Good Neighbors (1975–1978)
"The Good Life" (original title)

TV Series  -   -  Comedy
8.1
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The perils of "escaping the rat race" and dropping out of society - to start a farm in Surbiton (and to drive Margo nuts).

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Title: Good Neighbors (1975–1978)

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Episodes

Seasons


Years



Unknown   4   3   2   1  
1978   1977   1976   1975  
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Tom Good (30 episodes, 1975-1978)
...
 Barbara Good (30 episodes, 1975-1978)
Penelope Keith ...
 Margo Leadbetter (30 episodes, 1975-1978)
Paul Eddington ...
 Jerry Leadbetter (30 episodes, 1975-1978)
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Storyline

Tom and Barbara Good's dream is to live completely self-sufficiently. This means, among other things, raising their own vegetables and animals for food. Trouble is, they live in the suburbs. Their very conservative neighbors, the Leadbetters, look on, horrified, at this bold experiment. Written by George S. Davis <mgeorges@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

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Details

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Release Date:

4 April 1975 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Good Neighbors  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(30 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the US, this series was broadcast under the title "The Good Neighbors" to avoid confusion with the short-lived series The Good Life (1971), even though that show was off the air almost three years before this one began. The opening titles were reworked by the BBC art department so that the title even includes the same flower, bird, and bee as the original. To make things even more confusing, when the series was released on US home video, the outer box had the "Good Neighbors" title, but the shows on the tape had the "Good Life" titles (they were from the BBC masters, simply re-encoded to NTSC video). See more »

Quotes

Margo: Why don't you just throw a bucket of mud on the floor?
Jerry: Look, I've just cut my finger clipping your blasted hedge.
Margo: Don't swear, Jerry. And don't bleed in the sink, I've just cleaned it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits listed the actors' names but not the corresponding names of the characters that they played. See more »

Connections

Featured in Comedy Connections: To the Manor Born (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

The Bandolero
Written by Leslie Stuart
Performed by Peter Dawson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Well Thank You Very Much, Jerry!
7 January 2002 | by (London, UK) – See all my reviews

Neither as acerbic as FAWLTY TOWERS or ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS or as radical as THE YOUNG ONES, THE GOOD LIFE remains cosily stuck in a middle-class time-warp but happens to be blessed with terrific scripts (by Bob Larbey and John Esmonde) and extremely strong characters, played to perfection by the four principle actors. Originally airing 1975-1978, the series managed to maintain a very high standard despite a slight air of exhaustion that crept into the fourth final series. It was decided to quit while they were ahead, at the peak of the series popularity, with a final episode filmed in front of the Queen.

The basic set-up concerns Tom and Barbara Good (Richard Briers and Felicity Kendal) who decide to opt-out of the rat race and try self-sufficiency in Surbiton. On this slender premise hung all kinds of imaginative plots farmyard animals (and their excretory processes), generators, rotary cultivators (and contraptions of all kinds) as well as political machinations in the local music society headed up by the formidable Miss Mountshaft (often referred to, but never seen).

As the series progressed, the plots tended to depend upon situations guaranteed to cause maximum embarrassment to the Goods social-climbing fully paid-up member of the white middle-classes neighbour Margo Leadbetter (played marvellously by Penelope Keith). Margo's husband, Jerry (Paul Eddington) maintains just the right amount of total resigned bemusement throughout.

Stand-out episodes include 'The Windbreak War' (a feud erupts over the positioning of Margo's windbreak), 'A Tug Of The Forelock' (Tom and Barbara go into domestic service...for Margo), 'Silly...But It's Fun' (the Christmas 1977 episode in which Harrods fail to deliver Margo's Christmas), 'Mutiny' (in which Margo plays Maria in the local music society's production of The Sound Of Music) and 'The Thing In The Cellar' (Tom installs a methane generator which runs on something that comes out of pigs).

It's easy to forget the critical approval and the public appreciation the series gained during it's initial tenure, along with the fame that greeted the actors (especially Penelope Keith who memorably appeared on the Morecambe & Wise Christmas Show, the ultimate accolade at the time).

THE GOOD LIFE easily ranks up with the best TV comedies ever produced but, unfortunately, it is not remembered with quite the same fondness as DAD'S ARMY, STEPTOE & SON or the magnificent FAWLTY TOWERS. What is needed is some repeats to correct this shameful oversight.


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