Steptoe & Son - Series One  [DVD]
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Not used to the Black and white early episodes before this DVD I was very much intrigued, and pleasantly surprised. I was hooked from episode one `The Offer' I then watched the rest of the DVD straight through. What I got was just pure enjoyment and the feeling of respect bulging in my veins for writers `Galton and Simpson' comedy writers today should envy them and realize what genius is. Two men mainly in one room for 30 minutes, without flagging simply just rolling on with pure and fresh characterization, that's genius. Of course much credit lies with Corbet and Brambell who are impeccable, there's a lot of depth in the performances and I think that's something that could be overlooked. Yes it's a comedy of course, but it really is part tragedy and in this series it's more apparent than ever, Harold desperately trying to get away from he's current life, the sense of hopelessness when it always crumbles it really does tug at the heart strings. I was left feeling rather depressed at the end of some of the episodes, as it happens. A great opening series, slightly more vulnerable perhaps than future seasons. But the best possible start.
People who love Steptoe buy this DVD, people who want to indulge in a classic situation comedy, do please get involved. I thank you BBC for finally releasing it!
We tend to think that that modern sit coms such as The Office are "out there" compared to the older ones, however Steptoe was the bravest sit com ever made from it's tone, language and the evil old Albert (making David Brent appear a cuddly teddy bear) to the choice of real actors rather than comedians. It's because of this that it still repays viewing today. Ignore the black and white, the mono sound, it doesn't matter, it's still the best British sitcom ever made.
The performances from Wilfred Brambell & Harry H Corbett are superb. As each episode goes on you feel more and more sorry for Harold and realise just how dirty and coniving his father, Albert, is. The relationship between these to characters never seems unrealistic and you can always understand why Harold can never leave the world he's trapped in by his father.
Aswell as great performances the script and plot are always brilliantly structured and just reinforces the status of Galton & Simpson as one of the best comedy writing duos on television.
The first episode alone, in my opinion, would be ground breaking stuff it was made nowadays. I've never known a sitcom to have a first episode that makes your heart go out to a character so soon. And right through to the last episode you'll be laughing and crying at this superb sitcom.
So I'd say buy this as it is one I could never get bored of. The picture quality is as good as possible but seriously when you get stuck in, like any good comedy, you forget it's black and white and you live it. So buy this and please BBC release the others!
This first series features 'The Offer' which was originally a one off episode as part of The Comedy Playhouse series created by writers Alan Simpson and Ray Galton. It also features the classic 'The Piano' episode which sees Harold and Albert attempt to remove a grand piano from a penthouse in a block of flats.
I was delighted to see that every reviewer gave Steptoe & Son 5 stars. I was born into the age of technology with colour TV's and now widescreen TV's, surround sound etc. But I adore devouring the days of families huddled round a tiny black and white tv, and TV comedies such as Steptoe are such a rarity now. But an absolute English delight.
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