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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I laughed so much I fell off the sofa....
Some comedy shows don't stand the test of time, but happily Only When I Laugh is not one of them. The writing is inspired, and the actors are not the slick two-dimensional characters seen so often on TV now, but are equally convincing racing around the ward hiding from an outraged husband or discussing the end that comes to all of us. I guess that the modern US sitcom...
Published on 15 Jan 2010 by Elsie Zoot

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Amusing but repetitious
Probably shouldn't have watched "Mind Your Language" (which we adored!) prior to watching this series! This series has quite a few good moments, worthy of a belly laugh, but the script tends to be a tad repetitious, which I guess is understandable given that it's basically confined to one room. Nonetheless, for a bit of light-hearted comedy, one can't go too wrong.
Published on 21 Jun 2011 by TV addict


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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I laughed so much I fell off the sofa...., 15 Jan 2010
This review is from: Only When I Laugh - The Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)
Some comedy shows don't stand the test of time, but happily Only When I Laugh is not one of them. The writing is inspired, and the actors are not the slick two-dimensional characters seen so often on TV now, but are equally convincing racing around the ward hiding from an outraged husband or discussing the end that comes to all of us. I guess that the modern US sitcom Scrubs owes a lot to this show, as the ability to combine farce and pathos (and pull it off) is rare now. All the characters are brilliantly done and play off each other nicely - James Bolam's working class character winds up Peter Bowles' middle class one whilst innocent Norman Binns (the wonderful Christopher Strauli) tries to referee (and stand up to his domineering mother). And collectively, they drive Richard Wilson's pompous but caring doctor and well-meaning nurse Gupte round the bend with their schemes. The ironic theme song "I'm H.A.P.P.Y." perfectly complements the show and I find myself singing it at work ;)
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only When I Laugh, 16 Aug 2010
By 
J. Wilkinson (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Only When I Laugh - The Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)
Only When I Laugh is about three men in a hospital ward, none of them seems to be ill enough to stay in bed when anything happens. Figgis is the outspoken working man, a lorry driver, who is behand almost all the trouble the three patients cause the long-suffering Doctor Thorpe. There is no swearing or gore, just genuine wit and comic situations in every episode, of which there are 29. The series was written by Eric Chappell, an outstanding writer of sitcoms including "Duty Free". The series was very poupular when shown on TV in the eighties and doesn't seem to have dated at all. Lots of fun and laughs make this set exceptional value.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another funny Eric Chappell sitcom, 15 May 2012
By 
Alan James "Maebuschfan" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Only When I Laugh - The Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)
Eric Chappell's winning formula in the previous Rising Damp - the Complete TV Series Plus the Movie [DVD] was to place a group of fairly disparate characters in a dingy boarding house, rub them against each other and watch the sparks fly. The characters were strong while also easy to empathise with. The formula is repeated here, with the focus switching to an hospital ward with another group of engaging & funny characters. The middle bed on this 3-bed ward is occupied by Roy Figgis, perhaps symbolically as much of the comedy eminates from this character, who is often in direct conflict with the patient on his left, Archie Glover. Young Norman Binns sits to his right, while watching over the three is Dr. Thorpe and Nurse Gupte. Here is a few details about the main characters....

ROY FIGGIS (James Bolam)....Married with children. Lorry driver & staunch left-winger, outspoken on just about every subject. A bit of a busybody who regularly crosses swords with Archie Glover and Dr. Thorpe, with the latter often viewing him as a bit of an agitator. Wife doesn't want him home because (quote)...'she can't stand illness'. Along with the other two on the ward has a pathological fear of being discharged from the hospital.

ARCHIE GLOVER (Peter Bowles)....Single. Upper middle-class & blue-blooded Tory. Hypochondriac with delusions of grandeur who despite his man-of-the-world persona, cuts a lonely, lovesick figure. Occasionally mocks mummy's boy Norman Binns. Insists on a bed by the window.

NORMAN BINNS (Christopher Strauli)....Single. The youngest on the ward. Sometimes unconfident & awkward. Still living at home with domineering mother & wants out of his 'romance' with 'dreary Deirdre' (although mother approves of her). A gentle and friendly mummy's boy who keeps a Teddy bear by his bedside. Has occasional run-in with Glover but often confides in Figgis whom he views as a bit of a father figure.

DR. GORDON THORPE (Richard Wilson)....Married. (But with a keen eye for the ladies!). Often sees his caring nature pushed to the limits by the antics on the ward. Has a fanatical love of Gilbert & Sullivan. Main adversary: Figgis!

NURSE GUPTE (Derrick Branche)....Single. Caring and sensitive Indian male nurse who like Glover is occasionally lovesick. Often finds himself flustered by the shenanigans on the ward. Seems to get on best with Norman.

The series was originally broadcast from 1979/82. Despite being set almost exclusively within the confines of an hospital ward, the scripts still manage to be varied and funny, with great comic timing and good performances from all. The cast share a great chemistry which helps to make this series great fun.
This complete series is made up of twenty-nine, 25 minute episodes (+ the Christmas special). The picture and sound quality is generally good. There are no extras or subtitles. The 4 discs are stored in a single-size case with an episode synopsis featured on the inside.

Another enjoyable release from Network.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only when I laugh, 24 Feb 2012
This review is from: Only When I Laugh - The Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)
I had forgotten how much as a family we all enjoyed this comedy for all age groups
it stands the test of time and will fill many a rainy afternoon for me and my grandsonOnly When I Laugh - The Complete Series [DVD]
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very entertaining sitcom from Yorkshire Television, 15 Jan 2012
By 
Mr. A. J. Tennant "Metalhead" (Warwickshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Only When I Laugh - The Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)
I received the complete series of Only When I Laugh as a Christmas present in 2011. As I saw this programme before when it was repeated on cable television a few years ago, I already knew I was going to like the sitcom because I found it reasonably amusing when I first watched it on the now defunct cable channel Granada Plus, and I still found it amusing when I watched this DVD set over the Christmas holiday. Only When I Laugh has stood the test of time and the humour is still fresh despite the fact that it was produced from 1979 to 1982, and sometimes with older sitcoms the humour might become a little stale years after their productions (I could be wrong, of course), but that's not the case with this programme. It also showcases how poor most sitcoms made these days are (if not all of them) as they often get axed after just one or two series, but Only When I Laugh was more successful as it ran for four series as well as a Christmas special from 1981 (which is on the third disc of this complete series set as the special was made the same year as the third series was). Very highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carry on nurse., 25 Nov 2011
This review is from: Only When I Laugh - The Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)
What a wonderful sitcom.side-splitting laughs all the way.great cast and some memorable episodes and all for 14.69.what a bargain.you wont get this on the nhs.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars only when i laugh, 24 Nov 2011
By 
IC Smith (South Africa) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Only When I Laugh - The Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)
The series is typically British. Humoristic and walking a very fine line. I would definitely propose that people buy it. And you better have a soft carpet or soft sofa, because you will be rolling around while laughing your head off!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good laugh, 8 May 2009
By 
R. A. Eddles (Durban South Africa) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Only When I Laugh - The Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)
Ahighly entertaining series a laugh a minute. This is a series that one can view over and over again and find it funny every time. They should make more of this type of comedy.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfull series, 22 Feb 2009
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This review is from: Only When I Laugh - The Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)
This is one of series they do not make any more. Brilliant actors compared with a fine script and good acting. It is fine Network issues this series, more of this, please.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Only When I Laugh., 5 Mar 2009
By 
M. P. Keohane (Cymru) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Only When I Laugh - The Complete Series [DVD] (DVD)
An excellent CD which is much enjoyed by my whole family. We find it so entertaining we watch each of the episodes time and time again. If you want a good laugh, buy it.
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Only When I Laugh - The Complete Series [DVD]
Only When I Laugh - The Complete Series [DVD] by Vernon Lawrence (DVD - 2008)
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