Follows Council Officer Gerald Wright, a man dedicated to the minimization of risk, even where no actual risk exists. If only Gerald were able to control his own life with the same ... See full summary »
Various mishaps at a police station in an English town. The main character is the anachronistic, yet charming and funny Inspector Fowler. CID foil to Fowler, Inspector Grim is a bumbling, seething idiot.
First of all, put aside your pre-conceived notions about Ben Elton before viewing The Man from Auntie. The hatred people have for him personally is irrational, and even though he's not as funny these days, this series shows how incredible he was in his youth. I'm a youngish person in the United States, so I'm glad to have been able to finally see The Man from Auntie recently, which was impossible for me when it was first aired.
Looking back on Ben's material over the years, this series, in particular its first season, is among his best works, and likely his best solo work on TV period. He's funny, even making a foreigner laugh 20 years in the future. In this series, there's an exuberance in Ben's performance that we'll never see again; it's special, and not to be missed.
Despite Ben Elton's reputation, most of his comedy at this stage isn't very political. Much of it deals with the annoyances of daily life, which still resonates today. But age hasn't helped the more topical jokes, inevitably. The bits about specific politics are lost on me since I lived in neither the time nor the place of their context-- but it doesn't really matter, since that's not what this show is about. To his credit also, there's a sketch about judges blaming rape victims that would be bold even today.
By the mid-90s, the backlash against Ben was in full swing, and these days he's hated as a traitor to his former leftist ideals. But this is unfair, in that he wasn't really that kind of person in the first place, and this series proves that. It also proves that he was indeed funny at one time, at least.
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