I love British television and I’m not talking the shows that are super popular in America like Doctor Who or Sherlock Holmes. I’m talking shows new and old like Absolutely Fabulous, The IT Crowd, Spaced, My Family, and The Midsomer Murders. There’s something about the humor of British television that makes it seem more pure or simpler than that of American TV. If you’ve had a winter like most of the people in the country, you’ve been sick about 80% of it and during one of the many plagues that had overtaken me, I found a wonderful little show on Hulu called Plebs.
Plebs, by definition, were free members of ancient Roman society without any political pull; they were the average Roman citizen or immigrant that was not a slave, not a soldier and not part of the government. The show Plebs follows two friends, Marcus (Tom Rosenthal) and Stylax (Joel Fry) and their slave, Grumio (Ryan Sampson), through their awkward daily lives as ancient Roman citizens.
As someone who loves history, especially ancient civilizations, this show caught my eye immediately. Little did I know how funny, smart and entertaining this show actually was. While I am not normally a fan of the standard bro comedies that are made by the dozen, the historical spin and the awkwardness of the characters make it relatable, even given the setting.
And can we talk about Grumio? While the characters of Marcus and Stylax have great chemistry together and play off of each other in a Shawn and Gus style friendship, Grumio steals the episode on many occasions as the worst slave in the world. He won’t work, he’s mouthy and he isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. Top it all with a mushroom haircut and you have possibly one of the best characters on television.
However, sad news for existing fans of the show as Joel Fry will be leaving the show during season 4 to be replaced by a new buff-as-bronze blonde bro named Jason (Jonathan Pointing). Obviously, it is unknown how that will affect the dynamic of the series. According to comedy.co.uk, the producers had this to say about the show:
“As has become Plebs tradition, a host of dazzling adversaries will be stepping into the Roman arena, with special cameos coming from top acting and comedic talent including the previously mentioned Robert Lindsay, Ollie Locke, Aisling Bea, Ellie Taylor, Steve Oram, Annette Badland, Rachel Parris, Angus Wright and Daniel Rigby.”
According to Deadline, there is an American adaption is being made by Seth Rogan and, although I like Seth Rogan’s work (Futureman was amazing), the news of an American adaption doesn’t necessarily make me happy. Sometimes, things are just perfect the way they are. Hulu streams all of the first three seasons and the fourth season starts tomorrow on ITV2. So, get yourself caught up on this ancient Roman bro comedy because you’re going to love it.