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The Likely Lads (BFI TV Classics) Paperback – 5 Aug 2008

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4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 152 pages
  • Publisher: British Film Institute (5 Aug. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844572137
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844572137
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 575,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review


'...this is a superb study of writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais' first two TV hits, The Likely Lads and Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?' - The Crack

Book Description

Explores the social issues, humour and appeal of one of Britain's best-loved sitcoms

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This 2008 entry in the BFI's series of TV Classics written by film and TV writer and academic Phil Wickham provides a succinct (at around 120 pages) dissection of the inestimable TV series, covering both the 1960s' The Likely Lads and the 1970s' follow-up Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads, featuring Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais' timeless comic creations. As you will have gathered by my use of superlatives, I am something of an ardent fan of the Geordie wonders, and therefore prone to be a tad biased, but I think Wickham does an admirable job here - both in terms of hitting the nail on the head content-wise, in terms of identifying the key reasons why the series is so fondly (and timelessly) regarded, and (as importantly) in his relatively simple, easy-to-read writing style. Wickham's insightful critical account therefore sits as a useful companion-piece to Richard Webber's 1999 book which provides a more extensive, and detailed, account charting the making of the series.

Here, Wickham undertakes a(n) (admittedly relatively high-level, but easily understandable) socio-political analysis of Clement and La Frenais' creation, specifically from the perspectives of the treatment of class and masculinity, as well as attempting to place the series within the context, and history, of British TV sitcom.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Perhaps it's appropriate that something as retro as the academic monograph should be revived to cast a nostalgic eye over Bowlam and Bewes' finest hours. Although, truth be told, it's not *really* an academic monograph at all... despite being approximately the right length (a single afternoon's sitting will finish it off nicely) and being peppered with endnotes nodding to august intellectual sources. No - it's An Appreciation, this, loosely tied to a dash of original research (some fresh Clement/La Frenais interviews) and a few factual revelations.

And as such, it's a perfectly decent book... but the problem, maybe, in being such a reasonable and even-handed critique of the Likely Lads, is that I found myself agreeing with almost everything the book said, while it failed to offer any radical insights or stimulate any deeper understanding of the series. For the general fan (or for trainspotter-y background info), the Orion-published "Whatever Happened To..." is a better buy. And perhaps the serious academic treatise on the subject has yet to be written...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great DVD and value - thank-you!
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