Saturday, June 05, 2010

Unfunny Comedy Axed

The BBC have announced that Last of the Summer Wine is being axed after approximately 40 years on air. What's extraordinary is that this supposed comedy has survived since 1973 despite being completely devoid of laughs. The only purpose it seems to have ever served was to make Songs of Praise seem like a laugh riot.

How does a programme about three old men survive for nearly 4 decades anyway?


banned said...

The first two or three series were pretty good, I have some on file but have not watched newer ones for some decades.

Pavlov's Cat said...

How does a programme about three old men survive for nearly 4 decades anyway?

One word, continuity

In this fast moving, ever changing world there are people that wish to hark back to earlier, simpler times. Something that is familiar

One of the viewers is my Nan (83). Nearly everything is too fast for her, news, series, films etc. Apart from nature documentaries, LOTSW is a program she enjoys.

Or take my Dad (73) I bought him a PVR, he loves it, with Bravo and Dave it's filled with old episodes of The Sweeny, The Professionals, Fresh Prince of Bel Aire and so on.

He really can't follow stuff like CSI and the like any more and very rarely watches TV in 'Real Time'

Matthew said...

"How does a programme about three old men survive for nearly 4 decades anyway?"

Perhaps they weren't old when it began?

Jim said...

I liked LOTSW for the very reasons you decry it - it wasn't particularly funny, nothing much happened, the gags were the same in each episode. In fact it became a parody of itself, the program became like the people it was about, OAPs. And I liked the cameraderie between the old blokes. Thats what I want with my mates when I'm that age. I want to go to pubs and events with my mates and talk inconsequential nonsense about stuff that happened to us years previously. I have simple tastes.

Edwin Greenwood said...

Methinks you're showing your (lack of) age, young Ross.

The early series, particularly those with Sallis, Owen and Wilde in the lead parts, were very good indeed. Slow-paced tales of three disparate old gits enjoying the freedom, both in terms of time and lack of responsibility, that retirement can bring and gently taking the piss out of everything and everybody without fear of consequences.

The in-built problem was of course that the actors kept dying off, including some of the excellent deadpan supporting cast of the early series.

It did go on too long, mainly in that it ran out of plausible replacement characters. When a new actor was slotted into a particular role in the structure (even as a nominally different character), it was rarely entirely successful and eventually the programme became a pallid imitation of itself.

Like banned I will happily watch earlier episodes but recent seasons have been a disappointment.

The programme has also run into bureaucratic nonsense which should have given the producer a hint that it was time to pack up, like for example Sallis (the sole survivor of the original trio), and presumably others, being barred for insurance reasons from doing outside location shots once they'd turned 80.

JuliaM said...

Pavlov's Cat has hit the nail on the head. It's the 'Life on Mars' and 'Ashes to Ashes' for the Werthers Generation...

Ross said...

Banned- OK but the first few series would have been before I was born.

PC- I suppose I can understand the familiarity can be reassuring in a changing world.

Matthew- Ha ha. But the title does imply that older characters have always been at the forefront of the programme.

Jim- I talk about talk "inconsequential nonsense about stuff that happened to us years previously" already.....

EG- Again the early series may have been good but they were some time ago.

Julia- that's the sort of tagline that would persuade the BBC to give it another 5 series.

Samuel Buckett said...

Yes, totally unfunny - a lazy, patronizing cosmopolitan view of rural comunity life.

Macheath said...

PC/JuliaM - alternatively, you might like to think of it as Top Gear with bathtubs.

Anonymous said...

They were the real british. not the politically correct nanny loving voters of today.