Remember the television show House? You know, the medical program where every episode, the protagonist — the brilliant but irascible Dr. Gregory House — would misdiagnose a patient 10 or 15 times, before figuring out that he/she had some obscure disease. The misdiagnoses would often result in blood coming out of the eyes or ears of a patient who was undergoing an MRI scan, making every single patient now who gets an MRI concerned about exploding body parts. I know this because I have gotten about 78 CT scans since the program went off the air. Every single time I get a scan, I make a comment to the radiologist along the lines of I’m hoping Dr. House didn’t order this scan. Invariably, they smile through gritted teeth, all the while thinking, “Yep, funny guy. I’ve never heard that one before.”
The actor who portrayed Dr. House was Hugh Laurie. I will admit that he is one of my favorite British actors. Actually, he’s probably one of my favorite all-time actors, and I can’t exactly tell you why. Perhaps it’s because of Jeeves and Wooster, a British comedy based on stories by P.G. Wodehouse, in which Laurie plays the rich and dumb but likeable Bertie Wooster to Stephen Fry’s Jeeves, the butler who saves his butt every episode. Unfortunately, those DVDs are hard to get, but worth a watch if you ever can find them.
Anyhoo, what impressed me most about Hugh Laurie is that the character he played on House was American. In fact, I had no idea that the actor was British since I hadn’t yet seen the Jeeves and Wooster comedies. I told a friend of mine how much I liked House, and he broke the news that Laurie was British. He was only able to convince me by lending me his DVD Jeeves and Wooster series.
All this is to say that I am unfailingly impressed when British actors play American roles. I really should say I am impressed when British actors do impressive American accents, except I am hard to convince that we have an accent. I know intellectually that we do, but if I can hear it, well, butter my butt and call it a biscuit.
I used that phrase because I know that there is such a thing as a southern American accent, and a Minnesota/Wisconsin accent, and a Maine accent. I can tell when people are from the north side of Chicago and Texas. But doggone it, Coloradans don’t have an accent. Ha!
I encountered a new British mystery program on my Acorn streaming app. It’s called Above Suspicion. I was clicking around the app, and a face came up that looked familiar. I clicked on the program, which is a detective program based on books by author Lynda La Plante. The main character — Anna Travis — is portrayed by a woman who looked so darn familiar to me. I watched for a bit, but couldn’t get it. So I began to investigate, starting with Wikipedia. The actress’s name is Kelly Reilly. I looked up that name, and lo, and behold, she plays Beth Dutton — the daughter of John Dutton — on the television program Yellowstone! Who knew she was British?
Well, probably everyone but me. I am telling you, I am impressed as hell that these Brits can lose their accents and speak with no accent.
All I can say is Bob’s your uncle. (Look it up.)