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VINE VOICEon 17 July 2010
Having fond memories of this John Sullivan sitcom from the mid 1980s I'm truly amazed it's taken this long to be released on DVD, especially as Only Fools is a daily visitor to the cable channel GOLD. Anyway, the premise for the series revolves around language teacher John Lacey, whose wife Wendy leaves him for his PE Instructor colleague, leaving him to survive post divorce in a rented bedsit. To alleviate his loneliness, John joins the 121 club, a local group which brings together divorced and separated people where he meets a diverse range of people from the enthusiastically nosey leader, Louise, the feisty but frigid Kate, the 1970s throwback Kirk and the monotone nerdy Ralph.

I can't say I laughed a great deal, as comedy changes over the years, but it was good to be able to watch all seven episodes of the first series and I'm truly amazed how much I remembered after all this time. Sullivan's characterisation is spot on and there are some truly brilliant comedy characters in there with some memorable catchphrases from `were there any sexual problems' to `I've got a motorcycle combination'. Ralph Bates, in the lead role of John brings the right amount of gravitas to a role which could often topple over to being much more tragic than comic at times. I loved the last episode and am looking forward to revisiting series two at some point.
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on 10 May 2010
I can't compete with Lady Sunshine's comprehensive review or disagree with any of it, this show was an absolute gem and has been woefully ignored until now. However, for some reason the main websites and the bbc have separate release dates for series 1 and 2. Don't be fooled into waiting unless you particularly want to, the complete collection (which includes the Christmas special) has been released, I have a copy bought in HMV today waiting to be viewed tonight with a couple of beers with the phone off the hook. Enjoy this classic!
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on 22 July 2010
Dear John was destined to take its place close to only fools except for the sad demise of Ralph Bates. A great series that can pull the twists and turns of any Only Fools show.

Highlighting the injustices of the 80's divorce system but also injecting some terrfic jokes on behalf of societies great losers it does leave plenty of room for sympathy for characters who are not far removed from our own pesonalities. This is a great series and made touching by the unsung comraderie that evolves between the characters. What evolves through both series is a circle of friends stronger than most of the strongest on screen and finally gives us all hope that no matter how desperate our situations might get maybe we can rebuild a new and fulfilling life.

Great fun and very touching - in a nutshell. Loved it then and still do. DEAR RALPH why did you go so soon?
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on 27 May 2010
At last this excellent series has found it's way onto DVD, after it was supposed to be released years ago and was 'pulled' at the last minute, for a video-only release.

It pains me that whenever John Sullivan's name appears anywhere, all that ever get's talked about is Only Fools And Horses - a great comedy, but hasn't it been on TV so much that we are SICK of it???

I remember recently seeing a TV interview with Belinda Lang(Kate)and she never mentioned (or wasn't asked) about Dear John, just a few shows including Two Point Four Children.....

It's a pity that UK Gold don't show this as much as they keep licking the backside of Only Fools.....

RIP Ralph Bates - what a great legacy!
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on 5 August 2010
Like most of the other reviewers I've been waiting a long time to see this, one of the best BBC comedies ever, released on DVD.

Unfortunately on watching the first episode I couldn't understand why my disc seemed to skip from the penultimate scene set at the one-to-one club straight to John walking away during the end titles. At first I assumed that my copy was faulty, but on checking it turns out that the last scene, set outside the club as the new members say good night, lasting about a minute and a half, has been edited out.

I assume that the "contractual reasons" alluded to on the back cover refer to the fact that The Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" can be heard playing in the background during the missing scene and that, to quote Del Boy, Acorn lack the conkers to pay for it's use. When the BBC re-released the Doctor Who story "Remembrance Of The Daleks" on DVD they were able to use Beatles music due to a new agreement, so it's a shame that they chose to farm this series out.

Having only watched "A Solitary Man" so far, I've no idea what else may be contracted out, but I would advise anyone with old VHS home recordings to hang on to them for the time being.
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on 12 May 2010
This is one of the best comedies from the 80's.

Anyone wanting series 2 and the Christmas specials please visit HMV, who have an exclusive Box Set.
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on 20 September 2010
I recently discovered that Dear John was out on DVD and decided to re-acquaint myself with this series as I remembered thoroughly enjoying it way back then. I'm not disappointed. Considering it's nearly 25 years old, I still found it as funny as I did back then, and I think the reason for that is the quality of the writing combined with superb performances from some. Not sure it will appeal to youngsters these days but if you're over 45 you probably watched this and enjoyed it ... Buy it and enjoy it again!
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on 8 August 2011
I originally saw Dear John as a child before I could fully understand some of the stories, but I still remember loving the theme tune and various characters especially Ralph Bates as John and also Kirk St.Moritz. Watching the series now as an adult was wonderful, I watched all seven episodes in two sittings and loved all of it. I highly recommend this series to classic comedy fans.
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on 30 May 2010
so the title song tells us.Life without this show has been too long.A true classic from John Sullivan though maybe not considered so by some judging by the wait for it's release.There are brilliant characters here John the down trodden teacher who appears as dull as dishwater yet you can't but love thanks in the main to an excellent Ralph Bates performance.Kirk St
Moritz super spy and part time sex god.Louise the course leader whose problem anaylsis always take the one track.The deviance for Sullivan here is the show is character driven rather than catch phrases of only fools or resident wide boy like del or vince in Just Good Friends both excellent shows in their own right but the change in style here is refreshing and displays
Sullivans'versatility. The show has aged fairly well and still very funny almost 25 years on. So sign up for the 121 club
and laugh your troubles away
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on 16 December 2010
I had forgotten this programme, it all came back once i started watching & found it very funny & most enjoyable. will definatley buy series 2 at some point Dear John - Series 1 [DVD] [1986]
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