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Archive for September, 2010

As a kid, I loved watching British shows that came on after 9pm in India such as Yes Minister, Mind Your Language, etc. till American shows such as Friends, Seinfeld, Small Wonder, and Wonder Years took over. I loved Friends, but I like the dry tongue-in-cheek British humor much better than in-the-face American. I could never understand Seinfeld till I spent a few years in the US – back then it just seemed stupid that people laughed at obvious stuff.

I recently decided to start watching Brit shows online, and found my fav Mind Your Language on YouTube. It is a show about a British teacher and his class of international students who want to learn English. Barry Evans is very charming as the Brit teacher Mr. Brown. The class has one person from each country – India, Pakistan, Middle East, Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece, Africa, France, and China. Each character is very stereotypical but entertaining. And of course the matronly Miss Courtney who runs the school and epitomizes the “stiff upper-lip” British. I enjoyed watching the show again even after so many years.

It is unfortunate that even after being such a good and charming actor, Barry Evans lead a sad life. When he was born, he was left in a box outside children’s house and was brought up in orphanages. He acted in a few shows and was popular, but later on his boyish looks made it challenging to get roles depicting his real age. Apparently he was bisexual. Towards the end of his days, he was broke and worked as a cab driver. At the age of 53, he was found dead – the cause of his death is unknown. An 18 year old kid was arrested because he stole Barry’s car and a few credit cards. But Barry had an overdose of alcohol, and a bottle of pills was found near him although he did not take any pills. The kid was later set free.

I felt very sad reading about his life. It is so sad that untalented women like the Kardashians and Hiltons become popular and  mint money just because of their silly useless reality shows. While really talented actors and actresses have to struggle for years. Same thing for designers – “celebrities” like Lauren Conrad who come up with their own clothing line do well, and take the place of really talented designers who would do better with such opportunities. Why is our culture so celebrity-driven rather than talent-driven? I just feel so bad for all these talented people.

I wish I could learn more about Barry Evans’ life. He has faded into oblivion…

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I watched the first few seasons of America’s Next Top Model before Tyra became obnoxious and her Vaseline incident. I found it a tad entertaining, and Elise from season 1 was my favorite. Over time, the seasons became insane with loser girls who had nothing common with a model, and Tyra became a raving lunatic. ANTM is by far the worst of all top model shows, and its only saving grace is the awesome international versions.

My favorite is Germany’s NTM. Heidi Klum hosts it, and the show is extremely long. She drags out the portion where the girls are told one by one whether they will stay or go. The girls are gorgeous, and I won’t be surprised if they get tons of international work. A sweet girl spends hours and hours translating the show and posts it on YouTube – you really have to admire the level of effort! My second favorite is Australia’s NTM. The girls are very young so there is some drama, but overall the show is very nice. In both shows the girls are treated like adults unlike Tyra who can stare her girls to death. The winner of the first season of AusNTM, Alice, is extremely gorgeous and has been on the runway for various top designer brands. I adore her! Both shows have real casting, real jobs, especially GNTM.

Canada’s NTM is not too bad. Jay Manual is the host and he does a decent job of it. The girls are not too bad either, but not model-like. I watched some parts of Britian’s NTM, but it is as bad as ANTM. The previous hostess was terrible to watch, and she kept channeling Tyra. Elle Macpherson is the new host, but I cannot watch the show because the girls are bad, and it feels as though the show is trying to hard to be like ANTM which is not a good one to imitate to begin with.

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