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Agony - The Complete Series [DVD] [1979]

4.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

Price: £9.88 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Jan Holden, Maureen Lipman, Simon Williams, Maria Charles, Jeremy Bulloch
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Oct. 2009
  • Run Time: 500 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002KAIVOK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,681 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

All 20 episodes of the early-1980s sitcom starring Maureen Lipman as radio agony aunt Jane Lucas. As well as solving her callers' problems, she's got plenty of her own, including her very Jewish mother, the gay couple who live upstairs, and her strange work colleagues. Episodes comprise: 'Help', 'An Unmarried Couple', 'Conjugal Wrongs', 'Wedlock, Deadlock', 'Forever and Never', 'Too Much Agony, Too Little Ecstasy', 'Back to Reality', 'Working Girls', 'Coming Out... and Going in Again?', 'Television Can Damage Your Health', 'Problem Parents', 'Second Time Around', 'A Woman Alone', 'From Here to Maternity', 'Arrivals and Departures', 'Hospital Romances', 'Communications Breakdown', 'Holy Wars', 'Lucas v Lucas' and 'Rings Off Their Fingers'.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Made nearly thirty years ago this show displays a confidence in tackling adult themes that is as surprising now as it was then. The mixture of comedy and drama centres around radio agony aunt Jane, based on Anna Raeburn, who provides a constant stream of advice while at the same time living in a constant maelstrom of angst in her private life. Jane is brilliantly portrayed by Maureen Lipman in the defining role of her long career, and it's easy to sympathise with her as the sane person somehow coping with all the twisted people in her life.

Simon Williams as her husband is excellent as always and her infuriating mother is just annoying enough to be entertaining. Also memorable are the ever-reliable Peter Blake and a very early appearance by Bill Nighy. The comedy is quick-fire and erudite. Although vastly different in nature it puts you in mind of Frasier, with which it very loosely shares a set-up, not least that it provides intelligent and thoughtful comedy that never talks down to the viewer.

What sets the show ahead of the rest is the use of drama, which develops as the series progresses and which adds a structure to the series and a belief in the characters and their situations that is rare in a sitcom. As that drama dares to be tragic too this show remains one of ITV's finest.
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I watched the 1990's remake of this series, Agony Again, without ever having watched the original series (before my time) but reading something Maureen Lipman wrote recently made me curious about watching it so I bought the DVD. I watched all 3 series over the course of less than a week. They were a revelation. I don't know why they are not more famous than they are, or why they've never been repeated on TV.

This is a very funny sitcom, but one that really has something to say about mental & emotional wellbeing. It is mature and thoughtful, by turns very funny and then desperately sad. It raises issues that 30 years on are still often handled clumsily by modern productions - in particular it's depiction of a gay couple which was really trailblazing.

While some of the sex & race references can occasionally jar a little with a modern audience, all these series stand up extremely well to the passage of time and are in fact far superior to any current British sitcom I can think of.
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I bought this collection on the basis of previous reviews. At first, I was disappointed then as I journeyed into the series I really became involved with Jane, the main character and having now watched the whole series, it's one of my absolute favourites. It would have been quite 'out there' in its day, touching upon topics of recreational drugs, non-monogamy, gay rights, single motherhood and more. It has its corny moments but overall is terrific viewing. Maureen Lipman is superb and I wish there were more!
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By M. J. Saxton VINE VOICE on 14 Mar. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Once this had come out on DVD I just had to have it. I was a mad fan of "Agony" when it was first on, thinking it so alternative and new and daring. I thought Maureen Lipman was brilliant, Maria Charles a comic genius, and Rob and Michael the two best characters ever to be written for TV comedy.

Do I still think so? Well, no, but I still enjoyed this comedy for what it is. Admittedly, the writing is a bit patchy, but no more so than some contemporary offerings. Each episode managed to make a point in half an hour that hadn't really been made by comedy before and what is a bit shocking now is that we were so narrow minded back then, and that some things haven't really changed in the last thirty years.

There are some good laughs here, which is what comedy is about. Maureen Lipman works the comedy well, but is equally good at the pathos. Yes, there are stereotypes - Bea couldn't be anything but, we still love her for it. Rob and Michael are so unstereotypical that it's a joy. Val is a strong female role, shame about the clothes. The same could be said for Diana. But it was doing something that comedy certainly doesn't try to do today - change attitudes. Itshould be studied on university courses.

It looks old-fashioned, which it is, but there is some excellent comedy writing here. And the usual corny British one-liners you didn't need to hear again.

However, it's still a great three series of British comedy of fine vintage.
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For a sitcom, Agony has some pretty shocking moments sprinked among the amusements arising from the life of an agony aunt with a troubled marriage, an interfering mother, a pair of gay friends and a secretary with a new hairstyle every day.

Take yourself back to the end of the 70s and forget up-to-date attitudes to gays, Jews and drugs. Just watch out for the dog in pyjamas.
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i really wanted to get this series as i only had it on video from some time back,and on these dvd,s the picture is excellent which makes for much more enjoyable viewing ...this is just what i wanted. thanks..they are just as i remembered them and i will thoroughly enjoy these episodes again and again..
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I watched this in the '70's and so missed it over the years.. now I have it on my shelf .. yippeeee.. cheers hmac
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If you love 70's comedy then get it. Brought back happy memories of watching on tv. Great Value and purchase
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