Top positive review
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Rule Britannia, Marmalade and Jam......
on 21 December 2009
Quite simply the finest comedy drama of the past quarter century. The first season in particular is genius, from the same people that bought the 70's barnstormer "Porridge".
I first watched Series 2 as it aired on ITV; I would have been about 12, and just thought that it was spot on (I'm sure some of the adult jokes I didn't quite get but the heart and soul and comedy that went on I certainly did get!). I loved the series. Advertised as being in Spain, the first two thirds of the season actually float around England. The Derbyshire part of the show being comedy heaven, using the difference in class for most of the humour. Spain was funny too, but you could feel that it was chopped and changed reflecting the sad death of Gary Holton.(looking back I always loved the Oz character as he was the most in your face, maybe even caricatured, but looking back now Wayne (Winston) Norris was given many a moment of pure comedy by Mr's. Clement/LeFrenais/Hay.
However, I then went back and watched Series 1 and what can I say, if Series 2 was 9/10 then Series 1 was 15/10.
The sory does not flow in the same way as Series 2 and the 13 episodes are quite separate from each other (aside from maybe the last couple). The togetherness of the boys is at times side splitting and at other times tearful. The show starts with the 3 Geordies being the main characters and larger (or LAGER) than life Oz (played quite easily by Jimmy Nail) steals most scenes that he is in. However, for me I love the chemistry between Super Cool playboy Wayne and Radish Barry Taylor. Two polar opposites, but you see somewhere there that both have respect for the other and would not mind being slightly more like the other. BTW, the single best episode has to be "Private Lives" featuring these two. (Barry chatting up two frauleins outside a cafe is comedy gold!)
Perfect capture of life in the 80's; the lads affected in a bad way by Thatcher's Britain, whilst the Arthur "Tiger" Pringle's and Ali Fraziers reaped the benefits of 80's Britain.
GREAT, GREAT show.