Monday, March 24, 2008


Watching American TV as a British Ex-pat can be a huge mind-fuck.

First of all, we have Harry Enfield. He was one of Britain’s top comedians for almost a decade, before falling by the wayside and moving to America to start a ‘second career’.

If you don’t know who he is, I’m not surprised. He was ‘Dr. Angus’ in last summer’s Burger King commercials and currently does the voice of the ‘Roaming Gnome’ for those Travelocity ads. I doubt that was the second career he was looking for.

The second one that surprised me was Hugh Laurie. Hugh Laurie has been a household name in Britain for almost twenty years. For 90% of that he was known for sketch comedy shows and playing numerous different roles that were all essentially the same upper-class snobby idiot.

Seeing the guy who played ultra-naïve, stupid officer in ‘Blackadder Goes Forth’ playing Dr. Gregory House is a bit strange to say the least.

However, the most recent total mind-fuck was when I finally caught an episode of ‘The Bionic Woman’. I was watching that show for half an hour with this nagging feeling at the back of my mind. I knew I’d seen the female lead somewhere before, but couldn’t work out where.

The American accent seemed genuine, so I doubted she was a Brit, but her face was just so goddamned familiar that it kept nagging away at me.

Then if finally struck me who she was, and I couldn’t believe it. In fact, I couldn’t believe it so much that I googled her to check. Then after getting the results from google, I googled her again to just make sure.

Nope, I wasn’t mistaken…The Bionic Woman is, indeed, Michelle Ryan…best known in England as Zoe Slater from Eastenders.

I know it might not seem that big a deal to my American readers, but when you know an actress only from her performance as a cockney teenager going around saying “Awight Gav’nah!” on a long running, gritty British soap…it’s just plain weird to see her talking in an American accent and kicking ass as the Bionic Woman.

All I can say is imagine going to England and seeing Gilbert Gottfried playing the Terminator…and playing it convincingly, and you’ll know where I’m coming from.


Saffyre said...

Yeah i'm with you on the Michelle Ryan thing. Although as I don't watch Eastenders it took me a bit longer to figure it out.

House is one of my favourite shows, but I see your point. Fry and Laurie was classic comedy and this is a million miles away from it.

Sunny said...

That's so odd....I was at work last night watching EASTENDERS on my lunch break and I saw Zoe and said- "Hey! It's the Bionic Woman!!"

I saw Hugh Laurie on The Actors Studio the other day and it seemd so odd to hear a British accent coming from him I bout fell over laughing!

Odd....very odd.