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If I ever judged the UK by what I saw on TV when I lived in the US

(490 Posts)
Tee2072 Tue 03-Sep-13 10:09:16

Everyone in the UK would either speak with a Cockney or RP accent.

They would all either live in an over crowded terrace or a huge country estate.

All the schools would be crap.

The populace would spend their entire lives in pubs.

Now, I never believed any of that, being a relatively smart human being.

So am I being unreasonable to wonder how come I'm constantly battling US TV stereotypes here on MN?

It's a thread about many many many threads.

farrowandbawl Tue 03-Sep-13 10:44:12

grin @ Chaos.

I'm actually going to miss it when she get's a new phone.

AFishWithoutABicycle Tue 03-Sep-13 10:46:28

Brits are all alkies
Americans are all light weights
Brits are stuck up
Americans are brash
Brits are machiavellian
Americans are perky
Brits all live in tiny terraces or castles
Americans are live in the ghetto or Beverly Hills

The media like to portray people in a certain way... It's never true in my experience.

Beastofburden Tue 03-Sep-13 11:25:40

Hmmmm... my sterotypes...

Americans are often very religious and they distrust atheists
They have a worse obesity problem than we do.... so far
They love their guns irrationally
They also love their cars irrationally and they dont walk anywhere
They are a bit hazy about foreign affairs because all they watch is Fox News which doesnt show anything like that
They dont resent success and they are interested in new people
They have extremely, weirdly, carrying voices- a mixture of volume and tone somehow
They have learnt to be extroverted and even the introverts feel they ought to whoop from time to time
They are better than we are at showing respect to traditionally disrespected groups such as the poor, serving staff and other races

Beastofburden Tue 03-Sep-13 11:31:14

I'll tell you my iconic US telly programme- Extreme makeover, home edition with Ty Pennington. A whole community comes together, rebuilds a house for a deserving family, often has a collection to pay off the mortgage too. Shows small town America coming together for community action and doing genuinely good and wonderful things for neighbours. Also shows how hard it can be to be poor in a land of medical bills.

And a lot of whooping.

But I always cry at the end. [embarrassed]

Tee2072 Tue 03-Sep-13 11:36:16

The part of that show they don't put on TV: the huge increase in property taxes, the jealous neighbours and the poor construction that falls apart in 3 months. grin

I always cry at the end of it as well.

dufflefluffle Tue 03-Sep-13 11:38:46

I worked in a hotel in Switzerland once during a french motorway strike - traffic diverted past us so we got a lot of different nationalities in. Usually bus tours so I don't know if that reflects a particular level of society. Anyhow, pretty much all of them conformed to their stereotype! To the extent that you could predict how they would react to things and what they would order, what they would have an issue with, etc. It was surprising to me.

tabulahrasa Tue 03-Sep-13 11:43:48

"It's TV, people. It's not real!"

It's not?...Brunch, that's real though eh? sad

RoastedCouchPotatoes Tue 03-Sep-13 11:43:53

YANBU. Although my country (not UK!) gets great stereotypes, so I'm happy smile

Tee2072 Tue 03-Sep-13 11:45:07

Brunch? As in something eaten between breakfast and lunch? It's not unreal.

TigerSwallowTail Tue 03-Sep-13 11:46:06

What is an RP accent?

My SIL and my friends wife are both American and are both very stereotypical, but yanbu as America is a big place and I know better than to base my attitudes towards Americans on just them.

tabulahrasa Tue 03-Sep-13 11:46:43

Brunch as in when people on tv go out for brunch - people really do that?

<is for some reason heavily invested in the idea of Brunch>

Tee2072 Tue 03-Sep-13 11:50:15

Yes. People go out to brunch.

Not all people. Not all the time. But it does happen.

RoastedCouchPotatoes Tue 03-Sep-13 11:52:32

I have brunch hmm

redlac Tue 03-Sep-13 11:54:13

ah yes MrsJay the great scottish stereotype of the drunken yob. I stopped watching EastEnders when they made Mo's horrible husband Trevor a Scot. How many scots have you heard of with the name Trevor??

I try not to stereotype american's but i do want to have an american teenage house party with people dancing holding red and blue cups! My teenage houseparties consisted of spewing drunkards swigging straight out of the bottles of buckie and tenants smile

tabulahrasa Tue 03-Sep-13 11:56:03

"Yes. People go out to brunch."

Yay grin

Just so it makes a bit more sense...I had a jokey argument with someone about brunch where they insisted they'd never heard of such a thing as going out for brunch and I was adamant it must exist because I'd seen it on tv - which I admit is poor evidence, lol, but I figured it wouldn't happen on tv so often if it didn't actually exist as a thing.

But no, I don't picture all Americans going out for brunch every day or anything.

God I have boring arguments. hmm

Buzzardbird Tue 03-Sep-13 11:56:22

RP Received Pronunciatin Tiger

We are very repetitive in the UK <chaos is anyway> grin

stopgap Tue 03-Sep-13 11:59:36

I've lived in NYC for ten years (so not real America ;)) and can say that some stereotypes are generally true.

Americans are usually friendlier than Brits, and on the whole far less snobby about backgrounds.

Americans--even high-earning ones--don't eat as well as Brits, and the ones that do tend to take it to be extremes and be raw foodists and such.

To those who say Americans are obsessed with cars, I'd say that the Brits are far more obsessed. You see a lot more older cars on American roads, and far less people living in three-bed semis scrimping to afford, say, an Audi TT.

Obesity is a problem here, but I think it's almost level-pegging with the UK.

Tee2072 Tue 03-Sep-13 12:02:05

It's a Sunday or maybe Mother's Day thing, tabulahrasa. I personally don't like it. I'm hungry when I wake up, I don't want to wait. Or if I eat breakfast then brunch, I don't want lunch and then I'm hungry long before dinner!


SilverApples Tue 03-Sep-13 12:04:57

We all do Brunch most days in this house, we are not morning people.
DS calls it Second Breakfast (LOTR) and OH calls it Elevenses.
DD and I say Brunch, but it's all the same really. smile

tabulahrasa Tue 03-Sep-13 12:10:04

To be fair, by the time I eat breakfast it's probably brunch...but I really want to go out for brunch, not just eat at that time and call it that, lol.

Lweji Tue 03-Sep-13 12:10:31

Anyhow, pretty much all of them conformed to their stereotype! To the extent that you could predict how they would react to things and what they would order, what they would have an issue with, etc. It was surprising to me.

Group behaviour is always easier to predict than individual behaviour.

Say you have a German group vs a German tourist. talk about stereotypes The individual German tourist may or may not leave his towel on the swimming pool to mark his place. But, in the German group most will (probably all, because who would want to be left out when every one else was reserving their chairs?).

HighJinx Tue 03-Sep-13 12:11:11

I think there is a certain snobbery among some Brits when talking about the USA. For example my mother would dismiss some things that she couldn't be arsed with didn't approve of as 'very American'. This would include things like baby showers and halloween.

JerseySpud Tue 03-Sep-13 12:12:06

Americans have no idea where Jersey is. If i say i live in Jersey i get asked which part of New Jersey...

Lweji Tue 03-Sep-13 12:17:14

Americans have no idea where most countries (continents?) are, let alone small islands.


ClementineKelandra Tue 03-Sep-13 12:17:14

One idea I have stuck in my head about the US is that if you don't haven't medical insurance they just don't treat you. I watch 'Sicko' and it made sad viewing.

how true is that that??

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