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|Index||38 reviews in total|
I was a big fan of this series before i appeared in it. I still get letters and cards from fans despite leaving the show in 1988. Roy Clarke is one of the greatest comedy writers of his generation, he explores the British class system, old age, and the relationships between Yorshiremen and the Women they love brilliantly. The early shows were about boredom, retirement, life in Yorkshire and friendship between men of differing backgrounds. When the show was taken over by Alan J W Bell ,who produced and directed all the episodes i appeared in, the comedy broadened. Wonderful slapstick and unlikely romance became the strong central themes. In 1987 the show regularly had viewing figures just below 20 Million, and it continues to have a cult following to this day. I made some wonderful friends on the series too, Jane Freeman (who played my Auntie Ivy), Bill Owen (who i sadly miss) Peter Sallis (who taught me so much when we worked on stage together) Thora Hird (who told great stories of her early life in the Co-op as a sales assistant) Joe Gladwyn (who told me the most wonderful tales of early music hall and variety shows) to name just a few... I think one of the best qualities of this show is that anyone of any age can watch it and find something amusing, popular family entertainment is rare these days and this is a gem.
Running since the dawn of time, Last of the Summer Wine is one of the mot reliable elements of the BBC's output. Featuring wonderful actors in unique roles, it's ideal viewing for sitting down with the Sunday tea. It's warm, sentimental and old-fashioned. That every episode seems to end with a couple of OAPs rolling down a hillside in a tin bath on wheels is neither here nor there: it's charming and friendly. Spiky edges are provided by Dame Thora Hird, the wondrous Kathy Staff, and Jane Freeman, and the series is not challenging viewing. Harmless. The kind of telly you could watch with your granny. That most of the cast are your granny's age is another joy. Hardly cutting edge, and guaranteed to run until the end of the world, Last of the Summer Wine is truly immortal.
The quality of 'Summer Wine' is reflected in its longevity and ongoing popularity.I consider myself fortunate that, having once lived near Holmfirth, the small Yorkshire town where the action was set, during the 1980's,I had the opportunity to sample at first hand, the various locations and was fortunate in seeing the filming of some of the earlier episodes. There may be some support for my view that the earlier episodes, which featured 'Blamire'( Michael Bates)as one of the three leading characters, were characterised by the interplay between these three characters,expressed in terms of dialogue rather than the 'comic' situations which became a feature of later episodes, coupled with the development of other characters who played little or no part in the first series. I consider that the quality of the scripwriting suffered as a result of the changes, particularly when the focus moved away from the central trio. Nevertheless, the programme maintained its popularity over many years and developed almost a cult following. Curiously, though, this popularity was not wholly shared by the population of Holmfirth, who saw the programme as a mixed blessing when the interest generated by the programme resulted in an influx of sightseers into their small, quiet narrow streeted town, with predictable results. Suffice it to say that while one or two enterprising people benefitted from the publicity, the sightseer were, it must be said, disappointed with the fact that there was very little to see of real interest and, of course, the 'characters' were nowhere to be seen. That the programme retained its popularity for so long can only be explained by how well the characters created the illusion of three eccentric old men enjoying their freedom in nostalgic adventures in beautiful surroundings where the sun always appeared to smile on them (the grim reality of the harsh Holmfirth climate being conspicuous by its absence) The secondary characters were always believable and the humour was, by and large, unsophisticated and free from innuendo, reasons, perhaps, for its acceptance in the context it was presented. It may be that the reason for the success of the programme is that it presents a world that no longer exists, a set of endearing characters,lost in their own little world, steeped in a kind of rural simplicity from which the harsh values and events of the real world are permanently excluded,playing the sort of schoolboy adventures in which we may, at one time, have all shared. Their hopes and doubts, dreams and uncertainties running through the tapestry of their lives, played out for us with a skill which belies the simplicity of the message that the programme conveys.
When we first started to watch this show we were in our 30's which put the actors at around 50 years of age, As I am sure most of you "younguns" out there of 30 or under will testify, 50 is an age you yourselves will never be, just as we thought then, how wrong we were, Time shoots by so very quickly that here we are 30 odd years later and still avid fans. Last of the Summer Wine was and still is wonderful viewing if you prefer your television to not be peppered with unnecessary expletives nor have endless closeups of moving bed-clothes and sundry body parts. This was a story of 3 middle-aged men who still had their wits and humour about them and most of all loved to laugh. The fact that you knew in advance the slide down the hill on a tray or running with a kite being pulled by Wesleys "jeep" would always end in disaster for one or the other of the trio was part of the attraction and still is. Viewing the programme now with many new actors in the cast, due mainly to the demise of the original cast members, is just a reflection of life and death but the humour, fun and sheer joy of living is still there despite the fact that Norman Clegg still professes to find it difficult to talk to women or for that matter anyone except his close compatriots. Now in our mid 60's my husband and I still love this programme and will always watch the repeats which are, fortunately for us, now running on cable TV. A toast to the Summer Wine-- Long may it Last-.
The best sitcom ever.
I said that several years ago and nothing that has happened to it, or to other sitcoms, has changed my view.
The scripts are funny in themselves. Add a perfect ensemble of actors, faultless direction and wonderful background music and one gets, quite simply, the best ever.
Some of the situations are predictable, some slight, some bizarre. But that is life as we know it, and is all lends to the strength of the series. And it is to reasurring to know I cannot be alone, just look at the dates!
Simply put, this show has been my favorite discovery of late and I am
definitely going to try and purchase each and every one of the episodes
and specials if possible.
It has really not been done justice by the other comment here. I am absolutely in love with this show.
I had no idea it has been around as long as it has. Apparently the longest running show in England and possibly most anywhere.
With good reason as you will see if you watch a couple of episodes.
These gentlemen trying to recapture their youth are so funny and endearing
My father got me hooked on this series, after he mentioned how much he enjoyed it. A local PBS station was running it, and I just fell in love with the three old men and their antics. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Peter Sallis is also the voice of Wallace, as in "Wallace & Grommit" -- another personal favorite. My biggest frustration is that our PBS station stopped running it, the BBC has only released one set of tapes, and that is criminal for a show that's been on the air for 30 years! For gentle, character driven comedies, this show cannot be beat. Also, the scenery is beautiful. All those rural, rustic shots of the English countryside are gorgeous.
This programme has been one of British televisions centre pieces since the
first pilot episode. With wonderful performances from Bill owen as the
scruffy, gambleing, Nora Loving, loveable Compo and Peter Sallis as Clegg a
widower who is terrified of anything female, but is more immature than your
average child at Christmas. Plus brilliant supporting actors like Michael
Bates (Clockwork Orange), Brian Wilde, John Comer, Joe Gladwin, Jane Freeman
and Kathy "Nora" Staff.
It might on the face of things seem like a comedy for older people but it's anything but, young people love to see older people being immature (e.g)Monty Python. The scripts in the early series where quite wonderful with the setting, timing and situation right it was always going to be what it is........One of the most loveable and enjoyed Sit-coms to ever be made, I know thats said a lot but with this 30 year old gem it's true.
Several of listeners or watchers felt the series would not be as good
without Compo. But this is not the case. We in Australia are seeing on
UK TV, a pay channel, The new episodes from 2002 to 2004. BBC listeners
are now seeing the new 2005 series.
Unfortunately UK TV does not have the rights to episodes from 1973 to 2001. It is the greatest show ever and Roy Clark is a genius, he also wrote "Keeping up Appearances" I have both DDVs from Amazon.A hope some of the old episodes will soon appear. There is a ready market out there.
The great strength of British sitcoms over American is the small number of episodes made each year. Let us hope Roy does not tire of the series.
This programme is one of the best about and it certainly has been about for quite a while. Very sadly one of the funniest and most active comedians I have ever seen Bill Owen died recently, but although he was almost the main character in the show I'm certainly glad that for Bills memory that the show has continued.One of the great things about the show is that just about all of the actors in the show have made their mark in other comedy's and other shows, yet they all seem like they have been in the show from the start, for example Jean Alexander spent many years as Hilda Ogden in Coronation Street and Stephen Lewis was well known as Blakey in On The Buses. Take a look at this show and I think you will be glad you did.
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