As the missus and I were watching the season premiere of Supernanny last night, I got to thinking: I’m getting a little tired of supremely confident Britons attempting to help hapless Yanks make sense of their pathetic lives. On the ABC reality series, London-based childcare wiz Jo Frost helps parents mold their unruly spawn into little darlings, not unlike the way Gordon Ramsay helps woefully inept Americans get their restaurants in order on Hell’s Kitchen–Americans who fight with their loved ones, cry at the slightest emotional prodding, and seem barely capable of tying their shoes (or perhaps even fastening their shoes’ Velcro straps) while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
Then, over on the performance shows, there of course is the mandatory Ralph Nickleby-esque English taskmaster judge, whether it’s Piers Morgan on America’s Got Talent, Nigel Lythgoe on So You Think You Can Danceor, of course, Simon Cowell as he prepares to skewer the shockingly talentless on the Idol debut next week. (What sort of Bush Baby will Philadelphia offer up in the premiere?)
I’ve got nothing against the Brits. I love Nick Hornby, I wear an Arsenal football scarf when it’s cold, and I think Radiohead was exceedingly generous for selling its new record to me for a pound. I’m constantly impressed by the unflinching hospitality my English pals offer up, never once mentioning that nasty war a few centuries ago.
I’m just saying that the formula of the all-knowing Brit scolding the mouth-breathing American is getting a bit old on the tube. (And by "tube," I mean the TV–not the London Underground.)