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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An underrated classic and misunderstood sitcom
A lot of people might not have heard of Shelley, this is one of my personal favourite sitcoms ever and definitely in my all time British sitcom top ten. I first used to watch this on ITV in the early 1990's and absolutely loved it but it wasn't any of the early series, I was far too young when these were first aired, no it was the later series called The Return Of...
Published on 10 July 2007 by Peter Dockerman

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Typical Peter Tinniswood stuff
Lacks the sharp wit of series such as "I didn't know you cared". Don't know why it ran for so long.
Published 6 months ago by ROCA


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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An underrated classic and misunderstood sitcom, 10 July 2007
This review is from: Shelley - Series 1 - Complete [DVD] (DVD)
A lot of people might not have heard of Shelley, this is one of my personal favourite sitcoms ever and definitely in my all time British sitcom top ten. I first used to watch this on ITV in the early 1990's and absolutely loved it but it wasn't any of the early series, I was far too young when these were first aired, no it was the later series called The Return Of Shelley where he is separated and lives on his own.

I was so pleased when I discovered that these were being released on DVD as I could finally watch this properly from the beginning. Although I don't really know much about Hywel Bennett who plays the part of Shelley, I can honestly say that he plays this part brilliantly and I personally think that he and this sitcom are very underrated. Just in case you have never heard of this sitcom, to put it simply this is about an unemployed university graduate (this in itself might put some people off) called James Shelley who refuses to work (although it is not that simple and he does have his own reasons of which I am not going to say) and so we get to see his regular visits to the jobcentre to sign on and cleverly avoid the question by some people of what he does for a living but after seventy four continuous weeks of being on the dole, things are about to change, or are they?. The way in which he can say something to someone and it sometimes takes them about five minutes to realise what he has just said is truly hilarious.

I would rather watch one episode of this over and over again than a thousand episodes of for example My Family as I find most modern sitcoms as bland as bread and water. If you like sitcoms that focus on lead characters who are charming, witty, clever, intelligent and sarcastic and not focus on sons and daughters first dates or exam results etc., then you will absolutely love this.

One last comment in reply to doonjaiasi and H.Randall, you almost tickled my ribs to the point of crying, but you are no match for James Shelley, but don't give up as this country is desperate for a modern sitcom that is actually funny and I am sure you could easily be a part of it, oh and one last thing, thanks for the tip about Robin's Nest, I will investigate further. Yours insincerely, Scotty.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh how I long for this sort of sit-com again, 29 Sep 2010
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This review is from: Shelley - Series 1 - Complete [DVD] (DVD)
One of the best sit-coms of our time with superb acting from the very talented Hywel Bennett, from an era when sit-coms were actually funny!!
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love on the dole - with a Phd!, 28 July 2007
This review is from: Shelley - Series 1 - Complete [DVD] (DVD)
'Shelley' boasted some of the best comedy writing television has ever broadcast ( by Peter Tilbury, initially ), a laconic performance by Hywel Bennett as the bone-idle philosopher 'James Shelley', a haunting signature tune by the late Ron Grainer, and a supporting cast which included the ever-reliable Josephine Tewson.

If anyone found it 'unfunny' and 'boring', surely that's their fault, not the show's. It ran for the best part of a decade, so they are clearly in a minority. Comparisons with 'Robin's Nest' are pathetic. The two have nothing in common.

The timing of 'Shelley' was perfect as, thanks to Margaret Thatcher, unemployment reached unacceptably high levels in the early '80's. The character, though out of work by choice, served as a wry social commentator. He gave as good as he got. Many of the show's best moments featured him standing up to the pompous, rude D.H.S.S. ( as the D.W.P. was called then ) staff, one of whom was played by Kenneth Cope of 'Randall & Hopkirk ( Deceased ) fame.

The D.V.D. release reminds us just how good Thames Television was at making sitcoms, until they lost their franchise in the early '90's, thanks to ( surprise, surprise ) Margaret Thatcher. That woman has a lot to answer for.

I would advise the two complainants to give this a wide berth and go for something more on their intellectual level, such as 'The Best Of Chuckle Vision'.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE LOVABLE LAY ABOUT SHELLEY ON DVD AT LAST !., 7 Jun 2007
By 
NEO "Daren" (orpington kent) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Shelley - Series 1 - Complete [DVD] (DVD)
Hywel Bennett who is all these years on is still best known for his role as the lovable self confessed lay about James Shelley. Shelley is a very clever and well educated man but he just hates work and the whole ideal of capitalism. So in every episode he's off down the job centre to collect his giro from the bored looking official. He lives in a rented flat with his long suffering and also unemployed girlfriend Fran. In the middle of the series she announces that's she is pregnant forcing Shelley to get a real job. Hywel dead pan's his lines with great comedic effect baffling others with his intelligent wit and general bone idleness !. This series ran for a stunning 11 series until the early 1990's which was no mean feat. This series is a great buy and is very much a 'product' of the 1980's and the Thatcher era and still very funny to watch.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy, 4 Jun 2007
By 
H. A. C. John "Heath St John." (London, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shelley - Series 1 - Complete [DVD] (DVD)
Funny; literate; insightful; and a little naughty, at times, thank goodness. Also, a great confirmation, to me, of why, by-and-large, I totally ignore all modern so-called comedies; a view which should be seen to be not just the promptings of nostalgia by one who's waited so very, very long for this release. Ostensibly simple-minded, and funny in places for it, it also has a gentle, caustic prod at most things deemed to be the enemy by a free-thinker, with no swearing, which may prove, perversely, to be in itself, gratuitous to some to-day.
Oh, and Belinda Sinclair, of course, an early crush..; Belinda, if you read this, where are you now? If not with Shelley, please let me know ! I'll be watching this space.
Heath St John.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars shame there's nothing like this anymore- genius, 7 Feb 2009
By 
C. Freeland (england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shelley - Series 1 - Complete [DVD] (DVD)
How those 2 reviewers at the bottom can call this rubbish just goes to show why todays comedy is absolute crap- i bet half the younger generation would think this not funny - they obviously don't
understand wit or classic comedy-
shelley is absolute genius, the character is intelligent and my favourite sort of 'dry' humour plus anything with hywel bennett is always great!
five stars !!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shelley is great, 28 May 2013
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This review is from: Shelley - Series 1 - Complete [DVD] (DVD)
I remember Shelley well from my youth, it is very funny, taking a stab at society and authorities, whilst seeing how life was and learning about what one has to do to make changes and conform if success is to be found. It looks at work and relationships, marriage and divorce, and there is a lot to be learned whilst enjoying it too. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys works from the past, since they don't seem to be able to write work like this any more. Good, clean, honest work that does not contain the violence or lewdness of today.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SHELLEY FOR PM !, 4 May 2013
By 
Mr. D. R. Swindells (BRADFORD--UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Shelley - Series 1 - Complete [DVD] (DVD)
Laughs a plenty on this dvd of the well received tv series.
Hywell Bennett is Shelley,an educated but workshy but loveable
scrounger.Belly laughs when in the dole office or indeed when in
the company anyone be it his fiance,landlady or friends.
Do youself a favour and buy this first of a set of dvd`s,you will
be glad you did.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TV Heaven., 19 April 2007
This review is from: Shelley - Series 1 - Complete [DVD] (DVD)
I e-mailed the owners of the old Thames TV some while back pointing out that at it's height this series attracted viewers of up to 18 million,and that they were missing out on a commercial oppurtunity by not bringing this excellent series to DVD.I am glad they took my advice by now making the first series available in March,and the second series in July.The only downside to this wise decision is that it shows up what utter rubbish passes for sitcom these days in comparison (I'm not naming names,you know who they are).The main character uses words such as succinct and allocate for goodness sake,something I suspect a scipt editor would not let pass now for fear it may confuse the target audience.Peter Tilsons scripts are, I think, little gems,and a high quality was maintained throughout the series by other writers when Tilson eventually moved on. Hywel Bennetts acting and comic timing was a major factor in the success of the show,and is a credit to his classical training,and of course very many talented actors appeared as guest artists over the run of the series.The first episode was shown in 1979 so an adjustment needs to be made for that when viewing,but if you lived through those times much will resonate.I have even forgiven Shelley for being a Guardian reader!I am left with one grumble though;why did it take so long to release this?
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shelley - season ONE, 18 April 2009
This review is from: Shelley - Series 1 - Complete [DVD] (DVD)
I have been waiting a long time to get around to buying this - I remember it from a long time ago - the cast have fun with a cynic script with depan deliveries - a sad time perhaps for those who were living in Britain at the time - thankfully raises some smiles
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Shelley - Series 1 - Complete [DVD]
Shelley - Series 1 - Complete [DVD] by Hywel Bennett (DVD - 2007)
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