Man About the House (TV Series 1973–1976) Poster

(1973–1976)

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Great cast. Naughty, but not filthy. Good, clean, sexy fun!
julikell19 February 2002
I found the first four episodes of MAN ABOUT THE HOUSE, and I'm scouring eBay and Amazon for more! This show is pretty damn funny. I never liked the American version, and now I know why. The acting in this is far superior! Richard O'Sullivan is funny without resorting to inane slapstick -- ok, there's a bit of it, but the British do it so much better (as evidenced by Benny Hill). Sally Thomsett is cute without being dumb, and shows her wit time and time again. And Paula Wilcox combines sexy, smart, and sassy like no one I've ever seen. You won't find a more talented trio.

Yootha Joyce and Brian Murphy are the -- dare I say -- threesome's perfect foils. Not the lecherous landlords of the American version, but naughty and enjoyable.

Would love to see this on TV on this side of the pond. As it is, I'll have to buy PAL and have it converted to NTSC. A small price to pay for superior, saucy, sexy fun!
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They don't make shows like this anymore, do they?
Jose E21 April 2002
I absolutely LOVED this show when it aired here, even though I was a little kid by then. It had the kind of charm and mood that keeps you laughing until it hurts, the cast was excellent and so was the timing. If compared to what the sitcom genre has degenerated to (And I don't think it's necessary to name any specific title, most of the sitcoms are awful except Seinfeld) it's a crying shame that shows like Mad About The House are no longer made. Whatever happened to witty writing and great cast?

What you've got now in any sitcom is a cast full of supposedly cute girls who look like they just got out of a concentration camp, plus they can't act. And male cast is not much better, either. It seems any sitcom actor/actress must come out of a models' agency, as if the 'beauty' actually mattered more than the acting skills.

Somebody may accuse me of nostalgia, and I'm willing to be called that if it means yearning for good and funny shows like Mad About The House. The current sitcoms really stink. And I am looking forward to be able to get this fantastic show on DVD someday. By the way, The Roper was awesome as well.

10/10.
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Classic British sit-com
melsen13 April 2002
I absolutely love old British TV series, and especially in the sit-com department they beat all other countries. I remember this particular series quite well even though I haven't seen it in a long time, luckily it's now available on VHS/DVD so I'll be buying it soon. Nothing beats that atmospheric shot-on-videotape look most British TV shows had in the '70s, when filmed indoors. Richard Sullivan is great as the guy the two girls find in their bathroom, and the two actresses are also both excellent. Terrific stuff. The series had two spin-offs; "George & Mildred" (about the landlord and his wife) and "Robin's Nest" (Sullivan's character minus the girls). Those who think the American version "Three's Company" is better only need to look at the amount of episodes it had, and suddenly it's not so funny anymore. I think the fact that "Three's Company" was filled with more characters and ran for a whopping 172 episodes compared to the original's small cast and 39 episodes says it all. Overdoing it kills any show, and the Brits always knew quantity is not the same as quality.
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UK Original vs. US Copy
Max Turner4 February 2006
Having lived in both the UK and the US, and watched both the ORIGINAL, "Man About The House", and the US COPY, "Three's Company", I've enjoyed both of them, even now, in 2006.

I've just been watching M.A.T.H. on Paramount Comedy, and much as I liked Three's Company, I'm finding I laugh out loud more often, at the UK show. I loved the American re-make too, but I guess my British upbringing means I identify with the British humour more.

It's just one of many UK sitcoms from the 1970's, that US television bought the rights and scripts of, and remade with an American flavour. Most of them became very popular in the US, with few people realising they were copies of original British ideas/scripts. Others I can think of:

"The Ropers" = "George & Mildred" "Sandford & Son" = "Steptoe & Son" "All In The Family" = "Till Death Do Us Part" "Reggie" = "The Rise & Fall Of Reginal Perrin"

All were good re-makes.

Conversely, on the few occasions the British have re-made American comedies, it hasn't worked as well. I'm thinking of UK remakes of "Golden Girls" and "Married With Children" - both British re-makes sucked, big time. In the case of the Married With Children re-make, I think it failed because the whole premise of the show was that it mocked clichéd "US cute family" comedies (it was known as the Anti-Cosby Show by the writers), and such humour didn't translate to a British show about a British family.

And now it's the 21st Century, and what do we see on NBC? An American re-make of the Golden Globe-winning British comedy, The Office.

Nothing changes.
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Sometimes less is more
mrradio2 September 2008
The one thing the Brits know about television is knowing when to stop. This show did more with 39 episodes (& one movie) than Three's Company did with 172 episodes. While it does leave you wanting for more, I'd rather have a few excellent shows than dozens of mediocre or downright horrible ones. Hollywood should take a lesson here.

Richard was a likable bloke and the girls were cute and charming. The Ropers were much funnier than their American counterparts. I liked the fact that they dismissed the whole "Robin is gay" thing almost immediately.

If you've never seen this show, you owe to yourself to check it out.
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British humour at its best
phylly313 May 2003
I have such fond memories of watching this show. I would love to see it again. Yes, it was copied by Three's Company but the two shows diverged quite a bit after awhile. What I liked best about it was the sexual chemistry between Robin Tripp and Chrissy (the smart one). They were always bantering and teasing and arguing but you knew underneath there was something there. I was always waiting for the dumb blonde (Jo) to get out of the way so they could get more romantic. I wish I could remember how the series ended. I think they got together but maybe it was just wishful thinking on my part. I do remember the series Robin's Nest and it was kinda cute but there was no chemistry without Chrissy. In the American series, Chrissy was the dumb blonde, Janet the smart one but neither one had any real romantic relationship with John Ritter's character. I think people here have been too harsh about Ritter. He was all slapstick its true, but that was an art in itself! Different kind of humour. I prefer the British series as it was more subtle and clever, but I also enjoyed the American version. Although it really lasted at least two years too long!!
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9/10
70s greatest comedy
lregan702 April 2009
One of THE comedies of the 1970's. Also has the best signature tune of any comedy show. The story is about three people sharing a flat living above their landlords George and Mildred. The comedy rests on the mix of the people sharing. A man and two women. Richard O' Sullivan is besotted with Paula Wilcox. Its played in a gentle and not a leering way which is why this show was such a success.

The scripts and the stars were always giving the best performances and Richard's frustrated love life was shown with a relaxed charm. The end titles contained visual jokes which went unnoticed in the early 1970's but concerned the flat sharers living arrangements.
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10/10
Those Were the Days
Sebastian (sts-26)24 June 2008
While the British produced some hilarious and slick sitcoms in the 1990s - Ab Fab, Men Behaving Badly, One Foot in the Grave, etc. - the 70s were the real golden age.

In the 1970s there were whole new territories to explore, including the sexual revolution, feminism, and the slowly evolving awareness of a need for "sensitivity" that would, twenty years later, become Political Correctness. Attempts to grapple with the confusion of this thoroughly modern world were the subtle and not-so-subtle themes in everything from the skits of Monty Python's Flying Circus to sitcoms like Man About the House. (By the late 70s this "grappling" resulted in more meditative and bitter-sweet sitcoms such as the masterpiece Butterflies.)

Man About the House is a perfect example of the good Britcoms of the time - slightly genteel, cheeky, fresh, ingenuous, sometimes outrageous, with some well made observations on contemporary life. Compare it to a cynical 90s show such as Ab Fab, and it is hard to believe the two were created in the same country.

Man About the House is one of the great Britcoms of the 70s, right up there with Good Neighbors (The Good Life), and About the House's spin off George and Mildred. Its quality is attested to by the fact that - as with Good Neighbors - its creators, writers, and many of its cast have had continued success in British television.
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The original and best
Varlaam26 June 2000
This programme started to be hard to see in this particular TV market once the American imitation "Three's Company" (1977) started up. "Three's Company" was everything "Man About the House" was not. The British original was funny, sexy, maybe a bit salacious. And it had two cute girls, nice English ones. The grossly inferior "Three's Company" was unfunny, prurient rather than sexy, and basically brain-dead. And no cute English birds, obviously.

"Man About the House" had a proper star, Richard O'Sullivan, who'd just finished his stint as Bingham in "Doctor in the House", a *completely* different role, mind you. Rather than someone like O'Sullivan, "Three's Company" had John Ritter. Years later, it turned out that Ritter could act but that wasn't really apparent in the '70's when he gave the leading one-note performance.

Hack US magazine writers still trot out that tired old cliché about the British being prudish about sex when compared to sophisticated Americans. I've seen a couple of references of that kind in the past month. Well, that might very well have been true in the 1940's, but that was certainly not the case by the '60's, and it's not true today either. If one compares these two series from the 1970's, it's the British one that's mature, while the American copycat seems childish and leering.

I suspect anyone who had ever seen "Man About the House" was left grinding his teeth by "Three's Company" and its long and entirely undeserved run. Surely there's an all-Britcom channel somewhere where this coy ménage à trois can find a happy home again.
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One of the best 70's sitcoms
Steed-21 February 2001
Now the series is 30 years old but it is still funny. I saw it when I was a child and I can still recall the laughters at home. It was the first British tv series thet topped the tv rankings in Spain. And even now, people remember it. Two different situations: upstairs the 3 flat mates, and downstairs the landlord and his wife. The scripts were terrific: both situations fixed perfectly. And what about the actors? all of them were absolutely brilliant, specially my dear Mrs Roper. Oh, yes. Americans made a "remake" that was OK when they copied word by word the original episodes. When they had to create new scripts it became awful and boring. By the way, I always recommend to see any show in its original version, but I must confess that Spanish dubbed version is as good as the original one.
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