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Quality TV: BBC America

By Patrick Clark
On February 2, 2012

I never had cable when I was growing up. My mother thought the idea of spending hours in front of a black box

that fried my brain was despicable and ridiculous. So I spent the majority of my childhood playing outside, cutting

down trees and catching small reptiles. Saturday morning cartoons were my only real experience of television (and that was before my parents woke up). One can imagine that when I came to college and Xavier offered free access to

a slew of channels, I hardly knew what to do with myself. I immediately discovered a number of programs that I really

liked, but a whole lot I thought were simply junk. That being said, over time I have come to realize that the quality of television programming offered is, overall, lacking. However, exceptions exist in everything and, for television, the channel BBC America is that exception. BBC America is a subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Company out of the United Kingdom that broadcasts some of the best British programs in the states. Now, the reason I am putting this channel on a pedestal is based on two elements (neither of which are the current, or any prior, season of Dr. Who).

First, the news reporting is first rate. In comparison to some channels, I do not feel as though I am being driven mad with politically charged reporting or being shouted

at by some guru that is potentially being paid under the table by the NRA. (Yes Fox, I am talking to you). In contrast, I receive the facts of the story reported in a concise and meaningful manner with very little opinion or unnecessary commentary thrown in. I am happy news anchors have

opinions, but I really do not care what they are. I am capable of forming my own. On the entertainment side of

BBC America, Top Gear has my vote for the best show currently on television. Anywhere. The hilarity of the show is only matched by the actual information received. Episodes include various types of segments where the three hosts, Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, do things such as race cars against planes (both turbo-prop and jet engine), destroy caravans by lighting them on fire with the exhaust of a dragster, morph cars into boats (and

attempting to cross the English channel) and pushing the limits of the fastest, most powerful and expensive cars in existence. If you do not have BBC America, consider watching a segment on YouTube or borrow your best mate's Netflix password. It's bloody worth the effort. Don't be bogged down by bad TV. Though I may be in complete

support of BBC America, it might not be your thing. Despite that potential fact, I encourage you to branch out and away from your weekly episode of Jersey Shore or Desperate Housewives.

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