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4.6 out of 5 stars27
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 14 August 2006
Contrary to a previous reviewer, the DVD of the second Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads series DOES include the 1974 Christmas Special. On the second disc it simply follows the last WHTTLL episode, The Shape of Things to Come. Compared to the DVD issue of the first series of Whatever happened to the Likely Lads, at least some frills have gone into this presentation. For starters, there are episode and chapter menus for the 14 episodes, something which was inexplicably abscent from the series one DVD.

Overall, series two is as good as series one, if slightly marred by the storylines becoming repetitious by the series' end. Part of the timeless appeal of the Likely Lads is that it's a working-class sitcom that hones in on the everday, non-melodramatic aspect of working lives. And it's that aching normality - the endless pots of tea and biscuits, swift-halves and betting slips - that furnishes the show with a warm, inviting glow.

Revisiting these episodes again, though, it's notable that series two has a slightly harder edge in places. Both Terry and Bob have run-ins with the law in two episodes, a reminder, perhaps, that the seventies was a comparatively rough period in British history. In lesser hands, though, this would come to solely define the existance of the British working-class. But here the emphasis is on, well, the pots of tea, swift halves etc etc - and all the better for it.

Nevertheless, there was still a serious point of The Likely Lads - it captured how British labourism no longer related to the material aspirations of the working-classes. Recently Mark Lawson argued that Bob was a proto-Thatcherite, but in actual fact - as indicated in the last episode - Ferris still saw himself as working-class, both socially and politically, but didn't believe the cloth-cap image was apt for the modern day.

Of course, British sitcomes have frequently been about class, but non have been so sensitive to social change as the Likely Lads have been.

Sociological insight aside, though, let's not forget that Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads is still laugh-out-loud funny, as I found out yet again on first airing of these long cherished classics. To combine such frequent hilarity with everday warmth and foresighted intelligence puts both series one and two in the toppermost of British sitcoms. That series two comes with the Christmas special only makes this purchase all the more sweeter.....
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on 5 December 2008
The early seventies is a classic period for many things, including television comedy. During this period we enjoyed Morecambe & Wise and Tommy Cooper at the peak of their powers and classic sitcoms such as The rise and fall of Reginald Perrin, Porridge and Rising Damp.
For me, Whatever happened to the Likely Lads tops the lot, a wonderfully written series following up an equally stellar series one. The episode when the lads go to Berwick on a fishing trip is, arguably, the best ever - and Bob's appearance at the christmas special wearing the matching earring is the work of genius. I'm not sure how it works for those who weren't around in 1973 but if you enjoy the endless repeats of Fawlty Towers and Del Boy on UK Gold then try this. Wonderful.
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on 14 August 2006
Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads? is a series I continue to find fascinating, extremely well written, excellently performed and very funny. It ended a decade before I was born but being a southern 80's child with northern parents I discovered it through the repeats and still consider it a brilliant document of British social history. There seems to be some confusion as to whether the final episode (the 1974 Christmas special) is included on this release. Well, it is on mine! It's an extra feature on disc 2- although I don't suppose it's very prominent on the DVD sleeve. I must admit it is extremely uncharacteristically generous of the BBC to include it, given that they would usually try to milk it by releasing it separately. I did notice however that they didn't actually include every surviving episode of the original `60's Likely Lads series on the recent DVD release. A couple were left off for some reason. I recommend the Likely Lads film (1976) too, which is the equivalent of three more episodes as well as being Terry and Bob's final appearance.
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VINE VOICEon 9 June 2006
Series two recalls the events (or more often than not the catastrophies) that takes place following Bob's marriage. Naturally Bob's old mate Terry proves more than a little responsible for much of the action.
Series two isn't for me quite the classic that the first series proved to be. It isn't quite as carefully measured or consistent in some ways although it still manages to maintain a quality that is rarely matched by any other comedy series.
There are plenty of examples here of the Likely Lads being at the very top of their game. 'The Great Race', 'One For The Road','Affairs And Relations', 'The Shape Of Things To Come' and 'Conduct Unbecoming' are all contenders for the best Likely Lads episode ever while 'The Expert', 'Between Ourselves' and 'The Go-Between' involves Bob's marriage breakdown in a way that many can relate to.
There's much to admire and enjoy about this series and for me when compared with almost any other series this is a five star. However i've only docked a star because i believe the first series taken as a whole is a little stronger.
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on 14 August 2006
An absolute must for any fan, with some of the very best episodes from the series. This DVD ***DOES*** contain the christmas special as a 'bonus feature' which only adds to the value.

Unhesitatingly recommended!
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on 27 October 2013
The lads return for the second and what turned out to be the last series of 'Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads.' While the second series is not as good as the first series . It is still a very good series, with some great episodes and moments particularly 'One for the Road' where Bob is charged for drink driving and Terry with football hooliganism, 'The Great Race' where Bob and Terry cycle to Berwick in a race and 'Conduct Unbecoming' where Terry gets into trouble after a fight in a pub.

A great end to a great series. It's just a shame that the actors fell out over what seems to be a silly misunderstanding.
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on 2 May 2007
Not quite as good as the first series, but still brilliant, but I can understand the confusion over the Christmas episode. On one DVD player I have, the Christmas episode just plays normally as you would expect, but on another one, when I select the Christmas episode, it starts off halfway through, and the only way I can get it to play in its entirety is to hit "play all" and then fast forward through all the preceding episodes. So the disk evidently has some "issues" (as people insist on saying these days)with certain players. The players in question are identical models, which makes the whole thing even more mysterious.
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on 20 November 2013
Don't get me wrong this series isn't quite as good as series 1.but it's still 9/10 the great race episode being my personal favourite as well as conduct unbecoming where they both end up brawling in the pub(curiously with the actor who plays the milkman in the film of the series"continuity error")bob with his skiing injuries becomes a bit annoying but apart from that the rest is fantastic laugh out loud yet again I love seventies comedies porridge,last of the summer wine,citizen smith but likely lads is the best plain and simple will never be beaten.
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on 9 February 2009
Being a north eastener myself I can relate to every word and action in the series and wished the writers had written more. James Bolam makes a few mistakes in the pronunciation of a few words.I would say at that time he was learning to speak proper english as was shown in later programs.excepting of course "When the boat comes in" in which he was fabulous.But The likely lads should have gone on longer. Every actor took a good part, but then maybe I am biassed. Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais are brilliant writers as was also shown in "AUF WIEDERSEHEN PET" another GEORDIE situation. I JUST LOVE IT. Thanks for reading this review.
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on 31 May 2011
I bought this so I could test my mate Ebb on it, as he's picked it as a specialist subject when he goes on Mastermind this year - forgotten how simply brilliant this series was. No wonder Ebb bases himself on Terry Collier!
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