I'm an Anglophile. It came naturally, via my mother and her Anglophilia.
As kids we watched Dr. Who (Tom Baker), (parts of) Benny Hill, and Monty Python...because Mom did. We saw Masterpiece Theater with Derek Jacobi in I, Claudius, and never made it through Upstairs, Downstairs because, foolish children that we were, it bored us.
Then I married another Anglophile. When I got married again...you guessed it. I've spent a lot of time watching Are You Being Served?, As Time Goes By, Waiting for God, Mulberry, and a slew of other British programs, either on PBS or BBC America or on video, DVD and whatever other media presents itself.
British programming can be just as empty and useless as U.S. shows are at their worst, but the best in the U.K. is very, very good indeed. And it's usually richer, funnier, and much more inclined to require that the viewer possess a few working brain cells.
I'm not sure why that is. Maybe because of the television license? Maybe because America got there first, and the Brits set out to surpass us? I really don't know, but I see the superiority time and again.
There are good U.S. shows. Funny ones, quirky ones, shows that ask the viewer to think...but so many inane things lurk around them that I'm not inclined to try and sift through to find the stuff I like.
It could be, of course, that their better offerings are what we get over here. After all, it's been pre-sifted. There are things, though, that I can't buy in non-PAL format (I'm looking into getting a format free DVD player)...or instance, Blackpool, which I managed to watch on YouTube (not my preferred method of viewing, I promise you).
I'd like to see Tennant's Hamlet NOW, thanks. And the truly uncut versions of Dr. Who. Why in the hell do we get the slashed and burned versions here? Is the Hays office still lurking?
I don't know. But in the meantime, I'll continue to hunt down British comedy, dramas on the Beeb, and wish for complete access to it online. For heaven's sake, we don't even have radio shows any more!