I’ve always harbored an increasing fascination with how, especially in America, celebrity gossip blogs rival the New York Times. If you think about it, entertainers stand on a platform level with that of politicians. Both entertainers and politicians receive some form of “celebrity treatment,” be it limousine escort service, security guards, admission to exclusive restaurants and clubs, or being stalked by paparazzi and press. (After living in Washington, D.C., for some time, I’ve often referred to D.C. as the Hollywood for politicians.) Both types carry great influence over their constituents, over their fans. Politicians affect policy; entertainers create art. Both foment change.
At work, we watched a show called Goodness Gracious, Me! It’s an old show from the 90s that aired on BBC – written, produced, and directed by a team of British-Indians.
I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants.
The writing is spot on, acting was awesome, and they were able to touch on pretty heavy issues like religion, intercultural dating, the generation gap, immigration, women’s rights, and even domestic violence in a lighthearted manner. It’s a variety show, too, so they interlaced comedy sketches with musical segments, etc.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been split in two (not literally, which would have made my adolescence that much MORE awkward for me). This is best illustrated by the fact that I had to double major in Spanish (School of Humanities) and International Studies (School of Social Sciences). Not just wanted to. Had to. While I learned about the human condition through literature, music, and film in my Spanish classes, I felt like it simply wouldn’t be enough to analyze what people have said or written. I had to learn about what people had done. What actions, what movements had inspired the literature that I had been reading, the films I’d been watching? Then, conversely, what of the art that I had studied had inspired action?
Even now, I am caught between 1) my desire to create and share music and 2) my sense of duty to stick with my track to attend law school. I call it the eternal, internal struggle between artist and attorney.
Now, you ask, “What does ANY of this have to do with a 90s British-Indian comedy show on BBC?”
Goodness Gracious, Me is a paragon example of the intersection between these two different sides of me. It is a form of entertainment AND social commentary. It’s heavy and light. Clever and silly. Real and fictional. A walking contradiction and proud of it. Just like me!
Until I figure things out (if I ever I should), I’ll have faith in shows like this as solid proof that reconciliation is possible.
(I wish I could have posted an entire episode, but the show goes for $80 per set on Amazon, so here is YouTube in lieu. Tell me what you guys think, and more importantly, re-blog and pass on the love and laughter!)