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I used to enjoy "Happy Ever After", but was absolutely hypnotised by
"Terry & June". With Aunt Lucy gone, the emphasis seemed to fall more
heavily on the relationship between Terry and June, a middle aged,
middle class English couple, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, losing myself
quite happily in each episode.
The 1980s were the era of alternative comedy, but they were also the decade of choice - and Terry and June certainly suited more traditional tastes. And mine - and I was a huge fan of "The Young Ones", too! Each week, Terry got into a silly situation and June got pulled in herself and usually ended up having to bail him out. How dated the shows seem now - it was a different world, but it's great fun to see trends of the 1980s featured - such as the CB radio storyline of 1982 (CB radio was legalised in England in November 1981), which saw Terry imprisoned in his car in the back of a lorry! I've been watching the shows again recently on DVD, and I still think they're terrific! Not loved by the enlightened elite - the chattering classes, but a huge hit with the masses! Wonderful!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One of the most unfairly maligned programmes of all time, 'Terry &
June' was also one of the most popular sitcoms of the '70's and '80's.
It started life as 'Happy Ever After', but when Eric Merriman decided he didn't want to write any more, it changed into this, hence the dropping of 'Aunt Lucy' and the Fletcher's becoming the Medford's.
Yes, it was cosy, domestic, middle-class stuff; the plots ran the gamut of clichés from the boss coming to dinner, the vicar organising a jumble sale, and unwanted relatives coming to stay for the weekend. It was certainly not 'dreadful lazy comedy'. As for it being 'not clever', it was not meant to be. It was funny and well performed, and that was enough!
I too loved the 'alternative' boom of the '80's ( 'Spitting Image', 'Black Adder', 'The Young Ones' etc. ) but also enjoyed conventional stuff such as this. If nothing else, it provided alternative comedy with something to be an alternative to. I found it sad though when the likes of Ben Elton took against both this and Benny Hill. Well, family oriented comedy has all but vanished from our screens, but where has it left us? Take a look at the latest T.V. schedules. All soaps and reality dross. The few comedies left are aimed at teenagers, meaning they are jam packed with swearing, bodily function jokes, and explicit sexual references. And they are not remotely funny either.
The 'alternative comedy' boom was good in many ways, but had a dark side. It made conventional sitcoms appear old fashioned, drove away talented writers and performers such as Spike Milligan, and ultimately led to such unspeakable drivel as 'Little Britain' and 'Tittybangbang' ( heaven help us ). If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
Terry and June was one of the classic British sitcoms in my opinion.
You knew what to expect - and ain't that just so typical! :) Unlike
modern sitcoms with utterly contrived plots, this show is still a
breath of fresh air. How lovely not see or hear remarks about bodily
functions or not to see a family PERPETUALLY late for breakfast or a
family with impossible teenagers. And therein is the secret: Terry &
June was based on a middle class couple living in relative harmony in
stead of today's strained plots with the 'de rigueur' dysfunctional
family (made to look hip).
Personally, I vote the "Bridge to far" episode as one of the best. In a way, Terry's antics reminds me of Basil Fawlty - both sometimes getting almost impossibly embarrassing!
Terry & June comes highly recommended. Have your tea and biscuits ready!
People who do not "get" Terry & June do not appreciate the classic
British humour behind the programme. Terry Scott plays the everyman
husband to perfection with a daft script fully latching into the "Carry
On" vibe of the period.
It is in the same vein as "The Fall & Rise of Reginald Perrin", "Fawlty Towers" and "The Good Life". Why? Because it captures the quintessential essence of the period it was made and extrapolates everyday situations until it hits the correct note of farce and silliness. This plays to the strengths of one of the true comedy legends of 70/80s British TV and film.
Yes it's safe, yes it's homely, but that is what 90% of life was like in those days, and to a certain degree now. The main difference being that actors of the calibre of Terry Scott and June Whitfield do not appear in mainstream television these days.
So settle back married suburban man, with a nice beer, and watch the repeats of this fun comedy safe in the knowledge that you are watching a true comedy great, bumbling through a programme in the manner of an Oliver Hardy or Tony Hancock. Always trying his best but failing.
And remember this, married men - you are actually watching a mirror of your own life, without the laughter of a studio audience to ease the pain. "June! June!"
terry and june in my mind, is a all time classic, along the ranks with
bless this house with the late sid james and the late diana coupland,
but terry scott will be sadly missed even tho he passed away in 1994. i
have all the dvds upto press and i look forward to getting all 9, also
would be nice to see "happy after ever" released on DVD
june whitfield is still going strong and terry scott will always live on in my memory
terry scott r.i.p. there aren't many comedies today that i can think of that will stay in the legends list and yes the middle class bit does get on some peoples wicks but i don't mind, i think it would be brilliant to see some celebration of the life of terry scott
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
'Terry & June' was one of many cosy domestic sitcoms that came under
fire from the 'alternative comedy brigade' in the early '80's. It first
began in 1974 as 'Happy Ever After' in which Terry and June Fletcher,
played by Terry Scott and June Whitfield, look forward to the prospect
of a quiet life after their children leave home, only then to have
their hopes dashed when their dotty Aunt Lucy and her annoying mynah
bird Gungadin decides to move in with them.
After five successful seasons, 'Happy Ever After' came to an end when writer Eric Merriman decided to call it a day, however in 1979, the BBC revamped it as 'Terry & June', with Aunt Lucy being written out and the lead characters names being changed from Fletcher to Medford ( possibly to avoid any legal issues ). The first episode begins with Terry and June buying a house in Purley after Terry lands a well-paying job there. Both hope that their new home will be a whole new beginning for them but, as one would expect, it is the start of a never-ending nightmare.
Although it was heavily criticised for being 'bland' and 'middle class', 'Terry & June' nevertheless drew large viewing figures and, if anything, was even more popular than its predecessor.
The plots garnered about every sitcom cliché going, such as Terry trying his hand at D.I.Y, only for things to go horribly wrong, Terry's boss coming round for dinner or unwanted relatives dropping in on Terry and June at inopportune moments but with strong performances from both Whitfield and Scott, as well as very funny scripts by John Kane, Terry Ravenscroft and Dave Freeman among many others, it was hard not to be amused. Scott's character was like that of an overgrown child with unrealistic hopes and aspirations, rather like the character he played in an earlier sitcom called 'Hugh & I'. June Whitfield's character served not only as Terry's wife but also a mother-type figure - she would frequently tell him off when he behaved foolishly or selfishly but would jump to his defence whenever someone else did so. Can anyone see shades of Eric and Hattie from 'Sykes' here?
Unfortunately, 'Terry & June' outstayed its welcome but overall was for the most part pleasant, care-free fun, rather like 'George & Mildred' and 'Keeping Up Appearances'. For those of you who haven't seen it, I would recommend it. Word of warning through - once you've heard John Shakespeare's infuriatingly catchy theme tune, you will be humming it for weeks!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
For our younger readers, Terry and June was a fairly popular eighties
sitcom about a middle aged, middle class couple who live in the
suburbs. ( This type of sitcom was very common 30 years ago). June
Whitfield played June and the late Terry Scott played Terry.
A lot of the time Terry and June was typical of the middle class sitcoms of the time, safe, conservative and often not very funny. However, when the scriptwriter experimented, the show went from being dull and unfunny to totally surreal and very amusing. Stand out episodes among a lot of dross are the one with the barbecue and the awful beefburgers, which end up going round a record player for some reason, the one where Terry stands as a Tory MP, the one where Terry and June go on local radio and destroy the studio and the one where they go to France on a day trip. It's just a shame the really funny episodes were balanced out by some total dross.
However, one thing is outstanding all the way through, the killer theme tune which always comes to mind when you think of the show.
I can remember both of these actors long before they started in this series but Terry and June was the one that really cemented their relationship on TV and many people thought of them as a REAL couple, so well did they bond together in front of the camera.OK,the scripts may NOT have been mind-blowing thus NOT over-stretching the talents of the two experienced actors but that said the shows ratings were high season after season while it was shown which is more than can be said for a lot of the "alternative-style-comedians" which have been mentioned by other reviewers.Also it is an absolute certainty that NO letters of complaint with regard to either the shows content or spoken material was received at the BBC which again is in contrast to most of the aforementioned alternative comedians so favoured by many of todays young audiences?These shows may be regarded by many as "fuddy-duddy" for want of a better term BUT look carefully and see how good comedy was really done, without the necessity of swearing or reference to body-parts or bodily functions to TRY to get a laugh!
The boss is called Sir Dennis, the boss's wife is called Mrs Sir
Dennis, they come round for a dinner party and the meal is ruined but
this needs covering up and an alternative found, the vicar pops rounds,
the neighbours are always outdoing each other, they get lost in the car
on the way to holiday, terry forgets birthdays and anniversaries.
I have nothing against dated sitcoms, some are very good but comedy moves on for a reason and this is it. If the above premise make you laugh then its great fun. If it doesn't, well there's little more to add. The main missing for me was the grown up children popping in with family problems, that would have made it complete.
This show lasted for most of the 1980s, and had its moments, but plots
were usually dishwater thin and often painfully unfunny.
Terry Scott and June Whitfield were wasted in this sitcom, they both deserved better, but it does provide some fond memories and I have found myself smiling at some repeated scenes. June Whitfield's talent for comedy is allowed to shine through on occasion (when she is not being a foil to Terry) and she really is clever.
The 1980s is the last decade where you will find this kind of middle class, middle aged comedy, and many people remember it fondly, but I prefer to remember the decade for alternative comedy and the biting satire of Spitting Image.
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