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Can bigamy ever be funny?
on 2 March 2007
So, I've finished Goodnight Sweetheart. I was mostly unimpressed. Sad really because I loved this when it was shown originally. However, a bit of a waste of money actually I think now. After series two, it was like watching two separate soaps with the occasional cross-over of events between the time periods which just about kept the interest up. I found the writing quite disjointed and rambling, not surprising really when so many of the episodes were written by different writers. And while I'm mentioning disjointed, quite often we jumped from one set of events to another without any valid reason. For instance; one moment, Yvonne has lost her job and and is depressed and the next, she's one of Blair's babes and a millionairess! Well, how did she get from one state to another? No mention of the period in-between. And when Gary got his shop. That was another example. Nothing was shown. Maybe I missed a DVD? I guess in the nineties when they were showed each week, somehow, it seemed acceptable. However, when one watches ten episodes a day, one in effect, steps back and the faults and cracks, quite clearly, are visible. I did feel also that when Gary found himself in a difficult situation, all too often he just wondered back in again, problem solved and us no wiser as to how he managed to get away. Another disappointment was there was no mention on the extras, why the two main actress', both together, quit the show after series three. I always wondered why and I felt it was incomplete without this info. However, the acting throughout was first-class, the attention to detail excellent and the set pieces convincing.
I felt the show was written by people who had no interest in the intimacy and enchantment of time-travel and that they had little familiarity with the concept. Sure, it was supposed to be a light-hearted comedy but it could have been executed with so much more time-orientated drama. It could have been intoxicating as well, sending us to places where the human mind seldom dwells, offering us a chance to experience events beyond the mundane but sadly, it did not. Very conventional light BBC programming.
Its interesting though. At the time, I gave no thought to Gary's character but I now found him to be a spineless, hapless philanderer. His extramarital activity came from a base part of his nature and that wasn't pleasant to witness; how he deceived two woman for six years. The immoral hanky-panky he got up to and the pain caused was not really funny. Can bigamy ever be funny? Isn't it interesting how I see it all nowadays? If for that reason alone, it was worth the purchase I suppose. I think the best character was Ron. Funny and real, poor sap! Oh, and of course, PC Deadman! However, I don't think the show has (time!) traveled well. Not a classic.