Why is the Industrial-Video Complex so cruel, denying me the chance to buy this on DVD, and in the United States? I saw the first series of episodes in England in the fall of 1988, and I have just now seen 8 episodes from the run of 13. Terrible copies, but it's great to see again this show that I loved and adored.
I can't watch 'Last of the Summer Wine' at all because it just seems to be a bunch of tiresome old farts and their cutesy high jinks, but the minute this show starts and you hear a crooner sing 'Sweet & Lovely,' you know that the show will be an evocative and nostalgic look at the vanished late 30s. But what makes it is the solidly delightful cast, every one of which is charming and superbly well chosen.
Maybe you'll think I'm insane, but I think that David Fenwick as Norman Clegg is, at least in this, exceptionally dreamy. Maybe it's the voice, the lively facial expressions, the sense of independence and irony and secret rebellion, and, oh gosh, the fact that he's so pretty (I think).
I don't think they have it in the pilot, but the inappropriate and overbearing laugh track is really offputting and the show doesn't remotely need it. The characters are lovable and the action and humor are naturally delightful. I don't need a Trademarked Automo-Laff Trak breaking in with plastic guffaws.
If I win the Powerball lottery prize, I'll buy the show and issue it on DVD (laugh track free).
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