I love helping people procrastinate. One of my favorite activities. If you’re reading our blog, you’re most likely a writer (and even if you’re not, you’ll like this post), and you should be writing! BUTT IN CHAIR and all that.
…but if you want to procrastinate I AM HERE FOR YOU.
I bring you a list of my two favorite British comedies. They’re a great way to unwind after a long day and detox your brain from writing woes.
(1) The IT Crowd
The funniest show ever? Probably. I have made several (upwards of four) people watch this show, and to the person they have all loved it.
The show follows a tech-illiterate IT department manager and her two “employees” Roy and Moss. Slobby Roy and eccentric Moss are the reason to watch this show, hands down. Manager Jen has her funny moments, but she plays the straight man for the comedy.
Writing Takeaway: Character-driven dialogue. One of my favorite features of the show is how distinct each character’s voice is. Moss in particular. Moss is nerdy (beyond nerdy) but so proper and so British. Observe the following:
Moss: [dialing] 0115… no… 0118… no… 0118 999 – 3. Hello? Is this the emergency services? Then which country am I speaking to? Hello? Hello?
[pauses for thought]
Moss: I know…
[sits down in front of the computer]
Moss: Subject: Fire. “Dear Sir stroke Madam, I am writing to inform you of a fire which has broken out at the premises of…” no, that’s too formal.
Moss: “Dear Sir stroke Madam. Fire, exclamation mark. Fire, exclamation mark. Help me, exclamation mark. 123 Carrendon Road. Looking forward to hearing from you. All the best, Maurice Moss.”
Miranda is an oddball thirty-something woman who runs a joke shop with her best friend and tries to tolerate her mother’s matchmaking attempts. This show is hard to describe, or maybe it’s that it doesn’t sound all that funny. But the show comes alive on-screen with the performances, but more specifically the writing.
Writing Takeaway: Comedy is great at building and layering a joke in surprising and funny ways. The callback is one of my favorite comedic devices (think of the hand-eating seal in Arrested Development). Studying how this works is a great way to add comedy to any book.
I hope you enjoy procrastinating writing!
(But seriously. BUTT IN CHAIR HANDS ON KEYBOARD)