I’m not an easy sell when it comes T.V. I have a short attention span that leaves me unable to stand commercials without wandering away and losing the thread of the program. At the same time, if I’m going to watch television in the evening it has to be pretty mellow (or at least not disturbing) or I’ll end up hyped up and won’t be able to get to sleep. There’s only so much Doctor Who out there so I generally either watch Paul playing PS3 games while reading or watch PBS.
Recently, Paul turned me on to a great British show that has the perfect blend of mellow and interesting. It’s Time Team, produced by Channel 4. Time Team’s premise is an archeological dig, generally done somewhere in the UK. It’s hosted by Tony Robinson (who I remember best from Black Adder). Part of what makes Time Team such good television is the archeological team has only three days to dig the site.
What makes the show work for me? There’s very little at stake on a global level, but the people involved, whether local archeological buffs or the team themselves, care passionately about both the dig itself and history / archeology in general. Tony Robinson is both an enthusiast and experienced at making good television. The team is made of characters who are engaging without being parodies. The locations are generally beautiful and interesting. And I’m still always impressed and dazzled at the specialists ability to tell a bit of Roman pottery from a shard of modern flower pot.
Look for it.