9 Feb 2012

Good Telly

I love reality TV, I'm a sucker for it. I especially like interesting and informative reality TV - something that hasn't really caught on in America (I'm not sure we can count Snooki's urinary tract infection story arc as a public service). However, in Britain, "edutainment" reality programs are far more popular and totally freaking amazing.

One of the inspirations for the 50s Housewife Experiment (and future experiments which I hope to share soon! I know I keep promising this stuff and not doing it ... but I swear, wheels are in motion! Motion!) was a delightful British reality show called The 1900 House, a program where a modern family moves into a Victorian home and lives the turn-of-the-century lifestyle. It is BANANAS GOOD and I was jealous that they had all the original, authentic stuff from the era to use in their social experiment. I, on the other hand, while doing the '50s thing, had to stare at my microwave and will myself with every bit of strength I had not to throw a pizza pop into it:

There have been similar spins of this program, like the Frontier HouseColonial House, Regency House Party, and Coal House At War - all of which are worth checking out and about a billion times more entertaining than any house featured on The Real World.

But as you can imagine, I was thrilled off my ass to discover another British reality show that took a similar approach to tackling eras, one week at a time, to see how the lifestyle impacted a modern couple. "The Supersizers Go ..." features the comedy duo of Sue Perkins and Giles Coren who live and, of great focus of the program - eat, like they did in different times in Britain. Each week they munch through a new era, including the '70s, the Edwardian age, and Medieval times (the period, not the hilarious castle and horse show-slash-restaurant). And .... the 1950s! Oh, it was good. Great. AMAZING. And I've just learned that these episodes are now appearing on The Cooking Channel in the States, and I must insist that you Americans with cable watch it. Like, right now. It's brilliant and will give you a taste of how good reality TV can be. The Situation and gang will never look lamer, something you probably didn't think was possible.

Because I'm so enthused, I've embedded the entire "The Supersizers Go ... Fifties" below for your viewing enjoyment. Let me know what you think of the show!


Vivianne 8:40 pm, February 09, 2012  

I LOVE the Supersizers Go... series! i don't know if it airs here in the US, but my husband and I watched it religiously while we were living in Australia.
I would also recommend looking up 'Life on the High Street', which takes shopkeeping families from the Victorian era through to the seventies as they run their shops on the high street according to period rules and conventions. The customers are still modern, and vote each week for the shopkeeper they think did the best job. It's fascinating to see how the products, services and methods of labor change over the periods, and how the customers and the shopkeepers respond to these changes.


Anonymous,  9:44 pm, February 09, 2012  

This is right up my alley! THANKS!!!

weenie_elise 9:45 pm, February 09, 2012  

Let's play "Whose lap am I sitting on?"!

I loved this series, but it always makes me sad that British series are so short

Anne 10:37 pm, February 09, 2012  

If I lived in England, I'm pretty sure I would never go outside. I mean, it's rainy, and they have fabulous TV, why would I leave my couch?!

Jess @ It's Jess! 8:49 am, February 10, 2012  

PBS did a couple more American-skewed versions of the 1900 House-type shows called Colonial House and Frontier House. I particularly like the Colonial House series (the families on the Frontier House series mostly just argued with each other.. which is still interesting, but detracted a little from historical aspect of the show).

I can't wait to check out The Supersizers Go series... thanks for the heads up!!

JacquiG 9:17 am, February 10, 2012  

I just love love love those British shows. You didn't mention the 1940s house, which was fabulous! Got the DVD of this show for Christmas a couple of years ago.

I've watched some of the Supersizers on YouTube at the library. With our internet at home we can't watch videos. I also checked out a few of the others you mentioned.

I wasn't particularly thrilled with the American versions of this type of show, Frontier House I didn't enjoy at all. But did you see the Canadian show Pioneer Quest? That was great.

I don't know what it is about British TV shows, but as a rule they are far better than anything produced over here. We watch a lot of British shows.

Lauren 11:26 am, February 10, 2012  

Love that show. I have '1940s House' and 'Coal House at War' on DVD. Thought you might also like 'Turn Back Time - The High Street', which is all about an English town's shops from 1870-1970 - each episode is another decade and they get real shop keepers in to work the period appropriate shops. Great TV! http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00v7p71

Danielle 7:57 pm, July 31, 2013  

Love it! Saw previews for this show on food network at my parents but alas we do not have cable-but we do have PBS, so will be on the look out. Watched the 1940's house before and really enjoyed it. Thought it ended too fast. I am sort of fascinated with the forties and fifties though the food seems gross and let's face it times are better now. I do love the fashion and family values though.

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