Welp, we've done a pretty good job of repairing this weird fling we've had with the British over the last two-and-half centuries.
Sure, 237 years ago this week, we had to sign a piece of paper just to get them to stop nagging us about "taxes" and "running roughshod over a land and its communities" and everything. But we've fixed this through the good ol' sedatin' powers of the TV box/machine.
We've had Russell Brand become our human make-up sex. We've had Jamie Oliver make a healthy dinner for our kids from that other marriage--the one where we used to just feed them steak and Kool-Aid until they passed out underneath a pile of Playstations. Then we just out-and-out stole Hugh Laurie from them and The UK didn't seem to notice until it was too late.
(Sorry about that one, Brits.)
Our relationship is in good shape. Still, there are some loose ends for Brits on American TV. There's only so much time, and we need to fit stuff like Celebrity Wife Swap on there for
government tracking purposes family programming hour.
So we're resorting to the best summer camp game there is--and PG-13'ing its title--to help us figure out who must stay on American TV, even after the next American Revolution 237 years from now.
Some of these choices are almost impossible, but that's why we're doing it.
Let's play some Shag, Marry, Deport.--Ben Collins
Options: Eddie Izzard, Russell Brand, Ricky Gervais
Eddie Izzard - Shag
Izzard has described himself as "a lesbian trapped in a man's body" and has proudly admitted that he loves to dress in women's clothes. What better way to feel comfortable in bed than to hook up with an old girlfriend who can help me pick out a negligee that doesn't make my thighs look fat?
Russell Brand - Deport
Brand definitely went a long way towards winning the "shag" spot with his recent improvised roasting of the MSNBC "Morning Joe" anchors, but sadly for Rusty Rockets, it was just too little too late. Doesn't beat the self-importance and his hair's permanent wet look. Cheerio buddy, or as we say here across the pond: "BUH bye".
Ricky Gervais - Marry
If you're surprised that I want to spend the rest of my life with a portly, snaggle-toothed blowhard with thinning hair, then you need to go watch the final episode of the UK version of "The Office" right now. Then you need to watch the end of the Christmas special. Then you need to watch the end of "Extras". This is a man who knows that true love is always born from extraordinary friendship, and chicks dig that. Also, in real life, he's been in a relationship for almost thirty years without getting married, so convincing him to "put a ring on it" sounds like the ultimate challenge.--Liz Brown
Brassed Off Brits
Options: Gordon Ramsay, Piers Morgan, Simon Cowell
Gordon Ramsay - Deport
As noble as he's been with that campaign to not de-fin sharks (the most specific human/animal rights campaign of all time, by the way) and outing that horrible guy who appeared to be actively in the mob on that Kitchen Nightmares episode, Gordon Ramsay is an easy deport here. There's no excuse for this guy having ~35 TV shows on FOX every week. I can't imagine any historical figure in human history still being popular after getting this overexposed on a TV network. We'd find ways to poke holes in Gandhi if he had to host "MasterPeace," "Peace Nightmares," "Hotel Peace" and "Peace's Kitchen" over a six month span on one network.
We wouldn't deport Gandhi. (Yes, I just wanted to write that sentence.) But Gordon Ramsay isn't Gandhi. And there's probably a 70 percent chance he'll be judging American Idol and physically eliminating contestants with a ginsu knife next year. Hard deport.
Simon Cowell - Shag
Hey, at least I'll know for sure if I'm any good at it.
Piers Morgan - Marry
Look, I like a challenge. No one's gotten a worse rap than Piers Morgan on American cable TV recently, even though he appears to be, well, pretty good at American cable TV. It's been 30 months since he took over for a TV legend, which is five Biblical ages on cable TV, and he's still kicking around.
Sure, he likes himself a little bit too much. He'll say some out-of-line stuff at one in every six dinner parties. But isn't that what marriage is? Did I have a bad childhood? Is the Huffington Post going to bill me for this therapy session?--Ben Collins
Oliver with a Twist
Options: Jamie Oliver, John Oliver, Mr. Bean
Jamie Oliver - Marry
Jamie Oliver's one of those guys you want to shag because he's a do-gooder despite that he could definitely slide by on good looks alone. Britain's favo(u)rite "Naked Chef" is not only scrumptious looking, he's devoted at least a chunk of his life to improving the eating habits of disadvantaged schoolchildren. So when he's not slaughtering fully concious lambs on national TV, hes' making the world a better place one asparagus at at time. So why don't I want to marry him? He named his four children Poppy Honey Rosie, Daisy Boo Pamela, Petal Blossom Rainbow, and Buddy Bear Maurice. And that, everyone, is grounds for disqualifcation - even if he does make a scrumptious cherry cheesecake.
John Oliver - Shag
We've always known John Oliver was a funny guy, but it wasn't til he took over for Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show" this summer that his smarts got put on full display. I'd love to see life through his sharp, satirical lens - more than 22 minutes four days a week, that is.
Mr. Bean - Deport
Sorry Mr. Bean, staple of my childhood and bug-eyed stuff of my nightmares. It's not just your digital calculator watch or your teddy bear preoccupation. It's that you can't figure out how to do the simplest things without making a giant mess - and I don't even want to think about what that means for you in the bedroom. Also, the jury's still out as to whether you are in fact an extraterrestrial. And I'm leaning towards yes.--Naivasha Dean
Nellie Bertram (Catherine Tate) of "The Office" - Marry
Nellie Bertram from "The Office" (Catherine Tate). First appearing in season 7, Nellie interviewed for the job of Regional Manager - later joining the Scranton team full-time in season 8. A compulsive liar, with little ambition, Nellie freely admits to being unqualified for a job at Dunder Mifflin. More that once, she's thrown a colleague under the bus to further her own career. Then there's the matter of her out-of-control impulse shopping: she once purchased 13 pianos on a whim.
Beneath all that awfulness, Nellie has a good heart. Plus she "snogged" Toby - so she's clearly not too particular. Marry.
Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) of "Game of Thrones" - Deport
When she's not ordering an eye-gouging, strangling, or kidnapping, she's usually schtupping a blood-relative. Then there's the drinking - and it's not like her golden chalice is chiseled with "Mother of the Year."
Sure, she's the hottest on the list, but unless you're her brother, she's just not that into you.
The Dowager Countess (Dame Maggie Smith) of "Downton Abbey" - Shag
TDC is the queen of manipulation: arranging marriages, undermining the family, and fixing the Village Flower Show. Plus, she can level your world with a nasty barb: "Don't be defeatist dear, it's very middle class;" "Things are different in America, they live in wigwams;" "I don't dislike him, I just don't like him, which is quite different."
Beneath the corset, bustle, and enormous hat is a minx. She doesn't know what a weekend is... which means everyday is a weekend for her!--Courtney Hyde
Options: Hugh Laurie, Damien Lewis, Patrick Stewart
The UK has been exporting its top acting talent to Hollywood for years, and the ranks of American telly are nigh on exploding with talented Brits. These three gents are no exception, and they have become well-known for their compelling and nuanced work.
Patrick Stewart, of course, rose to prominence boldly leading the Starship Enterprise where no one had gone before as the French-with-a-British-accent Captain Jean-Luc Picard. The other two play Americans so convincingly that you can hear jaws hit the floor across the US every time they give an award acceptance speech in their native accent: Damian Lewis currently portrays ex-POW Nicholas Brody on Homeland, while Hugh Laurie spent years diagnosing the undiagnosable as the cantankerous Dr. Gregory House.
All three of these men are completely swoon-worthy, and their posh (to an American, at least) British accents certainly don't hurt. What's more, they're all involved in off-screen charity work, and they seem significantly more substantial than your average Hollywood star. Really, who doesn't fancy them all? Only a complete nutter would vote to deport. But if we must play this torturous game, here's our break-out:
Shag: Really, a one-night stand doesn't seem classy enough for any of them.
Marry: Hugh. No, Damian. Wait, maybe Patrick.
Nope, can't do it. We're officially calling mutiny on this exercise and marrying all of them, full stop. Polygamy is seriously underrated anyway.--Kristin Knox
The I.T. Crowd: Someone Has to Go
Options: Moss, Roy, Douglass
This one is almost too easy. Douglass is awful. He obviously needs to be deported. I'd shag Richard Ayoade or Chris O'Dowd (um, I mean Moss or Roy...) any day.
Marrying gets tricky. With Moss, you'd have to deal with his mother--and possibly even living with her. Roy's social skills are better, but he can sometimes be a jerk (like when he had to know the lasting effects of a woman's facial injuries before deciding if he wanted to date her). Moss can be naive, but at least he's pure of heart (and generally adorable).--Katherine Rea
So here's your box score:
Moss - Marry
Roy - Shag
Douglass - Deport
Options: Edith, Sybil, Mary
The three Crawley sisters of Downton Abbey come with a lot of baggage (which some poor lady's maid has to schlep up the stairs).
First, there's Sybil who is a beautiful, spunky free spirit - you can tell, because she wears pants and learns how to cook her own meals. But she's a flight risk - often disappearing to partake in political rallies and elope with the help.
Then there's "poor old" Edith who loses her cousin-boyfriend on the Titanic in episode one. It's all downhill at Downton from there. She follows men around like a puppy, only to get rejected. Dumped by a burn victim, ditched at the alter, and crushing on a married man, Edith is sad sack.
Mary, the eldest of the Crawley girls, is stunning and poised, but has a terrible track record with men. The last two guys to "shag" Lady Mary kicked the bucket. And let's not forget that the first two seasons focused on her gold-digging, man-nabbing antics.
Shag: Sybil. She's fun and sexy, just don't get too attached (season three spoiler alert).
Marry: Edith. The girl can haul a stump out of the ground with a gillopy - that's some mighty fine wife material.
Deport: Mary. Bad news follows this girl around. Plus, she's kind of cold and grumpy - her own words: "I have no heart. Everyone knows that."--Courtney Hyde