Regular readers know that I am a huge movie fan. Actually, I like all kinds of entertainment including books, movies, music, theater, whatever.
I also have a real passion for BBC series. I am a fan of their Victorian dramas, the mysteries, the comedies, the romances and especially their ongoing rural series, like Monarch of the Glen, and Ballykissangel, which we are currently enjoying.
The writing is always involving, but what really engages me are the actors.
While watching Ballykissangel, I think I've finally discovered a huge part of the attraction.
In Hollywood, the "standard of beauty" has become so skewed, so standardized to an unreal benchmark that most signs of individuality and character have virtually been erased from faces. Then there are the bodies. The women are excessively thin with giant chests, their faces tight and overly made up. The men fare a bit better, but most are overly muscular from days spent at the gym. These folks bear no resemblance to the people I know, and their faces seem almost incapable of showing emotion.
But on British television, the faces still retain character. The people resemble real people. Their teeth may not be sparkling white, and their skin isn't flawless and their figures may be a bit thicker than what is (in America) considered stylish; however they shine with a force of personality that seems to have been lost in much of what passes for entertainment here in the US.
It's such a great journey to start a series like Ballykissangel or Bramwell. At first, the people all appear rather plain. That's not to say they aren't attractive, it's just that they seem to lack the "sparkle" that we are used to seeing on our televisions and silver screens. But as you get into these characters, something magical seems to happen. The faces that at first seem plain take on a beauty that comes from within. You see the true beauty of the human condition that goes well beyond the physical. You wonder how you could have ever failed to see their beauty, it is so intense.
On the other hand, I find that with so many American (make that Hollywood) actors that I first thought had beauty, it seems to fall by the wayside. In fact after a while, I have a difficult time telling them apart. After all their toning, makeup and "work" that they do to themselves, they seem to have shed so much of their individuality along the way.
Take a look at some of these British series or plays and you'll see what I mean.
That's it, off my soapbox for now.
Tomorrow will be ABC Wednesday the letter J!