


  1. Is not just Americans. We're a culture where a lot of humoour is derived from taking the piss. It's built on stereotypes and rarely serious.

    You should see what gets said about the French...:D

    Anyway, I enjoy reading the blog.

  2. Probably for the better, but I could not see the episode. Was given this message instead...
    This video contains content from Channel 4, who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.