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The Best of the Rest
nephihaha from Scotland
23 January 2012
I rate this particular episode as being amongst the best of Auf
Wiedersehen Pet, and certainly the best of the second series. It's
funny, it's engaging and it's good drama.
There's some great ideas in this one. There's country music, and a
western style showdown. There's also some great dialogue, such as
Barry's pronouncement on Country music - "Not so much Heavy Metal as
Thick Grass. I would think prolonged exposure to this would make you
grow udders." or Kenny Ames on his exile in the Costa Del Crime "This
is a real prison, this is." Even Neville gets a great comedy line, and
he shines in this episode.
Series two had some really laboured (no pun intended) story lines about
class conflict and snobbery, but in "Cowboys", we're spared the
dreadful upper class stereotypes of "Another Country", and the
political points are much better made. Ally perhaps represents the
Thatcherism of the time, with his get-rich-quick scheme, which rides
roughshod over the pride/self-respect of the lads, and is not ashamed
to use force if necessary. Someone rightly describes Ally's proposed
old folks' home as a "cardboard death trap". More obviously, "Cowboys"
tackles the (now largely complete) Americanisation of England.
The drama works really nicely too. The lads manage to do Dennis a good
turn, and stand up for his (and their) rights, and justice is served.
It's also one of the few times that the villain Ally Fraser gets to
show his true nature.
While series one of AWP was full of good episodes, series two wasn't. I
just wish the rest of series two and indeed series three and four
were this strong. Maybe Harry Blackburn should have been brought back,
instead of that "Wyman" character. (Even Trev would have been better)
High Point: The showdown (Barry's contribution cracks me up)
Low Point: The ghost subplot doesn't work very well, particularly when
we find out what the cause is.
Look out for: Big Willie Osbourne's number, Kenny and Ally in the
jacuzzi, a young Gina McKee.
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