Saturday, February 04, 2017

Finding refuge in "Antiques Roadshow" (B.E.)

Some find refuge during troublesome times in the Buddha; I'm finding it these days in "Antiques Roadshow," the British edition. 

There's something very soothing about the British although, of course, they have difficulties of their own --- secessionist impulses in Scotland, that late unpleasantness involving the European Union.

But still, Fiona Bruce and her merry band, day-tripping from the lawn of one stately home to another, are doing the trick for me.

I think fondly of the British parliamentary system of government, too, which makes it so much easier to dispose of a prime minister than it is to unseat a president. The Trump impeachment process no doubt will be prolonged and unpleasant.

The U.S. version of Roadshow is entertaining, but as in many other areas, the WGBH Boston-produced variety is a clone of its British mother, which premiered during 1979 and now is in its 39th season (Roadshow U.S. didn't come along until 1997).

The British have superior settings for their programming, too --- the lawns of stately homes and regional landmarks; rarely vast auditoriums as in America.

Valuations are given in pounds sterling, but conversion into the dollar equivalent isn't much of a challenge. I like the fact many segments focus on artifacts that have interesting stories behind them rather than great monetary value. And special editions can be outstanding --- a recent one devoted to survivors of the Holocaust, for example.

Anyhow, a vintage episode of British Roadshow is just the thing to calm the mind before sleep. One needs one's rest these days in order to face a new day in which America clod-hops its way around the world being ugly again.

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