Once this had come out on DVD I just had to have it. I was a mad fan of "Agony" when it was first on, thinking it so alternative and new and daring. I thought Maureen Lipman was brilliant, Maria Charles a comic genius, and Rob and Michael the two best characters ever to be written for TV comedy.
Do I still think so? Well, no, but I still enjoyed this comedy for what it is. Admittedly, the writing is a bit patchy, but no more so than some contemporary offerings. Each episode managed to make a point in half an hour that hadn't really been made by comedy before and what is a bit shocking now is that we were so narrow minded back then, and that some things haven't really changed in the last thirty years.
There are some good laughs here, which is what comedy is about. Maureen Lipman works the comedy well, but is equally good at the pathos. Yes, there are stereotypes - Bea couldn't be anything but, we still love her for it. Rob and Michael are so unstereotypical that it's a joy. Val is a strong female role, shame about the clothes. The same could be said for Diana. But it was doing something that comedy certainly doesn't try to do today - change attitudes. Itshould be studied on university courses.
It looks old-fashioned, which it is, but there is some excellent comedy writing here. And the usual corny British one-liners you didn't need to hear again.
However, it's still a great three series of British comedy of fine vintage.