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Over time I hope to expand my reviews, especially to be more inclusive of those programs that I did not like.
I follow the IMDB star rating system, and expand on it slightly with a description of what each rating means to me, as follows:
Stars - Rating
10 - Absolutely Flawless
9 - Outstanding
8 - Brilliant
7 - Great
6 - Good (but could be better)
5 - Average
4 - Below average
3 - Bad
2 - Abysmal
1 - Absolutely Terrible
This page was last updated on April 25th 2019, and is a work in progress.
If you wish to contact me you can do so via the IMDB community here:
Or via email to extremesteamkeys at google dot com
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Discuss the list here!
To jog your memory, or for some examples see: Wikipedia
(Special Thanks: act_1, albstein, Ed Jones (XLIX), and everyone else who has stepped forward, offered feedback, help and suggestions - and to everybody who has participated in the discussion and nominated titles for this poll.)
Currently the top 3 are in order of my preference. The rest are just in the order I've added them. (Generally in Season order).
This list is a work in progress and is currently in the initial stages. Last Updated April 27th 2019.
Frustrating at times yet still compelling enough to watch
Matriarch is in many ways typical of the horror/thriller genre crossbreed. It's the type of movie where the main character makes enough stupid mistakes that you get frustrated, yet at least with this film the narrative is interesting enough to keep you entertained.
The plot is fairly straight-forward and some may say predictable although there is enough variation here on the standard cliche narrative of other films of the same ilk that I personally found it quite watchable.
Whilst there are far better movies out there, there are also far worse - and after learning how low the films budget was I feel a little more sympathetic towards it.
Although perhaps more geared to cater for a female audience as a male I still enjoyed this title, and consider it above average.
6* - Good (But Could Be Better)
Awash with absurdity, Mother! just tries too hard...
Mother! is a film that tries to pose questions to its audience and intentionally leaves them unanswered. For the most part this is acceptable, but there are several scenes that are not tied well enough together in the narrative - and this leads to disappointment - the scene with the cellar door springs to mind here.
The movie, is okay, but I can't help feeling it's trying to be bigger than its boots - it try's to weave mystery, suspense and horror into a seamless blend but ultimately blurs the boundaries between the genres so much so that you lose focus. It seems like it's crying out to be an artistic masterpiece, but perhaps trying a little too hard.
The narrative is convoluted - it's not super difficult to follow but many of the questions that it leaves open ended answers to are unavailing - the questions that it needs to answer to make a decent amount of sense it just doesn't, and the questions it does not answer just seem pointless.
It's not absolutely terrible, and some people will love it. I however did not. For these reasons I consider it be worth about 5 stars, which is average - but I can see how one could argue for or against the film at least 1 star in either direction. I don't think it's worth any less than 4 stars but it certainly is not worthy of more than 6.
5* - Average
A potentially good narrative ruined by constriction.
Whilst Inside is not a terrible movie, it fails to adequately compel its audience into viewing it more than once.
It offers a potentially good story line, that they could have done so much more with. The films ending is an anti-climax at best, and the only shining parts are the actors commitment to true-form acting and the small element of fear the title imparts on its viewers.
4* - Below average
Funny and Entertaining!
This title is pretty much standard fare as far as Last of the Summer Wine episodes go - but that is not a bad thing!
Their are plenty of laughs to be had and Roy Clarke's sense of comic irony definitely creeps in around the edges, providing enough frivolity and mirth to lift your mood - without requiring you to think too much.
The narrative lacks complexity but is detailed enough to keep you entertained.
As a must watch for Last Wine fanatics and a decent enough taster for casual viewers this episode gets a 7/10.
7* - Great
Before I Go to Sleep (2014)
I really enjoyed this film.
Before I Go to Sleep successfully immerses you in a world of chaos in a way that a lot of other films fail. It can be incredibly difficult to adequately capture turmoil - particularly when that turmoil is largely internal and psychological - as opposed to an external event.
Whilst a lot of films do well to portray catastrophes they focus almost entirely on the event itself, and fall more into the Action genre than that of Thriller/Suspense.
Before I Go to Sleep is a great example of a film that does the opposite - it focuses more on our own perceptions, and does a great job at making us feel like we are really a part of the intense drama the protagonist goes through.
Because the film's main theme revolves around memory, or lack thereof, it could be easy for it to fall into a whole host of pitfalls regarding continuity and logical temporal progression. However, this title handles it well. It's complex enough to keep you engaged, yet does not feel convoluted or hard to follow.
As a suspense title it can be a little predictable at times, and perhaps the twists that exist in the narrative are a little cliche, but as a Thriller it is sure to delight.
Some of the jump scares are a little tacky and unnecessary, but overall the majority of the film does quite well at not only keeping you entertained but intrigued.
The acting is superb and ultimately believable - which is vital in this genre. If the main characters emotions did not feel authentic you'd certainly loose the deep sense of foreboding and hopelessness that pervades the title from beginning to end.
I really enjoyed this film and I'm sure many others will also. Whilst plot predictability and the seemingly pointless jump scares prevent it from perfection this is still a brilliant film and has earned a 7/10.
7* - Great
A decent episode, but perhaps not as great as a 'special'.
Whilst almost as equally as entertaining as standard episodes of The Last of The Summer Wine the 1995 Christmas Special doesn't quite live up to the quality of other specials in the series.
The episode is amusing and entertaining without a doubt, however it struggles with a little incoherence - the narrative is enjoyable but not compelling. Perhaps it's just the fact that the recurring theme of Howard and his struggle to keep his girlfriend a secret from his wife is becoming more than a little worn out by now, or perhaps it's that there isn't enough physical comedy or poetic irony to drive you into fits of laughter. Either way, whilst this episode is certainly far from terrible it just doesn't quite meet the mark of some of the others, and as a Christmas Special it's a slight let down.
Those things aside it's still worth watching, especially if you are a Summer Wine fan - if you are more of a casual viewer, there are better episodes to pick from.
6* - Good (But Could Be Better)
Four Words: Giant, Inflatable, Fat Lady!
This is definitely one of my favourite Last of the Summer Wine episodes. Anything that features a giant inflatable fat lady has to get at least 1 extra star in my book!
Beyond that side of things, this episode is, at least to me, insanely funny. It's absolutely full to the brim with comic ingenuity, and shines through with some of Last Wine's greatest moments. From the chaotic scene with Thora Hird as Edie on the railway line to the peaceful framing of the main trio sitting with their fat, inflatable friend it's hard to keep a straight face at any point.
The laughs just keep on coming until the credits roll and you realise you've just witnessed a piece of comic art.
10* - Absolutely Flawless!
Bill Owen Shines Once Again
Although I personally feel I identify more closely with the character of Norman Clegg than William 'Compo' Simonite I cannot deny the genius that Bill Owen brings to screen.
This episode encapsulates that genius. His sheer brilliance and raw physical comic timing is what makes this episode so great. The narrative is standard Summer Wine fare, and this is a good thing.
It may not make your list of top 10 episodes, it may not even make your list of top 25, but it is still a fantastic episode and deserves each and every one of the 8 stars I have awarded it.
8* - Brilliant
It starts off a little slow but quickly shifts gear...
The 4th Episode of Season 17 of The Last of The Summer Wine takes a little while to get off the ground. On the surface it initially left me feeling a little blasé, however after letting it settle in my mind for a while it began to grow on me.
My issue the overall series during this season is how so many of the episodes focus their plot more on Howard and his love affairs more than they do on the main protagonists. However, this particular episode is humorous enough that it negates any gripes I have in this regard.
The comic effect of Roy Clarke's writing really shines in the final third of the episode, with Bill Owen's wonderful sense of comic timing and physical comedy being amalgamated into a scene that is, if nothing else, absolutely hilarious.
If it wasn't for that scene (you'll know it when you see it) this episode would probably only be getting a 6/10, but that scene alone is worth its weight in gold, or 2 more stars, to be exact, making it 8/10 overall.
8* - Brilliant
A decent episode that keeps you entertained...
Although yet again in this episode we see the recurring problem of Howard's extramarital relationship with Marina this time the variation in narrative is plausible enough to keep things interesting.
There are a few key moments that will be sure to please, such as Eli's appearance and the episodes humorous conclusion.
Whilst not amongst the best episodes in the series this one gains some finesse from its lack of plot convolution. That, and the fact it really is quite funny make it deserve 7 stars.
7* - Great
It's good to see another classic episode!
After a slightly disappointing opening with Season 17's first episode, Last of The Summer Wine has brought back brilliance again with the seasons second. This time around we see our favourite protagonists plotting and scheming as usual with chaotically hilarious consequences.
The humour and jokes present here are slightly more intellectual than some of the series other episodes, and this does wonders do reinvigorate ones interest and curiosity in the program. There is also plenty of physical comedy and laughs abound for those of you who don't want to think about things too much.
It's this lighthearted as usual, with an edge of extra cheekiness that makes this episode worthy of 8 stars.
8* - Brilliant
The theme is getting old but can still draw some laughs
The opening episode of the 17th season of The Last of The Summer Wine returns to one of it's core recurring themes - that of Howard and his extramarital affairs.
It seems slowly but surely over the years Howard becomes more and more a prominent feature of the show. This in itself is not bad, however a lot of the jokes in this episode revolve around his eternal struggle to maintain both a wife, and a girlfriend - and by now this is becoming a bit repetitive.
That being said, this episode is still amusing and entertaining, and if you consider it on it's own it is still a decent title. Whilst I don't see it being in anybody's list of favourite episodes it still maintains some standard of comedic integrity and although it is not outstanding it's still worth watching - especially if you are a Summer Wine fan.
If you don't take it top seriously, and refrain from judging the entire show based on just this one 30 minute episode you'll still garner some brief moments of entertainment and laughs.
6 Stars - *Good, but could be better.*
Another classic canonical episode!
The final episode of the 16th Last of the Summer Wine season is at home amongst some of its better ones. This episode is filled with lighthearted entertainment, and fun for the whole family.
It's built, like quite a few of the episodes, on a simple premise - and the jokes revolve around the physical comedy of Bill Owen and his characters ever increasingly 'scruffy' appearance.
It took a little while for the narrative to get off the ground with the first third of the episode devoted to plot establishment - but that first third still packs in quite a few funny twists and turns. The rest of the episode is relatively decent and is if nothing else, entertaining.
Whilst to some it may be just another episode in the epic comedic series that is Last of The Summer Wine to others it might just make their top 10. For me, it's not especially memorably - at least in the context of the entire series, but it is still brilliant. For that reason, and the others above, I'm giving this one 8 stars.
8 Stars - *Brilliant*
Adult Babies (2017)
It's so ridiculous it's watchable...
Adult Babies tries way too hard to push the boundaries of shock and horror into the realms of farce. It does however succeed in moments, but as a whole the film is quite flawed. It seems desperate in its attempt to become a cult classic - and this its downfall - rather than be driven by a strong narrative that actually has some significant impact its just a series of badly-strung, cheap jokes that are mashed together.
Despite this, there are momentary glimpses of potential, and the plot, if nothing else, is fairly original.
If you look past the shock value you won't find much there - but if you take it with a grain of salt and look at it with a lighthearted glance you might get a few laughs over the sheer insanity it entails.
Whilst certainly *not* a film for the whole family to enjoy I'm sure some people out there will find it appealing. (To each their own).
3 Stars - *Just Plain Bad*
"We're going to have to tell our Hyacinth...."
Although I absolutely adore every single episode of the show, The pilot episode deserves special consideration - because without it, the rest wouldn't be possible.
The episode does extremely well at providing a basis for the rest of the series. The actors seem incredibly comfortable in their roles, and although, naturally, the characters they play become more multi-dimensional as the show rolls on, many of the classic, core elements of the shows humour are established in this episode.
If you wish to watch a single episode to see if you would like the show or not there is no better way to start than right here, at the beginning, because although arguably there are subjectively better episodes than this one if you don't like the pilot you most likely won't like the rest of the series.
If however, on the other hand, you are like me, you'll fall in love with the entire series from this episode forward, and never look back.
Roy Clarke, in my humble opinion, is a comic genius, and his script is delivered flawlessly by both the main ensemble and the entire supporting cast.
Yes, it's from the early 90's and it may seem outdated - but this is one comedy that for myself, and I'm sure many others, will stand the test of time for as long as it continues to be possible to watch it (and re-watch it, over, and over, and over again).
This is not just a television show. This is pure comedic art at it's greatest, and this episode is the foundation upon which such greatness is built.
10/10 Stars - *ABSOLUTELY FLAWLESS*
Keeping Up Appearances (1990)
A piece of British history and a fine example of what comedy should be.
Keeping Up Appearances is quite simply my most favourite television program of all time. Bar none. Writer Roy Clarke has taken his enormous talent, which he exhibited throughout 'The Last of The Summer Wine' and amplified it 10-fold.
It's the only show I've ever watched in it's entirety well over 20 times, and still I find it absolutely hilarious. I make a point of re-watching it at least once per year, and it has been a staple in my TV diet since I was an adolescent. (I'm 33 Now).
Some people, particularly those not fond of British Class-based humour may find it dull and boring, but for those of us that love this style of comedy this is the epitome of entertainment.
To say I love the show would be a severe understatement, and I don't make this claim lightly - if a show is bad, I say so - this isn't - it's brilliantly written and performed with perfect comic timing.
The only downside is there just isn't enough episodes - because for me, even if there was 1000 I don't think I could ever grow tired of "The Bucket Woman's" antics.
Patricia Routledge and Clive Swift are amazing actors and the supporting cast do more than provide justice for this ranking as absolute all-time number one.
Now if you don't mind, I must go and answer my phone...it'll be my Sheridan of course...I can tell by the psychic pain between my shoulder blades :p
Another hilarious episode of the world's longest running sitcom
From the opening moments of this episode you know you are going to be in for a laugh-a-minute fun-fest, and you won't be disappointed. With plenty of comical moments the jokes come hard and fast and the underlying theme of ironic stupidity is definitely present here.
The only let down is in the narrative - the plot feels a little cut short, but when episodes need to be under 30 minutes it's somewhat understandable. I do feel however that they could have disposed with some of the more unnecessary filler content and further expounded on the main story line. For that reason I can't give it higher than 8 stars, but every one of those 8 is well deserved.
One of the more raw episodes yet still a classic.
Whilst this episode is built on a simple premise and does not offer much in the way of in-depth plot it certainly keeps you entertained.
From the early appearance of Eli to Brian Wilde's delectable grin towards the end this episode is choc full of in-your-face humour. It's not quite as dry as some of the other episodes and relies more on standard, raw, undiluted hilarity.
There's less focus on irony, but forgoing the tongue-in-cheek approach is not without its appeal, the jokes are blatant, but do not feel tacky or cheap. Ultimately, at its heart, this episode is one thing if nothing else - just plain funny. - And as such, it is highly recommended to both Last Wine fanatics and casual viewers.
The ending of this episode says it all!
Overall this episode takes a little while to get off the ground. It features a recurring theme of Last Wine where the familiar trio come across a local idiot.
The standard components of a classic last Wine episode are almost all present here, from the synchronised tea drinking ladies to Howard and Marina's extra-marital quest for love.
On it's own this episode is mostly standard fare, and features nothing particularly amazing - until the last few minutes, where it culminates with one of the seasons funniest moments, and possibly one of the funniest in the entire series.
Regular fans of Last of the Summer Wine will enjoy this episode, but those unfamiliar with the show may not be as intrigued. - If it weren't for such a hilarious ending it would score a 5/10, but the end is definitely worth bumping it up by 2 more stars.
It's far from the best episode ever but it certainly features one of the funniest moments.