Any sociologist wd say a good measure of the zeitgeist of a place, among other indicators, is of course to sample its dailies, tabloids, streets, and its favorite soaps (and now, reality shows).
During my 5 month long (till date) stay in England, I've gathered from the print und electronic media that the hot topics any given day are: global warming, anti-ageing, crusty politician shenanigans and Kate Moss. And not necessarily in that order.
The classic sitcoms like Are You Being Served and Keeping Up Appearances remain my faves...we got to see them way back when DD ruled, thanks to the BBC connection. I recently saw another oldie, Last of The Summer Wine...and loved it. :-)
I admit I'm totally hooked onto Deal or No Deal (good ole Noel) and Countdown.
But am yet to delve into two of its longest-running soaps, Coronation Street (46 apparently!) and Eastenders (21). I realize I might not get whos doing whom, whos having whose baby or whos breaking whose house by just tuning in one fine day.
I imagine, this would be the n+1 generation at play in the current instalment and their antecedents are zilch for a newbie like me. I could go online and ferret out the details, but I really don't care so much and I am not writing a paper on it anytime soon. Just an idle curiousity...
Also, I forget the essential truth behind a soap: the history doesn't matter. And it really wouldn't need a rocket scientist to figure out the details. Human drama has had the same key elements since the birth of story-telling.
Someday, though, before I leave, I shall sample. :-)