A Campaign Against British Actors Using American Accents

Super-Clyde Today I need to get something off my chest. Something that has been grating on my nerves for a while now, basically ever since Perks of Being a Wallflower came out.

The Brits have set a precedent. Their culture is filled with propriety and tea and King Charles Spaniels and Benedict Cumberbatch and we have come to know and love it. We will never be as classy as them, and we have come to accept that because we have Beyonce and Friday Night Lights.

But to be fair, they have the trump card: the accent. I mean I like my country and everything, but it's a proven fact that British accents are 800% more charming than American ones.

They are delightful. A British accent can make anything sound pleasant: cuss words, politics, traveling through time and space...even advertising. I had the joyful surprise of hearing a British voice on the end of my phone call to place an ad order for work the other day (he even called it an "advert" you guys), and I swear I felt the tension leave my shoulders. Could British accents have healing powers? That's a topic for another day.

There are varying brands of British accents, just like there are in the states (Southern, Midwestern, Northern). I don't know what the categories are in England, besides "Russell Brand style" and "everyone else," but I know British people can tell a difference.

In light of this, I have long championed Emma Watson's accent as the quintessential, perfect British accent. It's soothing, proper and delightful. Everything you want in an accent.

One sad day, after Harry Potter had come and gone (don't let me think about that too long), Emma decided to do a movie entitled Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Now, this movie was actually a pretty good movie, I do have to say. But the absolute worst part of it was that Emma Watson ABANDONED her perfect accent in lieu of an American one.

It is a travesty. A TRAVESTY, I tell you.

She did the same thing in the Bling Ring and I can't even watch the movie because the trailer made me so depressed. She talks like Paris Hilton and I can't. EVEN.

Yesterday I discovered online the pilot that CBS didn't pick up for Rupert Grint's TV show, Super Clyde. Did you know he was making an American show for network television? I sure didn't. But I was intrigued.

So I clicked on the link to CBS's website to watch the pilot. I knew there was a distinct possibility he could have made the same mistake as young Emma, but I prayed it wasn't true. Maybe he was a British foreign exchange student. Maybe it was set in England. Maybe his family just moved to the U.S. All viable options.

But no. HE ABANDONED HIS ACCENT TOO. The show actually wasn't terrible (from what I saw--I haven't finished it yet) and I probably would've watched it at least for a season just to support him, but it literally does not even sound like him. Neither did Emma's characters.

How is it possible that British voices immediately become unrecognizable upon speaking with an American accent? Is that true with all accents?

Rupert's wasn't even a great American accent, to be honest. I'm kind of AWARE he's pretending to be American. Like there's a word here or there that's just TOO Boston-y in a sea of generic American words or something. Like it's a hodgepodge of American accents that doesn't occur in nature. That's probably what they think when we do British accents.

But that's beside the point.

The point is THIS: Why on God's green earth would you CHOOSE to have an American accent instead of your perfectly charming British one? I mean sure it distances yourself from your Harry Potter past but, to quote Ann Perkins, God, at what cost?!

Are you not aware of the complete infatuation we have with your TV shows? If BBC gave Rupert Grint a TV show and he kept his accent and it was even a half-decent show, WE WOULD WATCH IT.

Emma. Rupert. What are you doing? You don't have to become someone you're not just to continue your success. Especially not become an American. We already have too many of those, anyway. We like you just the way you are.

I have also read recently that David Tennant is on board for an AMERICAN VERSION OF BROADCHURCH. Now, I have already gushed about that show extensively on Xtra Bacon and on Twitter, so you know how I feel about that show, and I can't tell you how appalled I am. They are already signed on for a second season of the British version, so this makes even less sense.

But the real cherry on top of this poop sundae of awfulness is that David is going to use an American accent. It was hard enough having to accept his real Scottish accent after watching him do a British one in Doctor Who, but at least he was staying true to his roots. Now I have to watch him be a less-charming AMERICAN?

Who is in charge of this?

British People: KEEP YOUR ACCENTS. We like it better and you will make more money. No need to stoop to our level with our working-class accents. Just be you. You're taking over everything anyway, you might as well do it while tricking us into thinking we're getting something out of it. Say anything with that accent and we will just nod and drool.

And if Benedict Cumberbatch stars in a new ABC drama with an American accent, SO HELP ME.

Who do you think has the perfect British accent? Are you ok with Brits doing American accents? 

Snap Judgement: Broadchurch

Warning: This post contains spoilers, but only from the pilot episode. So basically you're safe unless you just don't want to know what the show is about in any capacity.

In case you haven't yet figured it out, I'm a tiny bit obsessed with Doctor Who. There is a three-inch vinyl TARDIS sitting on my desk at home, and I definitely own a T-shirt that says "Bowties Are Cool." So, I guess I'm that person now.

And Doctor Who is a gateway British show.

Soon enough I'm testing the waters with Sherlock, which (spoiler alert) was also amazing in a totally different way (another show you should be putting on your Netflix queue immediately). I'm not sure really what to do now since new episodes don't reach us from across the pond until next year, even though they are totally putting them out in the UK in the fall. Totally unfair, if you ask me. AMERICANS ARE PEOPLE TOO, OKAY, BBC?

Then I find out that David Tennant is starring in a new TV show, and Arthur Darvill, who played Rory in Doctor Who, is also in it. WHAT. (A lot of Doctor Who actors show up in Sherlock, or even minor characters show up as major characters later. BBC is clearly not concerned with audience confusion on that. I'm not complaining.)

SIDEBAR: I just found out this show on ITV, which is NOT the same as BBC. Are not all UK shows on BBC? This is probably why they withhold things from us.

The show is called Broadchurch, and it's a crime drama featuring David Tennant as Detective Inspector Alec Hardy. The pilot starts us off with a mysterious death of a child in a town called Broadchurch, in which they found his body on a beach early in the morning.

DI Hardy comes in as the new guy with some possibly-questionable background (the "Sandbrook case" was mentioned subtly a few times), and definitely some issues of his own I'm sure will unfold as the show goes on.

DI Hardy rocks the 5 o'clock shadow, shaggy hair, I've-been-up-all-night-so-don't-mess-with-me vibe, which is a fun departure from Doctor Who for David Tennant. Plus he uses his regular, more Scottish accent, which helps take him away from the character I know and love and into this new one. He's brooding, serious. Straight to the point. It's easy to tell he's seen some things in his lifetime.

Second to him we have detective Ellie Miller, who used to have Hardy's job. We find out very quickly that her son was very good friends with the boy who died, Danny. Her reaction to the death is heart-wrenching and true-to-life. It seems that she will be Number 2 in this show, and I think she will great to watch.

Additionally in the cast we have Danny's parents, grandmother, and sister, who were fantastic as well, particularly Danny's mother, Beth. Her reactions were even more heart-wrenching than Ellie's.

On top of the community's dealing with Danny's strange and suspicious death, we have the media. The constant tension between respecting the family's privacy and breaking news in a town where nothing typically happens is a huge player in the pilot, keeping you locked in the whole time. A young reporter, Olly Stevens, chooses to share the name of the victim to the world via Twitter and single-handedly ruins the trust between the investigative team and the family as well as introduces the family to the world. Sure, the whole mentioning-Twitter-on-TV thing is always a bit weird for me, almost like breaking the 4th wall, but it was true to life, and I thought they did it well without over-emphasizing it. I was literally yelling at the TV. YOU CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS, OLLY. DON'T DO IT. UGH. YOU DID IT? YOU ARE THE WORST EVER OF ALL TIME.

Overall I thought the storyline was intriguing without being graphic, which I appreciate, and definitely compelling. The show very subtly opened up so many possible routes for suspects--it could literally be anyone in such a close-knit town--and gave very strategic but minimal details on what might have happened to Danny, so I am absolutely going to keep watching to figure it out. The best thing about this show so far, to me, is how true-to-life it seems. That's what makes it so heart-wrenching and fascinating. Nothing is black and white, and nothing is overdone or heavy-handed. The acting seems genuine. It all feels like this could really happen. Which is why my heart was beating about 40 percent faster after the episode ended.

I prescribe an episode of Parks and Rec in between watching this show and sleeping. At least for those of you who, like me, watch very few dramas.

David Tennant is fantastic in his new role. He's definitely not The Doctor, but he's perfect as DI Hardy. Though I would probably watch that guy play any role. Even a mini-series about Barty Crouch, Jr. Maybe.

Other fun casting choices in this episode included seeing Filch (of Harry Potter fame) as the man in charge of Danny's paper route and seeing Arthur Darvill play a priest of some sort.

All available episodes are on iTunes, and the first one is FREE, y'all. So go try it out and report back.

Have you tried Broadchurch yet? What did you think? If not, will you?