Author Topic: Last of the Summer Wine  (Read 7975 times)

Fambo Number Mive

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Last of the Summer Wine
« on: May 22, 2021, 05:41:57 PM »
The excellent Last of the Summer Robocop thread inspired me to watch Last of the Summer Wine clips on YouTube, which got me to order the box set of Last of the Summer Wine series 1 to 10.

I'm halfway through series 4 at the moment. The first two series have Michael Bates playing the first member of the Compo and Clegg threesome, Blamire. Although Bates tries his best, the character just isn't funny and the first two series are a chore to sit through. When the wonderful Foggy Dewhurst, my favourite Last of the Summer Wine character and one of my favourite comedy characters, arrives, the show really improves. Its lovely to watch this character get his pomposity pricked all the time.

Last of the Summer Wine reminds me of lamb chops with mint sauce as we would have that for dinner before watching the show.

Compo isn't all that funny to me, his constant harassment of Nora Batty is pretty grim and he is quite disgusting (and that's from someone with a disgusting sink and toilet). Clegg is still good fun though, as is Ivy, although Sid isn't my cup of tea. The first few series have a lot of scenes in the library which I dont think happened at all later on.

Considering getting the full box set for the later Dewhurst episodes and the Frank Thornton episodes. Its £70 though but there is very little else on TV, so will have to save up. Cant see it in the few charity shops I've braved the past couple of months.

The early series have quite a lot of homophobic content, although there isn't much racism thankfully. It's weird seeing Compo and Clegg make bigoted comments.

Are you a Last of the Summer Wine fan? Who is your favourite third man?

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2021, 06:56:57 PM »
I believe it’s all on Britbox (Google seems to think so, but there’s no definitive listing), so you could potentially sub to that for a bit to see the rest.

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2021, 08:28:03 PM »
Had a look on Britbox but there are only three Christmas specials, I watched the one "Getting Sam Home" based on the Roy Clarke novel. That was good. The one where Nora Batty becomes a waitress wasnt very good, the third one where Barry and Glenda get married was ok.

I'm surprised how hard Last of the Summer Wine is to find on streaming services, given how popular it was and how it ended relatively recently.

purlieu

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Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2021, 08:53:07 PM »
The first two series are more like a mildly comic drama rather than an outright sitcom. I'm fond of some of Foggy's first two series too, it retains some of that charm, but from the late '70s onwards, the shift into slapstick and catchphrases moved it towards the oft-maligned show that I can't say I'm so fond of. It's a shame, too, because Roy Clarke's strength has always been well-observed dialogue and the peculiarities of the way people gossip. The best bits in later series always came from Foggy's introductory scenes, where you'd find him explaining to some poor stranger how when he was in the army, 'the natives' would call him He Who Walks With Danger and so on, daft little flights of fancy. And Clegg's gentle philosophising between the action was often pretty amusing. But the contraption-on-wheels-of-the-week type stories were really, really tiresome - I still see bits of it because my parents always watch the repeat runs on Yesterday, and it's painful just how signposted every plot point, pratfall and gag is in these bits.

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2021, 10:40:55 AM »
I could never understand why it ran for so many years. I remember catching an episode from one of the later series and it redefined 'twee'.

Did it have high ratings?

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2021, 11:09:20 AM »
The first few series have a lot of scenes in the library which I dont think happened at all later on.

What do you mean by this?

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2021, 01:06:53 PM »
What do you mean by this?

In the first few series, they spend a lot of the time in their local library acting like Garies, causing them to be thrown out much of the time. In one episode, Foggy gets them to lift up a table to test their strength which is bolted to the floor, and they break the table.

I don't recall any scenes set in the library in later series. One of the library staff is a vocal feminist, which apparently was hilarious in the 1970s, and another pair are in love.

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2021, 01:31:24 PM »
I could never understand why it ran for so many years. I remember catching an episode from one of the later series and it redefined 'twee'.

Did it have high ratings?
didn't it have a good international market? For some bizarre reason

Christ the Simpsons just past its number of seasons. A comparable dip into an absolute shambling insult of itself, although they havent run into the main cast popping their clogs yet.

Glebe

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Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2021, 02:04:28 PM »
But the contraption-on-wheels-of-the-week type stories were really, really tiresome - I still see bits of it because my parents always watch the repeat runs on Yesterday, and it's painful just how signposted every plot point, pratfall and gag is in these bits.


Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2021, 02:40:59 PM »

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2021, 04:20:42 PM »
As an adult I was mostly familiar with the later plodding and numbingly predictable later series.

The early 80s Christmas special "Getting Sam Home" was reshown, possibly as a tribute when Bill Owen died.

I was surprised how funny it was. Far superior, comedy wise , to what it would later become.

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2021, 04:57:14 PM »

Was there ever actually an episode where they slid down a hill a bathtub or is it one of those misremembered Mandela effects?

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2021, 05:16:44 PM »

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2021, 05:27:19 PM »
https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5jg7mv


23 mins in

Cheers! That gave me two unexpected laughs. The first was the dummy in the bath, not even a obvious stuntman, an actual dummy. The second was the dislodged pipe pouring water into the bath.

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2021, 06:32:37 PM »
Although not conclusive, these cunts seem to think it probably was the Vic and Bob pastiche of that episode in their wonderful BBC spot that really cemented it in the popular imagination.

God that ending scene with the picnic is so weak. It's like an American send up of British sitcoms.

neveragain

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Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2021, 06:56:06 PM »
didn't it have a good international market? For some bizarre reason

Christ the Simpsons just past its number of seasons. A comparable dip into an absolute shambling insult of itself, although they havent run into the main cast popping their clogs yet.

I don't believe The Simpsons have outran them, in seasons, episodes or years on the box.
Be back in a minute...

neveragain

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Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2021, 07:04:37 PM »
Oh I got mixed up...

Wine:
37 years
31 series
295 episodes

Simps:
22 years
32 seasons
705 episodes

So it depends what statistic you're looking at but the Brits still come out tops in length.
Also, LotSW is still the most-episode-having live action sitcom, though Big Bang was quite close at 279 (but only 12 years).
« Last Edit: May 23, 2021, 07:17:05 PM by neveragain »

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2021, 08:31:30 PM »
yes only its number of seasons, but Wine did have an unusually large amount of episodes in each series for British sitcom. by that fucking bath episode it was up to around 10 episodes a series.

as we all know, the average British legendary and successful comedy series has an unaired pilot, three episodes, and a christmas special.

Glebe

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Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2021, 08:37:04 PM »
Check out the ending of this.

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2021, 08:45:29 PM »
Right the thing is that Last of the Summer Wine will forever be, for me and many others growing up in the 80s, the shit boring program with the three miserable old unfunny cunts that heralded the actual physical and spiritual point where the weekend ended and it was school tomorrow, and it was still hours before Spitting Image and the American Football came on ITV and Channel 4. Even outside of that, the tone and atmosphere of LOTSW was just a horribly bleak reminder that there was never anything to do ever and everything was filling in the moments before you died.  That was a lot to deal with when you were 10 years old.  It's so strongly encoded in my brain that even I don't think anything will ever change it.  Even an image or clip of it brings back that horrible bleakness.

imitationleather

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Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2021, 11:40:49 PM »
Yeah I used to live with my Nan who obviously loved it and watched it every Sunday and just hearing the theme tune in those videos filled me with real despair.

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2021, 12:00:07 AM »
It's sort of in the same area as Mrs Brown's Boys, tired old gags for old farts with no taste in comedy. When I was a lad the channel would be quickly changed if it came on. I used to lump One Foot in the Grave in with it which was probably a mistake.

Last of the Summer Wine ended in 2010 and not long after Mrs Brown's Boys started to gain popularity in England so there'll probably always be a place for slapstick and willy jokes for old people on telly.

I remember being confused by First of the Summer Wine. What could that be?

Autopsy Turvey

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Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2021, 10:05:01 AM »
Right the thing is that Last of the Summer Wine will forever be, for me and many others growing up in the 80s, the shit boring program with the three miserable old unfunny cunts that heralded the actual physical and spiritual point where the weekend ended and it was school tomorrow... a horribly bleak reminder that there was never anything to do ever and everything was filling in the moments before you died.  That was a lot to deal with when you were 10 years old.  It's so strongly encoded in my brain that even I don't think anything will ever change it.  Even an image or clip of it brings back that horrible bleakness.

Blimey. This must be an eye of the beholder thing, because when I was a kid growing up in the 80s, LOTSW represented total freedom, and a sort of best-case scenario for old age, where you got to ramble at leisure over a serene and beautiful landscape with no money worries, no nagging wives, no disapproving children, just mucking about with your mates, lazing about on hillsides, philosophising and solving silly problems in an Arcadian paradise for eternity.

It's sort of in the same area as Mrs Brown's Boys,

Nowhere near it.

Quote
Last of the Summer Wine ended in 2010 and not long after Mrs Brown's Boys started to gain popularity in England so there'll probably always be a place for slapstick and willy jokes for old people on telly.

Can't remember a single willy joke in all LOTSW history (except when Compo burst puppy with cock). Even the slapstick was used fairly sparingly, it was mostly a warm and gentle character piece, effectively the opposite of Mrs Brown's Boys.

Quote
I remember being confused by First of the Summer Wine. What could that be?

A prequel?

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2021, 10:16:01 AM »
I think one reason it went on so long is that the royals professed to liking it, so are Beeb felt obliged to keep making it, like a burnt offering.

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2021, 10:43:24 AM »
Check out the ending of this.

I enjoyed that much more than I should have done.

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2021, 06:06:36 PM »
I ended up watching repeats of it during the early stages of lockdown last year, as it wasn't exactly a challenging watch, had some nice scenery in the background and had some faint nostalgia attached to it for me - my Dad always found it hilariously funny, for reasons I could never fully comprehend, and so it was a fixture for us on Sunday evenings growing up. Presumably like me during lockdown, that was the appeal for many viewers first time around, a faintly amusing but not too taxing distraction from worrying over the grim spectre of death.

The episodes with Foggy are obviously the best ones, all the other replacements/alternatives they had for his character were far less likeable or amusing. That seemed like the highpoint for me, as a fairly casual LOTSW watcher (I only watched these repeats as they were shown on Gold, which seemed to flick from 'classic era' to either side of that era and back). The early ones are like some experimental uncomedic 'comedy' theatre group given airtime thanks to the BBC's largesse and the later ones are just depressingly awful. The ones towards the very end of the show were really fucking grim, Bill Owen's son and Russ Abbott (plus a Chinese bloke for some reason) wheezing around Yorkshire in poor rewrites of scenario's the show must have covered at least fifty times before. The recurring jokes and background characters - Thora Hird's terrible driving, her husband covered in oil, Howard and Marina, Howard's sour-faced wife giving him grief all the time etc, generally start off being quite funny (in a very gentle manner) but end up just being pointless fan service and a cheap way to fill up the running time. Plus over the course of the show you can't help but notice most of the cast have kicked the bucket (or look to be on the verge of doing so) only to be replaced by broader and less amusing versions of themselves, so that's kind of depressing.

I really quite enjoyed the Foggy-era episodes, even if it wasn't laugh out-loud funny, just occasionally amusing. Brian Wilde is great and brings the best out of his two coffin-dodging partners in crime. The relationship between the three of them feels far more authentic & real when he's in the show (it could just be that this was the era I faintly remembered from my youth, before the first notes of the theme tune began to instinctively send me scurrying upstairs).

I couldn't tell you whether I actually 'like' the show as a whole or not but it helped me pass some time and kept me from worrying myself over the possibility of my family potentially dying.

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2021, 06:13:30 PM »
The Chinese bloke was Burt Kwouk! Who was actually born Herbert in Warrington you know (but raised and schooled in Shanghai)

But yes grim grim grim

Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2021, 06:26:44 PM »
I should have known that. In my defense I ended up immediately turning off anything from that period of the programme, catching the 'vid would have been more pleasurable.

bigfatheart

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Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #28 on: May 24, 2021, 06:57:27 PM »
Until I see evidence otherwise, I choose to believe that the Burt Kwouk era episodes consist entirely of him getting into a bath on wheels in an attempt to catch a chicken.

An tSaoi

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Re: Last of the Summer Wine
« Reply #29 on: May 24, 2021, 06:59:44 PM »
Ha ha imagine a Chinaman having an English surname like Entwistle. He's from the far East... Hull! Hilarious.

Edit: It gets worse...

Quote from: Wikipedia
'Electrical' Entwistle
(Burt Kwouk; 2002–10) Electrician and fortune-teller from the land of eastern wisdom, Hull. His original surname was McIntyre, but he changed it so that people wouldn't mistake him for a Scotsman. When Wesley died, Entwistle took over his job of shuttling the others across the countryside, in a battered red Toyota Hilux pick-up truck, and occasionally constructing the various contraptions the main trio produce.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Last_of_the_Summer_Wine_characters#'Electrical'_Entwistle

That was the level of the show in the end.

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