Top critical review
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on 6 May 2012
This series from the late 1970s has the tried and tested format of news items, party sketches, monologues by Ronnie Corbett, clever word-play by Ronnie Barker a musical interlude and our two stars giving us a musical send-up as a finale. It doesn't so much contain a mini-series, so much as a sketch in each of episode of two married couples, with first a scene of the two Ronnies in drag, playing the wives and then the two husbands, usually "down the pub".
The news items are often brilliant and, for me, were the high point of the series. Some of the other sketches work very well, but some don't work at all. This being the 1970s, the content contains a lot of innuendo still, which is bound to amuse some viewers and not others. The musical numbers at the end are always pleasing and the one in the barber's shop is particularly clever, however the songs in certain episodes are delivered very quickly and it is sometimes difficult to catch the lines.
Manhattan Transfer provide the musical interludes. To give them credit, they can sing and they presented themselves in an interesting way, but I suspect that their songs wouldn't be particularly to most people's taste.
You only get eight episodes, though admittedly they are about 40 minutes long.
Overall then, this is pleasant viewing, with two very fine comedians, but the material is of a highly variable quality.