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March 02, 2024, 08:53:12 PM

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British Sitcom History Podcast

Started by Virgo76, December 31, 2023, 06:56:27 AM

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Snrub

Quote from: Virgo76 on February 11, 2024, 09:42:26 PMStill enjoying this.
One serious misfire with a bizarre attempt to cover When The Whistle Blows (Andy Milman's fictional sitcom in Extras) as if it was a real show. Doesn't really work.

Were they having a laugh...?!

Virgo76


phantom_power

I started listening to this with the Dear John episodes as I re-watched it recently for the first time since its original broadcast. I think they were a bit harsh on it. Some of it doesn't work but I think the acting in general is pretty great and they were quite dismissive of Peter Denyer and Peter Blake. I don't know if I just have a weird hauntological fondness for it though and my critical faculties might be affected. I like how dour and slightly depressing it is

Virgo76

Yes. I thought they were a bit hard on that one too

dissolute ocelot

I just listened to the Dear John episodes. It was a program that I can remember watching when I was about 13, and not sure now what I found to like in it at that age. But evidently from the podcast it had a lot of very cartoonish characters like Ralph the nerd and Kirk the playboy. And Kirk probably made sense to a child who watched David Copperfield do a similar medallion man thing on Three of a Kind (and there were other characters like that too). So it was fascinating to revisit all that.

I can't really comment on whether they were too hard on it, having not seen it for decades - it seemed faults were not gloated over but recognised: there were a lot of problems with the characterisation and direction it took that they discussed.

I guess part of it was that the show now seems so dated, everything from Kate being frigid to the sloany chairwoman and a lot of other characters. The whole area of marriage and dating and relations between the sexes and sexuality etc have changed a lot since the 80s. And it was less timeless a theme than Just Good Friends or OFAH (I don't know if they've covered Citizen Smith, another show that seems incredibly outdated now, but may work as some weird window into the past). Whether Dear John was funny despite its faults is of course a matter of taste: it seemed it didn't have many jokes, but I can't believe it had as few as the podcast claimed.

MojoJojo

They've mentioned Citizen Smith in relation to it being John Sullivan's first sitcom.

That's something I end up wondering about - a lot of it is covering actors/writers careers. What do they do when they've already covered all the main actors? There might not be as much material as it first seems.

dissolute ocelot

Quote from: MojoJojo on February 26, 2024, 04:47:18 PMThat's something I end up wondering about - a lot of it is covering actors/writers careers. What do they do when they've already covered all the main actors? There might not be as much material as it first seems.

This definitely could be an issue with some sitcoms, but it'll take a while before they've done all the sitcom actors and writers, with 50+ years of TV to cover. The Dear John one didn't have a lot of detailed information about the production, which was a weakness (e.g. they were speculating on how Ralph Bates's health could have impacted on it without much knowledge). But I imagine with some more famous sitcoms featuring people there are actual books about, they could get a lot more information and generally have more to say (or failing that, rather than doing a close analysis of just one episode, they could cover more episodes from over the show's run). They do seem to be watching a significant number of episodes of the shows, at least, and it was interesting to hear their analyses.

EOLAN

Quote from: dissolute ocelot on February 26, 2024, 05:34:17 PMThis definitely could be an issue with some sitcoms, but it'll take a while before they've done all the sitcom actors and writers, with 50+ years of TV to cover. The Dear John one didn't have a lot of detailed information about the production, which was a weakness (e.g. they were speculating on how Ralph Bates's health could have impacted on it without much knowledge). But I imagine with some more famous sitcoms featuring people there are actual books about, they could get a lot more information and generally have more to say (or failing that, rather than doing a close analysis of just one episode, they could cover more episodes from over the show's run). They do seem to be watching a significant number of episodes of the shows, at least, and it was interesting to hear their analyses.


One of them was on a political/civil service podcast to discuss Yes (Prime) Minister.
He did kind of admit that his binge watching of the show impacted his enjoyment of some of the structure, as he was watching in a manner not generally intended.

Thought he perfectly explained the reason for the Bernard character while still not getting it.