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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Not too bad, 5 April 2004
Author: Tyrone_Smollox from UK
After Spike Milligan's last series with the 'Q' prefix was aired in 1980,
the general consensus was that the format had gone stale, and the lousy
reviews only confirmed it. The BBC still wanted Spike, who (in my opinion)
was never at his best on television, so they compromised - they let him
another series with the same theme tune and mostly the same cast - but
a different name, hence 'There's A Lot Of It About'(TALOIA for short).
Another wise decision was to lift some of the writing burden from old
who could get away with murder if left to write all the material by
and two relative newcomers were brought in, Andrew Marshall and David
Renwick, whose underrated ITV series 'End of Part One' and 'Whoops
Apocalypse' were decades ahead of their time and paved the way for shows
like Jam, Brasseye and the less well-remembered TV Squash (and the various
incarnations of Victor Lewis Smith) to run rampant over all areas of
presentation and format, spoofing the medium from within, often with
Marshall and Renwick's fascination with the world of television logos and linkmen is evident from the beginning of show one, which purports to be a minority interest programme called 'Bondage', but cuts out two minutes later to show the BBC2 logo (upside down) and a sincere apology, before TALOIA begins properly. A little later, there is a brilliant, Monty Python-ish spoof of the BBC News, in which the logo collapses (the decal behind the newsreader does ditto) and the autocue fails, leaving Milligan to operate it by hand. Elsewhere in TALOIA, there are convincing spoofs of Life On Earth, Game For A Laugh, weather reports, the Epilogue, party political broadcasts, Holiday '82 and several more, all tied together with Milligan's usual hit-and-miss sketches, but to be fair this series does have a fairly good success rate, and I remember laughing at the fake obituary Milligan provides for himself, and him jumping through the screen shouting "I may be dead but I still have my pride!" from when the BBC repeated a few episodes circa 1988.
This series turned out to be Spike's last for the BBC and it's probably his best work, but still very much a cult item, and if you're likely to be offended by racial stereotypes or big women in corsets, steer well clear.
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Spike bows out on a reasonably high note, 29 July 2005
Author: world_of_weird from England
Towards the end of its run, Spike Milligan's 'Q' series (Q5 began the run in 1969, Q9 completed it in 1980) collapsed into incomprehensible weirdness, with the occasional moment of inspired lunacy lost amongst the bewildering surrealism. Nevertheless, the BBC decided to give Spike one more chance, but that 'Q' prefix had to go - it had been confusing the viewers for far too long, so Milligan retitled the final series 'There's A Lot Of It About', and the format was tightened and lightly reworked to include convincing spoofs of other TV shows, advertising, news bulletins, films and so on, and there was much less of Spike's undisciplined laughing at his own jokes. The result was a series that seems to have stood the test of time quite well, with sketches such as 'Life On Earth' (with Milligan as a scrounging historian who cops a lot of BBC expenses on his interminable quest to find the truth behind Stonehenge), the spoof game shows 'Lose Your Furniture' and 'Flim Flam Flom', the well-deserved swipes at 'Game For A Laugh' and the Thatcher administration and Spike's characteristically irreverent take on the tourism industry still raising a laugh more than two decades later. Some of it looks rather dated, of course, and the racial slurs and Spike's obvious fondness of super-abundant women in black underwear is bound to put the PC brigade off their porridge, but mostly it's a nice way to remember the wayward talents of Spike, and long overdue a decent DVD release.
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