The Liverpool-based Boswell family are experts at exploiting the system to get by in life. Despite the fact that none of the Boswells are officially employed, they manage to live a fairly ...
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The family cannot afford the electricity bill so Joey sends Billy to the DHSS to charm the stone-faced clerk into helping but he lacks his older brother's persuasiveness. Freddie's brother Cyril, a ...
All the family is pleased when estranged father Freddie comes to visit - except Nellie, who confesses her loathing of him to the local priest. In the course of the day Jack attempts to buy ten stolen...
Joey confronts Freddie over the stolen money and learns it was to impress his girlfriend, Lilo Lil, who has now left him. Billy buys a car which is a rust bucket so he turns to busking to raise money...
Comic goings on in this series set in an English holiday camp called Maplins. The title comes from the camp's greeting, which the staff are meant to say with enthusiasm but all too often ... See full summary »
Wolfie Smith is an unemployed dreamer from Tooting London, a self proclaimed Urban Guerilla who aspires to be like his hero Che Guevara. Leading a small group called the Tooting Popular ... See full summary »
The series followed the wavering relationship between two ex-lovers, Penny Warrender, a secretary for an advertising firm, and Vincent Pinner, an ex ice cream salesman turned turf ... See full summary »
Ria, a happily married suburban housewife, reaches the age where she feels as if life is passing her by. Being taken for granted by her butterfly collecting dentist husband doesn't help. So... See full summary »
A rather naive, middle-class man is admitted to a hospital ward and finds that he is sharing it with a working-class layabout and an upper-class hypochondriac. All three of them cause headaches for the hospital staff.
Martin is a committee man. He has numerous schemes and committees organised around the neighbourhood. He is so obsessive about every detail of everything he does he is driving his long ... See full summary »
Audrey fforbes-Hamilton is sad when her husband dies but is shocked when she realises that she has to leave Grantleigh Manor where her family has lived forever. The new owner is Richard De ... See full summary »
The adventures of two "likely lads" ostensibly set in the North East of England (but filmed in Willesden Junction, London). Terry and Bob have been friends since childhood. Bob is the ... See full summary »
The Liverpool-based Boswell family are experts at exploiting the system to get by in life. Despite the fact that none of the Boswells are officially employed, they manage to live a fairly good life thanks government handouts and various cash-in-hand jobs. Family life for the Boswells centres around their God-fearing Catholic mother, Nellie. With her husband having left her for "a tart", she relies upon her eldest son, Joey, to play the father's role to her other three sons, Jack, Adrian and Billy, and her daughter Aveline. Their ability to squeeze the DHSS dry, while the boys earn a living on the side, is legendary. But, although the family is the focus of their lives, they each have different reasons to be unhappy!
I have fond memories of this show. It ran in Finland when I was 11-12 (in 1990-1992), and I fell in love with Joey Boswell. I would never miss an episode. I thought it was so much fun, especially every time the family drove to solve some problem: first Joey's Jaguar, then Jack's van, then Adrian's motorbike and Billy's old broken Beetle...There was always one empty chair at the end of the table, and I imagined myself sitting there as the youngest daughter of the family. I remember the catchphrases - "I'm not ready for all this!", "She's a tart!" (which my grandmother disapproved of), "Greetings!"... Adrian's poem "Granny's Bucket" and another one that went something like "If you were dead, I'd go to all the places we were together and cry.. But you're alive. And I hate you." I learned many English words from this show, including "greetings", "tart", and "retaliate".
I remember being heartbroken when Joey's actor was changed. My idol was the original Joey, Peter Howitt. I also hated the new Aveline and felt the show was never the same after the change of these actors. I don't know which season that was, but apparently I'm not the only one who thinks the show went on too long. I can't believe Carla Lane blames the fans for abandoning the show - I would assume that repetitive scripts and characters that never evolve wouldn't keep the fans' interest on for very long. I used to think the unchanging nature of the show and the stay-at-home grown up kids were safe and positive, but as a grown up viewer I might get tired of them.
I haven't watched Bread in 14 years, and I'm not sure if I'd like to see it again and spoil the memory. For one thing, at age 11, I missed out on all the irony and subtext. A lot of the things I admired, like Joey's dedication to his family, might seem negative now. My mother, a social worker, thought the characters were offensive for their blatant abuse of the social security system. She thought that their real life counterparts would be very unhappy and pitiful, not someone to laugh at. I was mad at her at the time, but I can see her point now - the show made fun of unemployed people and presented them as lazy abusers of the system. The humor that made an 11-year-old laugh might seem tedious and repetitive to an adult. I don't think "she is a tart" would amuse me now.
For me, this show is best left unspoiled. It was very important to me once, and I'll always have those memories. A part of me will always live on Kelsall Street.
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