Why is it the Brits seem to do edgy TV better than we do? Oh, we can do edgy. Dexter, after all, is ours. But did we ever come up with an equal to Absolutely Fabulous? No.
In the same vein as Ab Fab comes Pulling, a new British sitcom. The complete first season (six episodes) of the BBC/Sundance Channel comedy series was released Tuesday on DVD (MPI Home Video, $24.98).
Pulling was created by Sharon Horgan, who stars as Donna, a bride-to-be who decides to leave her "safe," dependable fiancé — during her bachelorette party. She moves in with her two best friends: Karen, a sluttish, alcoholic schoolteacher (you won't find one of those in an American sitcom), and Louise, a man-hungry huntress.
Pulling could become your next guilty pleasure. It is, as some have said, "the sitcom for people who hated Friends and everything it represented."
Friends of a different sort are to be found in the BBC series Skins, the second season of which recently was released on DVD (BBC Warner, $39.98). This is no Saved by the Bell. These kids look, act and talk like beings on the brink of, if not adulthood, then self-discovery.
Skins follows a group of British schoolmates, including cocky alpha male Tony (Nicholas Hoult, from About a Boy); his insecure girlfriend, Michelle (April Pearson); and his best friend, Sid (Mike Bailey); and Anwar (Dev Patel, who went on to star in Slumdog Millionaire), who struggles to reconcile his Muslim faith and his friendship with Maxxie (Mitch Hewer), who's gay.
The second season opens six months after a near-fatal bus collision involving Tony — and things are changing. Surprisingly, Patel is still around, and his character has a secret girlfriend. Don't expect Season 3 to have him or several of the others in it, though.
You can jump in here at the sophomore year, but if you haven't seen Season 1, you might want to start there.