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Victor Meldrew, retired security guard and human sponge 'soaking up every misery in the world' will surely be remembered in many years to come as one of comedy's greatest creations. Not to say that 'One Foot in the Grave' is strictly 2-D comedy. As with all the best of these kinds of things, it is more of a drama series which just happens to be funny. There is a good cast of genuine characters, all played with believability. Among them are Victor's long-suffering wife Margaret, her friend Mrs Warboys (who always seems to end up on the wrong end of disaster), next-door neighbours Patrick and Pippa (the former a Victor-in-the-making), and the enigmatic Mr Swainey who lives with his mysterious never-seen mother. And the programme certainly manages non-stop hilarity and plenty of genuine belly laughs throughout its six series and various extra-long specials. Well-written,inventive and clever plots involve everything from the everyday to the bizarre. Especially notable are hundreds of garden gnomes turning up on Victor's doorstep, Victor and Mrs Warboys both getting a foot stuck in a bag of plaster and having to heave it along with them as they attempt to find their way out of 'the set from Apocolypse Now', a caravan which contains the ghost of a devil worshipper, a chimpanzee which has a 'thing' for Victor, a scorpion talisman which brings down a plague of bad luck on its owner, and a guest house which is 'more like a wildlife kingdom'. Also memorable are the episodes involving one long scene - Victor stuck in a traffic jam, waiting for a telephone call and sitting in a waiting area. The fact that a half-hour episode in which nothing actually happens can be hilarious, entertaining and meaningful demonstrates the skill and depth of writing and the high quality of acting present throughout the series. Victor himself, despite initially coming across as a grumpy old man, is actually one of the most sympathetic characters ever created. Everybody can relate to the problems he faces on a daily basis, and everyone can cheer him on as he says and does the kinds of things we've all longed to do in certain trying situations. If you're a fan of any kind of comedy then this is unmissable.
This is just an incredible series. It deals with just about EVERYTHING!
Not for the easily offended, though it doesn't go out of its way to
offend. It's irreverent and pulls no punches. The series shows what it
wants to how it wants to and makes no apologies. Sometimes it can be
darkly humorous, but in these cases it usually has a valid point to
make and does so quite well.
The best way to describe this series is as follows: Imagine if absolutely everyone and everything on the face of the planet were really as miserable, stupid, loud, obnoxious, belligerent, deceitful, crazy, lazy, greedy, unfair, ironic, annoying, etc., as one sometimes feels them to be. Put a bitter (but not unlikeable) retiree in the middle of this world as the protagonist. Now watch how he interacts with and reacts to the people, places and things in this world. Sometimes he's in the right, sometimes he's in the wrong. Sometimes he gets what he deserves, sometimes he gets what he doesn't deserve. Sometimes he gives others what they deserve, sometimes he gives them what they don't deserve. No matter where a particular episode goes, you will most likely bellow with laughter at some point, usually at many points. There are a few episodes that were created not so much for a laugh as they were for irony; some of that irony being quite bitter or just plain sad. In episodes such as these, one will at least feel something, even if it is not what was expected.
As of this writing, the first season is available in the UK on DVD and the second season will be released there soon. With absolutely every other Britcom available in the United States, it's unfortunate that this series isn't popular enough to be released here. I suppose the fact that public television didn't play it ad nauseum like "Are You Being Served," "Keeping Up Appearances," or "Red Dwarf" (not that they're bad shows) is why. Remember, it's not how good something is that makes it popular and available, it's how visible it is.
Actually, it's kind of fitting that "One Foot in the Grave" isn't receiving the recognition it deserves and is fading into obscurity while being surrounded by so many more popular yet inferior programs. It's exactly the sort of point that one of its own episodes might have made!
Forced to retire early from his job as a security guard, Victor Meldrew
(Richard Wilson) struggles to cope with the problems that retired life
throws his way alongside his long suffering wife, Margaret (played by
Annette Crosbie). It is no wonder he is grumpy, if it can go wrong it
Annette Crosbie gives a brilliant performance and it is a delight to watch her express the wonderful array of emotions that being married to Victor requires.
Richard Wilson endeared himself to a nation with this role that catapulted him into the minds of every viewer.
One Foot in the Grave is a national treasure that is amongst the very best of British Comedy.
One Foot In the Grave has to be one of the funnest comedies to exist.
It is up there with Dad's Army, Faulty Towers and Only Fools And
This is about Victor Meldrew and his long suffering wife Margaret and all the adventures they confront. Over the years, their home has had a lamppost in their bedroom, a Citreon 2CV in a rubbish skip on their front, an inn sign also on the front and a gravestone made for Victor's funeral when he dies. Plus Victor bedding an old lady, who was dropped off at their address by mistake from hospital. He thought it was Margaret! One of the best episodes was the one featuring Victor and Margaret in bed having a sleepless night.
Victor is of course noted for his well known catchphrase "I Don't Believe It".
Victor was played by Richard Wilson, Annette Crosbie was Margaret and former Have I got News For You host Angus Deayton and Janine Duvitski as the suffering neighbours Patrick and Pippa. The other regular cast were Doreen Mantle as Margaret's friend Jean Warboys and Owen Brenman as the other neighbour Nick Swainey.
The BBC still regularly show repeats of One Foot In the Grave and I still sometimes watch them. Very funny.
One of the greatest British sitcoms ever. One Foot in the Grave was thoroughly entertaining for its decade run from 1990-2000. Who could ever forget Victor Meldrew and his constant whinging and run of bad luck. I loved this show and wished it was still going. Richard Wilson is a fantastic actor and the shows guests like Mrs Warboys were hilarious also. Watch the telemovie they made in 1993 its a laugh a second. Congratulations to everyone involved in this one. Pure gold in every sense of the word, many sitcoms today you laugh at how unfunny it is, not One Foot in the Grave, a jewel in BBC's television schedule. Gone but in my mind never ever forgotten.
every time they re-run episodes of this i go out of my way to watch it. It is the single most funny British comedy/sitcom thing i think i have ever seen. Its so sarcastic its almost unbelieveable and the situations whilst odd are certainly interesting and give the character of viktor mildew full oppurtunity to make something go wrong. I love this show and i cant wait to sit down to some more reruns!
Although not as funny as Fawlty Towers, this is one of the best comedy series to come out of the UK in recent years. I can understand it not appealing at all to non-British people but to a normal Brit, this series embodies everything that is typical of British humour of the latter half of the twentieth century. The crisis of trying to adjust to retirement is a universal one and Victor Meldrew reactions to present day society are in fact those of all or most of us, even if he has the courage to express them vocally and us, not. Certainly the catch phrase from the series "I don't believe it" is common in people's mouths today. Just think when you have to call a company and you are no longer put thru to a switchboard but to some kind of robot and to access the department you want you have to press button one, then two etc etc. If you make one cock-up, the whole thing goes wrong. This is the kind of stupidity Meldrew is having to battle with. SOme of the episodes are so funny ( when Meldrew finds a strange old lady in his bed !! ) that you seriously risk of ending up in the grave yourself from too much laughter. Others can be tedious and you feel that the scriptwriters were more inspired some days than others. That said, from the fairly large number of episodes I've seen, I would say that about at least 65 to 70 percent of the episodes are side-splitting. When I watch this programme, I feel I am watching something peculiarly common to BRitish Humour. I could not imagine Amercians laughing at this, not to speak of French, Germans or Spanish ! Some of the humour is indeed fairly "morbid" and "sick" and would have limited appeal outside the UK. THat doesn't matter at all, but I'm just stating it as a fact. The last episode to end them all has to be seen but is bitter and sad and not funny at all - very strange compared with the others. Obviously, the BBC had decided to number Meldrew's days for once and for all but weren't too sure how to go about it. When I saw the final result, I "just didn't believe it" !!!!!!!!!!!!
With "One Foot in the Grave", David Renwick created a British icon, an ubiquitous catchphrase, as well as possibly the greatest situation comedy of its time. All from unlikely beginnings... Victor Meldrew, played by Richard Wilson (Renwick had him in mind when creating the character, and he was reluctant to play the part at first), can best be described as a grumpy old age pensioner, suddenly made redundant by an electronic piece of equipment, whose everyday actions reap disastrous, albeit hilarious, consequences. Of course the other characters add a lot of flavour to the series. The other main characters in "One Foot in the Grave" are Victor's wife, Margaret, played by Annette Crosby, who cannot be underrated in her role, as well as the ones with less screen presence who pop up from time to time: their neighbours and counterparts, Patrick & Pippa, played by Angus Deayton and Jane Duvitski, respectively; Margaret's friend, Mrs. Warboys; and the altruistic and left-side neigbour, Nick Swainey, all of whom are integral parts of the series; their idiosyncrasies clashing with Meldrew's. Although at first glance the characters in this series can seem rather one-dimensional, they really have a lot of depth to them. It is the only series which ran for so long I can think of whose episodes remain consistently funny, ranging from the various degrees of mildly amusing to absolutely, side-splittingly funny. It may be argued that a lot of the humour derived from this series comes from the way Victor reacts to other people. He doesn't suffer fools gladly! I believe that this series will stand the test of time, despite all the uniquely British references (especially the all-too-common time-sensitive ones, such as the names of contemporary celebrities). Even the theme song (sung & written by Eric Idle of Monty Python fame) is great. The series was broadcast over a 10-year period, from 1990-2000, spanning 6 seasons (36 episodes) plus seven Christmas specials of lengths ranging from 40 minutes to the one feature-length film, "One Foot in the Algarve" (1993). It's a shame the series had to end with both feet in the grave as a result of Victor's demise from a hit-and-run incident, but it certainly didn't overstay its welcome on the BBC.
if anybody has been set upon by a company, felt hard done by in life, thought as if people aren't as moral as they should be, this is the programme that they should watch. Some people may feel that it is predictable but it does so with intelligence and humour that is such that the viewer doesn't care if they have guessed the ending or not, the programme relies on receiving the empathy of the viewer which I believe, for the most part, this programme achieves extremely well. Very well written, very well acted, and extremely missed.
I happened across this show quite by accident whilst channel surfing on
Christmas Eve a couple of years back. I came across this show featuring a
couple in their sixties: him a catankerous old codger who seemed to be a
magnet for misfortune and trouble; her, his wife who suffered his constant
moanings and groanings. Through the plot, which involved all manner of
mayhem, I simply could not stop laughing. Unfortunately, it was only a
one-off to fill time on the night: I did not hear of more episodes of this
show until six months or more later. However, it again disappeared after
only a handful of episodes, until six weeks ago it returned to my
screen. However, tonight I have just watched the final episode (ever),
which leads me to believe its seasons were very short indeed.
Anyone who has not seen this show will do well to find videos of it. And those who have not seen the finale for the show, watch it. From the first time you hear Victor Meldrew's famous signature quote, "I do not BELIEVE this!", you'll be hooked. 10/10
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