Reggie Perrin (TV Series 2009– ) Poster

(2009– )

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I was expecting it to be awful.....
VictorianCushionCat26 April 2009
...but it was actually pretty good.

I'm a massive fan of the original 3 series, if not the 1996 comeback with the original characters. And of course Leonard Rossiter did an extremely rare thing of being a legend with both Rigsby in Rising Damp, and Reggie Perrin. Therefore when I saw the reports that they were to do a remake, I groaned. So when the first new episode came on the other evening, expectations were minimal.

To be fair, on it's own merits, compared to the rotten standard of mainstream comedy in recent years, I felt it was fairly funny, enjoyable enough if not classic first episode. There's little danger of it coming anywhere close to the real version, but all in all, not a bad effort.

Martin Clunes is good as a 'hangdog' Reggie, but with none of the nervous dynamite that Rossiter's Reggie had, still who could compare? I can't see that they'll also have anywhere like the 'ensemble' of the original. Chris Jackson for example is no CJ, but again, how could he be?

Therefore I'd say new Reggie was watchable, and the best of what is a pretty lame bunch these days (mainstream BBC comedies) and there were definitely some funny moments/lines. Added to that there is an interest in the 'executive disillusionment' theme 30+ years on.

But as is so often the case with remakes, by all means see it, and if you like it, do what I did a few years ago and treat yourself to a DVD set of the first incarnation, now that's Reggie!
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A Modern Twist to a Classic Comedy
Jon Formby26 May 2009
I wasn't aware that the BBC were making a new Reggie Perrin, so this came as a big surprise, but I am pleased to say a pleasant one and so far after five episodes very enjoyable.

Martin Clunes makes for a very different, but equally entertaining Reggie, with excellent support from Fay Ripley as his wife and Neil Stuke as his new boss, and some great turns from Wendy Craig as Reggie's Mum and Geoffrey Whitehead as his wife's father.

There are many nods to the old series, but it is just as watchable to newcomers and whilst in many aspects a commuters life (train delays etc) is no different to the 1970's (bowler hats aside) has incorporated modern gadgets and business jargon and trends into the show seamlessly.

Lucy Liemann as Jasmine Strauss also adds some excellent support and the target of Reggie's many daydreams! All in all, well worth watching and proving that you can re-make a classic well if you successfully bring it into a modern setting.

Congratulations to the BBC, keep up the good work.
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Much better than you might expect...
Mike Fowler24 April 2009
Watched the first episode of this today and was quite impressed. There are a number of reviews out there which see even the making of this series as a desecration of the grave of Leonard Rossiter, which tends to colour their opinions of the show itself. Well, I was a fan of David Nobbs original book "The Death Of Reginald Perrin" before the Rossiter series was ever made, and found that the original TV series reduced some key features (the hippo mother-in-law, CJ's "I didn't get where I am today...", Tony's "Great!!"s) to a cartoonish level. What I have seen in one episode of the 2009 version is an attempt to bypass most of the clichés of the original version, and focus on the true and timeless humour of a staid man coming apart. At first sight, it seems to me that Martin Clunes, David Nobbs and Simon Nye have worked long and hard together to produce a piece of work that will stand apart from the so-called classic. Definitely worth checking out, whether or not you have any preconceptions.
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Not Bad At All
Nigh Dark25 December 2010
It seem to me the biggest issue the negative reviewers have is comparing this series to the original with Leonard Rossiter. That is always a mistake in my opinion because to most people a remake with another actor rarely can match the original. Or in other words, they're not giving this series a chance really. Instead of a constant comparison, why not try to see this as a stand-alone program and judge it on its own merits.

Martin Clunes is a brilliant actor in his own right and is handling the role well. I have to admit that I'm not as impressed with his co-stars, so far they've been a little too cartoon-ish and not enough "real". The writing could stand to improve a bit as well, but on the whole this isn't a bad series and it is entertaining. Rarely do you find a show that is perfect in every way and it seems to me that this one is being judged a bit harshly because it is a remake. I find I enjoy settling in and watching it and that's what it's all about, isn't it?
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It's just not working
graham_52510 May 2009
I've watched this with an open mind as a huge fan of the original and tried to appreciate it on it's own merits however I'm not getting into it. I don't dislike it exactly but it just doesn't really have any impact on me at all. The only thing keeping watching I think is the gorgeous and charming Lucy Liemann who plays Jasmine and the very cute and adorable Kerry Howard who plays Vicky, Reggie's dopey secretary. Kerry Howard is the only person in the show who has actually made me laugh.

So what's wrong with it? The story isn't as relevant as it was in the 1970s. Shows like Reggie Perrin, The Good Life and Butterflies all hit a nerve at the time with people. There must have a great deal of dissatisfaction amongst the middle aged suburbanites of the 1970s. I just don't find Martin Clunes dissatisfaction very believable. It seems forced, this is after all a show about Reggie Perrin and so he has to be dissatisfied. In the original you can really feel Reggie's mounting sense of frustration, boredom and insanity. The point about Reggie Perrin is that he is a man who has everything that society says you have to have and yet he is still bored and dissatisfied. He is driven mad by repetition, banality and the total absence of any kind of uncertainty. He has to create danger and uncertainty in order to make himself feel alive again. I don't think anybody in the Britain of 2009 could possibly have the luxury of being driven mad by too much security and certainty. A modern day executive is more likely to be driven to desperation by fear, over work and stress.

The biggest problem I have with it though is that it just isn't that funny. The script isn't very good, the editing is quite poor and the performances are average. Martin Clune's was on a hiding to nothing trying to step into the shoes of a masterful performer like Leonard Rossiter. I've nothing against Martin Clunes, he's a decent enough comedy actor but he's not one of the greats.

It was a brave thing to do and I'm sure they knew they were setting themselves up to be severely criticised, I just wish they had either done it better or not bothered.
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Reggie is back and although everything is familiar, it is set in the modern day rather than in the 1970s.
DVD Dave24 April 2009
I was very surprised when I discovered that Reggie Perrin was to be remade, but relieved when I saw that David Nobbs (original author) was co-writing it with Symon Nye (Men Behaving Badly).

Reggie is still having a mid-life crisis and he's still an executive in similar environment (men's grooming products instead of food desserts), and a lot of other characters have been replaced by characters with similar traits and it's all brought up to date with his irritation of the silent commuters, but this time not through the old reasons, but because of omnipresent mobile phones, iPods isolating people and laptops on peoples knees on trains keeping them from interacting with their fellow passengers.

I would like to give this 10 / 10 but because of the original being a perfect 10 in my eyes I am giving it a 9 / 10. Having said this, Martin Clunes is a perfect actor to play Reggie, although a few other character choices seem odd, i.e. Neil Stuke (Game On) as CJ's equivalent character, even though he's not called CJ, but still Reggie's surprisingly 'younger' boss.

This review was written after watching episode 1 (of 6) and expect the remainder of the series to be as good or get even better considering those involved.
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OK. But not great.
John Green17 May 2011
Average is how I would describe this series. Yes, I did really enjoy Leonard Rossiter as Reggie but times have changed. So Reggie passes by Sunshine Des erts and is now into Groomtech. Unfortunately, the comedy here is somewhat lacking. There are amusing moments but not enough. Mind you, I love Martin Clunes as Doc Martin, but I think the good writing is what is missing. Remaking any older series like F&R of Reginald Perrin, The Bounder, Only when I Laugh, Manor Born etc, is a challenge but it requires thinking outside the box for the times we live. I hoped for more from this series. Now I am looking forward to the next series of Doc Martin!
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Awful - ditch the 'stars' and the director
always4225 April 2009
Yes, I am a fan of the original series.

Positive: the updated world is portrayed through Reginald Iolanthe Perrin's eyes with the same rat-race context.

Negative: the acting is too caricature, too little character. (1 exception so far - Reggie's fantasy girl plays both roles easily.

Subtlety has been lost in the 30-odd years.

Highlight: re-imagining the leather chair and massive desk

Low point: moron secretary, moron co-workers, ham-acting. 'Reggie' has lost the warmth and charm that made you sympathise with him - the whole point of the show.

Nice nod to Sunshine Desserts in ep.1, hope the letters gradually drop off, just to show the director understood the original.
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I could not be bothered
pythonman-126 September 2009
Leonard Rossiter WAS Reginald Perrin and nothing or no-one can change that, not even the great Martin Clunes. When I found out that they were showing a remake of the series, I certainly was curious, but after a few episodes I did not feel the need to watch it any further, although I took a glimpse at the final show (which could not change my opinion). The problem is (as it has been stated by others) that it is just not funny enough and that some of the characters are tedious or irrelevant. For instance Perrin's nerdy assistants. They were a waste of time and effort. And also Fay Ripley's character was not very well developed. Reggie Perrin's fantasies were actually the only things that made me laugh out loud. And that's only 5 % on the whole, isn't it? This comedy show had no drive, no punch and hardly any amusement, although the actors tried to make it work. I certainly hope that there won't be a second series. And instead of remaking a classic success, producers and writers should focus on new ideas. "Reggie Perrin" will not be in my DVD-collection.
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Reginald Perrin should never have risen again
marathon_man27 April 2009
As soon as I saw this was to be made, I cringed. Not even the fact it was to star the usually entertaining Martin Clunes got my hopes up. All the same, I was determined to sit down and try to judge it at face value. Sadly, I was still disappointed.

I watched the original as a child and I suppose, on looking back, that maybe I appreciated it for a similar reason without knowing it. It has remained in my heart since then as a classic piece of television - not just of situation comedy, which is almost a degrading term for such wonderful television. It is also a prized possession in my DVD collection.

On watching this version, I nearly laughed. Nearly. Once.

I did appreciate the nod to the original with Sunshine Desserts being shown but the updating of several elements left me cold. Some examples: 1) Much as I love Martin Clunes (and Men Behaving Badly, even the rickety Is It Legal, both by Simon Nye), he is not truly suited to the role. Leonard Rossiter could play world-weary but with the ability to instantly demonstrate it with a sharp wit that was at odds with his demeanor. Yet it worked because he was so good at that style of acting. That's something Martin Clunes doesn't have, nor do the vast majority of comic actors.

2) His object of affection. Sue Nichols, in my opinion, has never been the most obvious glamour figure, and that's what worked. Reggie was used to her, but suddenly his frustration with his life drove him to quite ridiculous fantasies revolving around her. That was what was funny - he didn't go for the glamour, he went for the safest risky option he could think of, his rather ordinary looking secretary.

There's no doubting Lucy Liemann is far more pleasing on the eye but it's just too easy to have him fall for a beautiful (and crucially NEW) girl on the block. With Rossiter's Perrin, he went for the stability of a known woman, which was at odds with wanting to change his whole existence.

3) The train journeys. The humour was in Perrin always being in the same coach, with the same passengers and the same dull (non) conversation. That's been lost.

4) "Great!", "Super!" has been replaced by 2 horrendously tedious nerds who offer nothing to the humour.

5) CJ. I didn't get where I am today by thinking a younger CJ with more arrogance than pomposity or childish humour (whooppee chairs) would be funny. Yes, the chairs were a nod to the more basic concept of humour but they worked! I presume they intend giving this a 2 or 3 series run but on the basis of this first of 6 episodes, I really can't see a recommissioning being a good idea.

2 stars. It's not worthy of just one because there are so many "comedy" shows out there nowadays that are far worse, but not worthy of more than 2 because it's messing with an original classic. Were it an original itself, it may have made 3 stars.
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Good try-but don't give up up your general practice Doc...
dan.adams1 February 2010
I didn't get where I am today by watching remakes of The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin! But I DID watch episode one of Reggie Perrin, this evening-right after having had a good laugh with Doc Martin. Mostly Martin Clunes got laughs for his Doc Martinisms-he really didn't bring RP to life.As the imagined "office water cooler romance" developed, I saw the Clunes of MBB emerging. I'm a great fan of MC,he is one of today's comedic stars.Don't want to be to hard on supporting actors(all of them) but by and large their efforts were pathetic. CJ was a definite cj..........and what a dill Reggie's secretary is! I think bringing Perrin back from his water grave is ...a mission impossible!
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Not as great or super as the original
Prismark1029 March 2014
Reggie Perrin is a remake of the classic BBC sitcom of the 1970s and writer Simon Nye roped in creator David Nobbs to co-write the reboot.

Reggie is still commuting to work and hating it. He works for a grooming company instead of Sunshine desserts, with a still horrible but now younger boss (Neil Stuke.) He fantasizes about his fellow worker Lucy Liemann and the office doctor from the original is now replaced by an equally vapid holistic consultant who is very funny.

We also have Reggie's wife as well his mother, his father in law and some office workers in the set up.

The series did not quiet fly despite the update. I think Reggie's wife was not as well developed, the boss was more weaker here and it lacked the zaniness and some of those characters with catchphrases that the original was loaded with.

A nice attempt but not quiet there but in its own right still better and funnier than a lot of other sitcoms.
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Complete waste of time and money
John Haridemou13 October 2009
To say this series is merely awful would see me prosecuted under the trades description act.

Full of canned laughter and totally unfunny, I am astonished that I even got to watching the whole of the first two episodes after which I could simply take no more.

Martin Clunes is miscast in this role and has dreadful timing and delivery whilst I find it hard to believe that the writer of this latest series is the same as the original ones whom most would consider classics.

Despite this being a more modern version of the original series it simply doesn't work but to be fair it is hard for Martin Clunes to even warrant comparison with Leonard Rossiter as it is akin to comparing mediocrity with genius.

Makes me honestly feel like asking for my Television license fee back.
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The original is classic this is Not worth the tape they wasted.
Azlan Lewis30 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I am in the USA, and our PBS stations started playing this recently.

I thought they were joking then is saw "Reggie Perrin" on the info box on the TV.

The jokes are the same from the original series but do not fit in this new version.

The characters aren't even believable as to what they are playing, it would be just as good using the original voice track and have wooden sticks with faces painted on playing them, then this version.

I read up on it and it had such a low rating in the UK I can't believe they ordered additional shooting for the new series.

Do not waste your time with watching this you will be disappointed.
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''Train 27 minutes late, treacle on the line!''
RaspberryLucozade3 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
In recent days, the BBC have been, usually ( though not always in all fairness ) with catastrophic results, remaking old sitcoms from the '60's and '70's with new casts ( a lot of the original cast members having died ) such as 'Porridge', 'Dad's Army' and 'Are You Being Served?'. This is not a new thing. The trend seemed to start in 2009, when Martin Clunes signed up for a remake of David Nobbs' classic 'The Fall & Rise Of Reginald Perrin' ( which featured the much missed Leonard Rossiter in the leading role ), entitled simply 'Reggie Perrin'.

David Nobbs returned to write the scripts, though he had a little help from Simon Nye, whose most famous creation 'Men Behaving Badly' had starred Martin Clunes. This 21st Century Reggie worked not for Sunshine Desserts ( though this was referenced to in the first episode ) but for Groomtech, a company which manufacture vanity products. Reggie's boss here is Chris Jackson ( Neil Stuke, who vainly tried to inherit the mannerisms that John Barron brought to his role as C.J ), his secretary was not the bright and level headed Joan but the dim witted Vicki ( Kerry Howard, who recently played the role of Hyacinth in the ill fated 'Keeping Up Appearances' prequel 'Young Hyacinth' ). In place of Tony Webster and David Harris-Jones we have the irritating Anthony and Steve ( Jim Howick and Nick Mohammed ). Instead of John Horsley's befuddled Doc Morrisey, we have Susan Earl as Groomtech's 'wellness person'.

Reggie's home life is equally strained. His marriage here is not a happy one to Elisabeth but a failing one to steadfast and independent Nicola ( played by the gorgeous Fay Ripley ). He does not have a scrounging brother in law in the shape of Jimmy but a scrounging father-in-law named William ( Geoffrey Whitehead, who seems to have inherited Geoffrey Palmer's ''Bit of a cock up on the catering front!'' ). We even see, in the place of a hippopotamus, Reggie's hatchet faced mother Marion ( Wendy Craig ).

At work, Reggie is besotted not with Joan but the lovely Jasmine Strauss ( Lucy Liemann ).

In all honesty, it wasn't too bad, and to be fair to Martin Clunes, he did the very best he could in such a tricky role. Even Fay Ripley made the most of her role as Nicola. Meanwhile for the rest of the cast Howick and Mohammed were particularly awful as Ant and Steve while Neil Stuke could not hold a cigar to John Barron's C.J. Kerry Howard and Susan Earl, while not altogether bad, could have, and should have, put a bit more into their portrayals. Lucy Liemann however provided some fun as Jasmine, Reggie's centre of lust. The main problem was that, even after thirty odd years, the affection for the original show was still far too strong. It did well enough to get a second series but after that it went downhill, at which point the door was closed on Groomtech for good.
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A crucial mistake
lazur-210 April 2013
Martin Clunes is the best in his field. His acting is meaningfully more authentic than the actors who usually do this type of comedy, (what can at best be described as mediocre comedy skits masquerading as a cohesive show). In fact, Clunes is good enough to have potentially rescued this series from its less than funny scripts, (if only the producers had realized how good he is), but for one additional mistake: The God-awful laugh track, so wrong, in so many ways: 1/ Laugh tracks always suck. 2/ This particular laugh track is unrelenting, barely giving us a chance to hear the last word of any of the supposed punch-lines, (and many lines that no sane person would consider to be a punch-line). 3/ Clunes' forte is dry humor, and it seems as though the writers, (within their talent's limitations), are aware of this, but the guffaws that follow his lines are -not- how one laughs at this type of humor. Thus, what might have been a passable comedy with a subtly entertaining lead character, is, instead, virtually unwatchable.
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