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Old sit coms

Discussion in 'Personal' started by l0vaduck, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. There are lots of old sitcoms on Gold and Dave and so on, but was just reminiscing about some I don't think I've ever seen repeated, and trying to work out how old the protagonists are now. Quite surprising in some cases.

    For example, I think the first sitcom I remember as a child was "Not in front of the children" with Wendy Craig. I don't remember any of the other actors. Also there was "Oh Brother" with Derek Nimmo. There was something called "No honestly" with John Alderton and Pauline Collins.

    Later of course there were the more well known Butterflies, LiverBirds, Bread, Are you Being served.....

    I wonder why they don't repeat the earlier ones? Maybe they don't survive the test of time!
  2. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    It was my good fortune to teach about sitcoms as part of GCSE Media Studies not too long ago - they were among my favourite work schemes.

    There are some that you are unlikely to see repeated because of language now considered unsuitable in a multi-racial society. 'Til Death Us Do Part' springs readily to mind, although the pilot episode makes no reference to racial minorities. Others like this include 'Love Thy Neighbour' and 'It Ain't Half Hot Mum'.

    Oddly enough, there is less sensitivity about re-running sitcoms that stereotype all gay men as camp and limp-wristed, such as 'Are you Being Served?'. To this day I've never understood how Mrs Slocombe was allowed to get away with her p*ssy jokes in that series.

    On a different note, the pilot episode of 'Steptoe and Son' is quite bleak and intense towards the end, with Harold breaking down as he fails to drag the cart filled with his belongings out of the scrapyard. It has an almost 'Waiting for Godot' feel to it.

    I could ramble on like this for ages, but shall spare you all the ordeal ;-)
  3. How did the kids respond to the likes of those?
  4. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

  5. Is it the quality of the film and colouring that mean the sitcoms don't look right?
  6. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    We didn't study those particular ones in depth, but they got mentioned, and sometimes featured in documentaries about Sitcom. Other landmarks included 'Ellen' (first openly gay protagonist). 'The Cosby Show' (first middle class black American family), 'The Office' (documentary style with cast reacting to film crew) and 'The Royle Family' (real time action, documentary style).
  7. kittylion

    kittylion Established commenter

    After Henry (Prunella Scales), All Gas and Gaiters (Derek Nimmo), And Mother makes Three (Wendy Caig), Citizen Smith, Just Good Friends, Lucky Jim, Watching ... I wonder if l would still like them if l saw them now?
  8. Great shows. Have you seen 'Early Doors' written by Craig Cash (Dave out of the Royle Family). Massively underrated.
    I'd say I'm Alan Partridge series 1 was groundbreaking too
    And definitely Reggie Perrin, but the cutaway scenes ideas were nicked off the master, Dennis Potter
  9. If I were in charge of the Media Studies curriculum I'd start and finish with Mr Potter
  10. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Maybe at 'A' Level, but the content might cause problems at GCSE. I have recently re-watched 'The Singing Detective' and believe its multi-layered narrative is yet to be surpassed.

    Reggie Perrin is unusual in that it's a TV adaption of a series of novels (worth reading in one's forties) - more of a serial comedy drama than a sitcom. However, the repetitive daily routine and the constant play on recurring jokes helped it fit snugly into the sitcom genre. It's another great personal favourite, and one that had a profound influence on my choice of career.

    A good point for debate with students is whether or not 'The League of Gentlemen' classifies as a sitcom.
  11. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    Many of the sitcoms I remember would never pass the censor today...
    I think the first one I remember was Never Mind The Quality Feel The Width. ...if I'm not mistaken it was about a Jewish tailor.
    Not sitcoms - but we watched Benny Hill and also the Black and White Minstrels.
    Later, Love Thy Neighbour and Mind Your Language were popular with birthdad (he decided what was on TV in our house)
    We also watched some American sitcoms..
    F- Troop, Mr Ed and I Love Lucy were deemed suitable for us. (Birthdad had a strict policy on what we could watch alone!....sexism and racism was fine, but no blasphemy or homosexuality!)
  12. lardylady

    lardylady Star commenter

    I used to love watching 'Man about the house' as a child, but when I watched an episode years later, I was shocked at the number of double entendres. Of course, they went above my head as a child. I went on to watch Robin's Nest- I must've had a bit of a thing for Richard O'Sullivan [​IMG]
    I also remember watching 'On the buses' which was complete and utter tripe and I can't understand how it ever got made!
  13. ilovesooty

    ilovesooty Star commenter

    I'm surprised you can still watch reruns of "On the buses" now. it always was sexist tripe.
    How delightful. So it was OK to expose his children to racism and sexism as long as they didn't hear any naughty words or clap eyes on any gay people. Sadly I suspect that bigoted approach was not unusual at the time but I still think it's utterly appalling.

  14. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    I agree it was appaliling. But at the time it was seen as acceptable.
    He was brought up in a fairly strict religious environment. And although he didn't follw his parent's religion, he did adopt their strict views on homosexuality and blasphemy.
    Being born in the 1920s his views on sex and race were naturally more closed than mine, as a child born in the 60s. Sadly, whereas Mum, who is a few years older than him, was able to learn and adapt to changes, he wasn't.
    If you look back at the 1960s, much of the TV would be unacceptable today. As would some of the textbooks we used at school. Some of the fiction we used to read has been 'brought up-to-date' to make it acceptable to today's readers.
  15. Quite a few of these are "lost" so can not be re shown.
    Try www.comedy.co.uk for more info.

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