The ultimate small-screen representation of Loaded
-era lad culture--albeit a culture constantly being undermined by its usually sharper female counterpart--there seems little argument that Men Behaving Badly
was one of 1990s' definitive sitcoms. Certainly the booze-oriented, birds-obsessed antics of Martin Clunes' Gary and Neil Morrissey's Tony have become every bit as connected to Britain's collective funny bone as Basil Fawlty's inept hostelry or Ernie Wise's short, hairy legs.
Yet, the series could easily have been cancelled when ITV viewers failed to respond to the original version, which featured Clunes sharing his flat with someone named Dermot, played by Harry Enfield. Indeed, it was only when the third series moved to the BBC and was then broadcast in a post-watershed slot--allowing writer Simon Nye greater freedom to explore his characters' saucier ruminations--that the show began to gain a significant audience.
By then, of course, Morrissey had become firmly ensconced on the collective pizza-stained sofa, while more screen time was allocated to the boys' respective foils, Caroline Quentin and Leslie Ash. Often glibly dismissed as a lame-brained succession of gags about sex and flatulence, the later series not only featured great performances and sharp-as-nails writing but also sported a contemporary attitude that dared to go where angels, and certainly most other sitcoms, feared to tread. Or, as Gary was once moved to comment about soft-porn lesbian epic Love in a Women's Prison: "It's a serious study of repressed sexuality in a pressure-cooker environment."
Last Orders includes: "Performance" in which Gary and Dorothy decide to have a baby. Tony announces he's moving in with Deborah so he can watch her "wandering around in her pants"; "Gary in Love" in which Gary's devotion to Dorothy is tested while attending a middle-management conference; and "Delivery" wherein Gary and Dorothy prepare for imminent parenthood. --Clark Collis
The DVD version also features a movie version which combines all three episodes, plus a quiz.