I am British. I love being British for a lot of reasons; we do things like fish and chips, public sector health service and weirdly-trashy-but-still-posh reality TV shows really well. But there is one thing for sure that we do not have, that you Americans have and that we need to get IMMEDIATELY. It’s name is “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.”
You see, talk shows in Britain, or at least England (yes, for those of you who don’t know, the distinction is mega-important) are on once a week, usually at the weekend and follow a very similar format to each other. There’s a lot of laughing, some great guests and usually some awesome music to follow. But what we don’t have is lip-synching with Emma Stone, pictionary with Jennifer Aniston, Alan Rickman-offs with Benedict Cumberbatch or Hashtags that become world-wide trending topics within half an hour of being first tweeted. We don’t have incredible live bands that really look like mini-urban-epic orchestras. We don’t have Jimmy Fallon. This is a crying shame, not just because he’s adorable, but because he does entertaining better than any host I have ever watched. Ever.
What I love most about the whole format of the “Tonight Show” is that, from the beginning, the point was to put on a show, every night, that made you smile, chuckle, laugh like you’re being tickled all over, right before you went off to sleep. To let you shrug off a bad day or to make you smile one last time at the end of a fantastic one. Being entertained, getting a chance to make light of the ludicrousness (I really don’t know if I just made up a word there) of present political/social/economic times and having the opportunity to watch something the whole family will actually enjoy; these are not things that we should have the privilege of just once a week. Right now, my “Tonight Show” fix is provided by YouTube and frankly, it’s just not good enough any more.
If you want to sit together with your kids, parents, pets, favorite crocheted cushion (or is that… just a British thing?) and watch TV for an evening in Britain, you will most likely end up watching drama (new or old), soaps, reality TV, sitcom reruns or whatever movie you can find. We have an array of game shows, ranging from quite interesting (literally) to crazy funny. That’s great. But that’s not always what you want. In fact, for me at least, its not usually what I want. Nowadays you can get most of that and so much more from on-demand services. What I want and I like to think many would agree, is something topical, hilarious, with my favorite celebs; something refreshingly ingenious and creative, always looking to mix it up and at the same time really, really friendly. Sigh. I guess all I can say is may Jimmy Fallon long continue, and please please please, oh TV God, may some network on this side of the big blue pick up this brilliant show.
Zahabiya Abidali lives in London, has been writing ever since she had multicolored felt pens in which to do it and is mildly obsessed with tea and Vine. She’s currently on an adventure; follow it’s progress here: anadventureintyping.wordpress.com.