Only Fools and Horses.... (1981–2003)
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John Sullivan's achievements of rattling up 25m viewers is fully justified. Not only does he produce perfect comedy, but he couples that with real drama such as the death of Grandad, Cassie's miscarriage, and Rodney's wedding.
We have grown up with the Trotters - and we have died with them in some cases. But the true brilliance of David Jason, Nick Lyndhurst, Buster Merryfield and of course John Sullivan will live on.
Can I give it 11/10?
Del Boy's gift of the gab comes in handy whenever he has to placate his gauche brother Rodney (Nicholas Lyndhurst), who, unlike Del Boy, happens to have principles. Rodney allows himself to be talked into the most ridiculous, humiliating situations, thanks to Del Boy's twisted logic and specious arguments.
Grandad is the third member of the team; often the butt of Del Boy's pranks, his cookery skills leave a lot to be desired. He spends most of the time taking care of the flat (filled with all kinds of gaudy junk) and watching two televisions. Grandad was later replaced by Uncle Albert, whose experiences in the Navy have provided him with a limitless store of anecdotes that invariably begin with "During the war..."
Among my favourite episodes are "The Yellow Peril", where Rodney has to paint the grotty kitchen of a Chinese takeaway. "The Russians Are Coming" is (or was) a timely episode where the Trotters spend time in their own nuclear fallout shelter and Del Boy ponders the idea of procreation with mutants. "A Touch of Glass" has the team cleaning 17th Century chandeliers. That episode also proves that the best solution to a problem is to run away from it.
John Sullivan was originally going to call this show "Big Brother". But then he decided that people take more notice of long titles. Sullivan also sings the catchy theme song. Each episode of "Only Fools and Horses" is laughter guaranteed.
My favourite programme ever ..............
Out of 10.......11/10!
The first few seasons were half hour comedies and are hilarious, but you soon get to know these characters and become emotionally invested in their stories especially when they expand to full hour shows. By season 4 I was not just laughing, but crying. "Only Fools and Horses" succeeded in being both hilarious and extremely endearing. We are so lucky that we get to watch their stories unfold completely without having to wait 22 years. Best of all it answers the big questions and ties it all together by the final episodes. I can't imagine how invested people must have been who waited 22 years to get their answers. I know not everyone will like this series. My husband didn't like "To Hull and Back" and I do admit I didn't care much for "Miami Twice", but even these offerings are worth watching for the comedy and irony. A great show well worth your money and your time. This is indeed the best Brit-com ever made!!!
The fact that this show has achieved such legendary status in its homeland is no surprise.David Jasons a wonderful actor and Debby is no doubt his masterpiece.I don't believe a show this good will ever come along again.Im just glad it came along once!!The best thing about it is the fact that Derek and Rodney are so different,but they have an unbreakable bond.The show dealt with some serious subjects but never in an abysmal manner.They weathered all sorts of problems but always managed to survive.I truly adore this show as i'm sure millions of others around the world do.All I can say is thank you Mr.John Sulliven for creating a masterpiece that will surely stand the test of time forever!!Besides The Beatles, OFAH is the most important, entertaining,timeless,culturally significant piece of entertainment,to emerge from the British Isles.One of the greatest(perhaps the greatest)body's of work of the 20th century!!
Only Fools And Horses is so amazing especially when you see the rest of the cast, not counting DelBoy and Rodney. Boycie, Trigger and the rest of the gang they all make this show the greatest comedy ever written and produced. Well done!
This is sublime and classic British comedy at its best.There are easily funny and memorable lines and each episode has a great sense of humour. The show never fails to impress and is one of the superb shows of all time. My particular favourite moments are the episode where they pretend to be chandelier cleaners and Uncle Albert unscrews the wrong one and crash goes an expensive chandelier, the episode where Trig and Del are out on the pull and Del eyes 2 females and says "play it cool Trig, play it cool", goes to lean on the previouly complete bar, which has now been lifted and falls down and the expression on Trigs face is priceless and also the time Del stops the lift to make Rodney open up his pent up anger and sadness after the loss of his and Cassandra's baby. Absolutely a wonderful show that can be repeated endlessly and never fail to make me laugh.
For me Only Fools & Horses is not purely a comedy or a drama but a crucial part of British culture that has provided a backbone to British Family life for the last 30 or so years as Families up and down the United Kingdom continue to enjoy the nations greatest sitcom, together. In my opinion OFAH is one of the few comedies around that can genuinely provide an entire family unit with hours of entertainment without the fear of sexual content/references, bad language or violence, all of which seem to be increasingly finding there ways into so called modern 'comedies' (which are no where near as funny as this old gem!).
I should also commend the late John Sullivan for the incredible story lines and imaginative plots and of course the brilliant actors: Sir David Jason (Del boy), Nicholas Lyndhurst (Rodders) and all the other cast members for their brilliant transformations into some of the most demanding and challenging roles ever to be seen in a sitcom, all delivered with perfection!!
Only Fools & Horses, you win the Gold for pure comedy genius!
Derek 'Del Boy' Trotter (David Jason) is a brash, loud mouthed South London 'wide-boy' who lives in Nelson Mandela House, a council flat or, as he lovingly calls it, 'a lego set built by the council', along with his grand-father and his much younger brother Rodney (Nicolas Lyndhurst) an idealistic, well-meaning young man who has sadly become rather bitter and cynical at being out of work despite having three GCEs and at the immorality and hopelessness of his older brother's frequent get rich quick ideas. Despite his cocky bravado, though, Del does seem genuinely motivated to do well in business so he can provide a better life for him and his family, always trying to stir hope up within his ranks with his frequent, but never kept, promise that 'this time next year we'll be millionaires...'
Although any night of the week I am practically guaranteed to run into an episode on UKTV Gold, having just brought series 1-7 of what is easily one of my favourite sitcoms ever in a sale for £39 (nearly a hundred quid in HMV!) has brought what made it all a success racing back to me. But then, it's a testament to how great it is that it's done so well and that, well, I can tune into an episode any night of the week.
Del is the main character here, the guy the show pretty much revolves around and it's quite clear to see why. Lyndhurst's Rodney is a vital part as Del's fall guy, and grand-dad was always a good character to have around, until Lennard Pearce's death in around 1985 had him replaced by Buster Merryfield as the livelier Uncle Albert. But Del is the guy who really keeps the boat floating, the self assured, wise cracking wide boy with his frequent catch-phrase's, including the afore-mentioned '...we'll be millionaires', as well as trying to stir up more hope by frequently using the SAS's motto 'he who dares wins' and not to mention taking his exaggerated gift of the gab a bit too far by trying to pronounce sentences in languages he doesn't know the first thing about (...'borsch sprung dung technik!!!') But he can also show his darker side with it, often trying to play on Rodney's emotions by using the memory of his dead mother to force him into helping him with his latest zany scheme, telling him 'you know what the last thing your mother said to me on her death-bed?...'
Rodney's the character it's easiest to have the most empathy with, an intelligent, conscientious young man who suffers constant embarrassment at his older brother's lack of tact and knowledge, but who somehow always finds the courage to answer him back and stand up for himself. You can sense him wasting all his passion and intelligence away due to his lack of employment history and, unfortunately, a criminal record for smoking cannabis. Both Jason and Lyndhurst sound a lot more posh and elocuted in real life, so it's harder to relate to them as true South Londoners but they play their parts so well you can put it to one side. There's a host of lively supporting character's to choose from too, including Boycie (John Challis), the second hand car salesman, constantly sneering down at what he sees as the inferior Trotters and who Del secretly probably wishes he was like, and Trigger (Roger Lloyd Pack) the blank faced (and blank minded) road sweeper who can't seem to get over the fact that Rodney's name is Rodney and not Dave. He lives in a world of his own but seems to have his own weird logic to things that gets him by in life.
A product of Thatcher-esquire Britain, a time when everyone no doubt needed a good laugh and which John Sullivan delivered perfectly. It probably went on a little too long, and the cracks were definitely showing by the last episode, but the timeless overall result leaves it a classic still. *****
David Jason has inhabited the role written on the page so completely that he is now the true original, and any Cockney wide boys armed with braces and Filofax are just copycats aping their hero. Rodney, played by Nicholas Lyndhurst, is the gawky younger brother used as a stooge by his crafty go-getter relative. The family unit was rounded off by two older house-guests, and longtime series fans can be divided into two camps over whether they prefer Lennard Pierce's Grandad or Merryfield's Uncle Albert. I'm a Buster man myself - probably due to my age and the fact that the brothers were less inhibited about making fun of him more.
These were characters most people from a working class family could relate to, and we shared their own feelings about their numerous setbacks and occasional triumphs. It was truly a joyous moment when they finally got what they had spent years hustling for, and perhaps that's how these larger-than-life tradesmen should best be remembered. Familiarity made it good to see them back in the one-off specials, but deep down they will always be a pair of opportunists who somehow managed to steal our hearts when we weren't quite paying attention, and there's only so many ups and downs a streetwise life can take! Only Fools and Horses will go down in the history books as perhaps the most unpretentious and genuinely affectionate serial of its type that's ever been made.
In 1981, when it started, 'Only Fools' was just another comedy. Each episode was thirty minutes long, the only regulars were Derek 'Del Boy' Trotter, his brother Rodney, and their Grandad. Stories revolved around Del Boy's latest 'get rich quick' scheme which, predictably, would fail badly.
But as it developed, and steadily rose in popularity, it evolved into something else - a comedy soap, if you like. When it was expanded to 45 minute episodes, supporting characters such as 'Trigger', 'Denzil' and 'Boycie' became as much a part of the show as either Del Boy or Rodney. When the latter married Cassandra and the former began a relationship with Raquel, that was when it really hit the button.
Those who claim that the show's humour is intrinsically dated are wrong because the show is essentially about human relationships and that theme will never date. Despite their constant bickering, Del Boy and Rodney are devoted to each other. When gangsters threatened Rodney, Del Boy agreed to take a beating on his behalf. A sitcom about hate is never going to have the longevity of one based on love.
The death of Lennard Pearce in the mid-80's threatened to derail the show, but John Sullivan bravely decided to make Grandad's death into an episode, one that set the scene for the arrival of Uncle Albert, brilliantly played by Buster Merryfield.
As other sitcoms come and go, 'Only Fools' will always be around somewhere. My favourite episode - 'The Jolly Boys' Outing'. Just watching the Trotters and their friends having fun at the seaside is a sheer joy!
A word of warning - if you're thinking of getting your chandelier cleaned, don't call the Trotters, okay?
It became a steady diet for the British public with almost 25 million people watching the episodes which at the time was half the population of the country, a viewing record that still stands today, it is one of the very few TV shows that could make you laugh uncontrollably one minute then cry your eyes out in the next.
I could go on and on about this masterpiece, talking about my favourite episode (the unlucky winner is, series 6 episode 4), or my favourite feature length special (Heroes and Villains), but I wont, maybe the American readers haven't had the pleasure of watching only fools but please do give it a chance you won't regret it.
Supported by a strong second tier of characters including the snobby Boycie and dim Trigger each episode of this show has magic moments with the chemistry between David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst is spot on.
This is by far one of the best comedies ever produced as it has the unique ability to be both funny and touching at the same time. Not all the episodes are classics and the later specials were a mistake but this cannot spoil the fact that John Sullivan regularly creates moments of comedy gold that will live on forever.