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Secret Agent Man

Are the Brits Taking Over American TV?

Are the Brits Taking Over American TV?
Photo Source: Pete McDonnell

“Listen, my children, and you shall hear/Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere.”

In 1775, an American silversmith named Paul Revere alerted the Colonial militia that British forces were on their way. There was no Twitter back then, so Paul had to ride his trusty steed from town to town, shouting, “The British are coming! The British are coming!” This early warning system allowed men like Samuel Adams and John Hancock to prepare for the looming invasion.

It is my belief that the British never forgave us for kicking them out of our brand-new country. Hell, they’re probably still upset that we threw all their tea in the harbor. This is why I believe another invasion has already begun, but it’s not a military assault. This time those damn Brits are being very crafty: They’re attacking us on the acting front.

Think about it. Almost every network show has an English actor in the cast. Jonny Lee Miller is hiding in plain sight using his real accent on CBS’ “Elementary,” but on shows such as “The Walking Dead” and “Homeland,” Andrew Lincoln and Damian Lewis are passing themselves off as Americans. I bet most of their fans aren’t even aware these infiltrators grew up on the wrong side of the Atlantic.

The same can be said about Australian actors such as Alex O’Loughlin (“Hawaii Five-0”) and Simon Baker (“The Mentalist”). I mean, let’s face it. Aussies are the working-class version of Brits, so they must be in on the invasion. It’s not like they have anything else to do.

Sadly, this attack hasn’t been limited to the small screen. These foreigners have also descended upon our motion picture industry. Just the other day, I was making a note of the last three film performances I’ve seen that were brilliant and worth remembering come Oscar season. Guess what? They were all British actors!

I’m talking about Jude Law in “Dom Hemingway” and Ralph Fiennes in “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Both men created memorable and unique characters that stayed with me long after I left the theater. Now answer me this: Why didn’t American actors play those parts? I’m sure Val Kilmer and Nicolas Cage were available.

I’m also talking about Tom Hardy and his dazzling work in a low-budget film called “Locke.” The British showoff gives a master class in acting by being the only performer that appears onscreen during the movie’s entire 90-minute running time. Where does he get off doing that when so many American rappers are looking to become movie stars?

Over the last decade, Hollywood has fallen in love with Brits and their Aussie counterparts. Why?  I think it’s because these people are the real deal. They believe in craft and technique. They take acting seriously. Can the same be said for us? Is Channing Tatum the best we have to offer?

American actors have become lazy. They don’t push themselves. Most of them have never even seen a Shakespeare play.

That’s why acting workshops make me feel so weak. I always end up watching a never-ending parade of mediocrity, secretly hoping that just one actor will make a choice that surprises me. But it never happens. 

So my path is clear. I must become a modern-day Paul Revere. I will jump on my trusty steed (Audi A7) and ride (drive) from town to town (L.A. to New York). I will warn every acting school and theater company about what’s happening right under our noses. I will become a patriot.

The British aren’t coming. They’re already here!  

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