I'm often asked (by myself mainly), what exactly is it that I miss the most about Britain, living in Australia?
This is a tricky one. The subtleties of difference between these two countries are like odours, you can't necessarily see them but at times they can knock you sideways. Or sometimes they just waft away.
Of course there's the obvious ones: proper newspapers, the seasons, Waitrose, new potatoes, Woman's Hour, squirrels. But if I really had to pin it down to one thing, it would have to be: sense of humour. And this is also very difficult to define or describe, it just... is.
That was, until I saw my first episode of Miranda here on BBC2 a few days ago, and eureka, a 30 minute sitcom that exemplifies, in my opinon, what is so great about this nebulous British sense of humour. Miranda stumbles through life, saying the wrong thing, looking frumpy, being forced to do things she hates, finding ways to make light of disappointment, enjoying simple pleasures such as belting out her version of some 80's pop song into a hairbrush. Frequent direct to camera glances connect us to her excruciation at how ghastly life can be, often. I cringed and laughed, concurrently, for half an hour. Such fun!
Miranda has not made it to Australian airwaves (yet), and I think I know why. There is something so explicitely British about her take on the world, they just would not get it. I'm trying to avoid using the phrase 'self-deprecating' but I guess that's essentially what it is. That's not to say Australians can't do comedy, Cath and Kim is a masterpiece of course, but it is Miranda's crashing normalness that makes her so god damn funny.
Roll on Series Two. I just hope it makes the screen here before I leave in October...