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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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How this show became for me the funniest on TV during the 80's when it's subject matter is not funny but sad, can only be attributed to the superb writing of John Sullivan (Only Fools and Horses) and acting of all concerned.
See a forty something school teacher John Lacey (Ralph Bates) try to get his life back in some semblance of order, (After his wife had left him for his best friend.) with his exploits at the 1-2-1 club.
Meet the club's organiser Louise, who ask's all her customer's if they have any "sexual problems".
Meet the flashy Kirk St Moritz a man whom it seems has it all. (So what's he doing here?)
There's also insecure Kate and motorcycle combination owner Ralph.
A show that should not be funny, but is!
~~~~
This set contains all two series:-
Seven episodes series one,
Six episodes series two and the fifty minute Christmas special.
DVD Info.
3 Disc set.
Special features- Cast filmographies, English sub-titles.
Trivia - The part of John's son Toby, was played by Ralph Bates real life son.
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on 19 June 2011
Like so many reviewers here, I had waited a long time for this DVD set to be released, and was worried that it might not be as funny as I had remembered it being all those years ago. After slipped release dates and cancellations I stumbled upon the box set by accident and ordered it immediately. It was with some trepidation that I loaded up the first DVD. Would this be another case of nostalgia getting in the way of sub-par TV?

Not a bit of it. These two series and the Christmas special were both funnier and sadder than I had remembered them being, a genuinely touching mix of belly laughs and commentary on human nature. The characters have all been well described in other reviews, but Ralph Bates deserves special mention for his layered portrayal of John, as does his real-life son, who plays John's son. In fact, it is Toby who often comments on the absurdity of adult life from the outside, baffled as to the behaviour of those around him.

This set, then, is recommended without reservation. One could ask for more extras, but it is good enough to have a comedy this - what's the word? - funny available once again. John Sullivan, the writer, who died recently, deserves high praise for this, and I see it as some of his best and most wittily observed work. It puzzles me that this was barely mentioned in his obituaries. It may not have had the multi-series run of other comedies of his, but quality always outstrips quantity.

Watch this - you will long remember Kirk's comment to the lady with the unfortunate bodily problem, the tragic fate of Ralph's caravan, and many other things besides. Watch it through to the end - you would have to have a hard heart not to shed a tear at the end of the Christmas special when John, up to now dealing with his own isolation, realises (and we with him) that there has been somebody close at hand who has known what true loneliness means. Perfect.
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on 19 December 2010
I was really pleased to see this had been released on DVD, but approached with caution as I thought it wouldn't be as funny today as it was back in the 80's, how wrong I was!

I sat down to watch one episode last night, and was still up at 4am having watched the entire DVD set, I just couldn't stop watching, and laughing out loud.

There is not one weak performance on show here, the entire cast gel wonderfully, and the blend of uproarous belly laugh humour and pathos is truly superb, the quality of writng is faultless.

Please, do yourself a favour and buy this, you really won't regret it.
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on 21 August 2010
like some of the other reviewers i have waited along time for this to come out on dvd.. every episode is a gem with each character developing as the series progresses watch out for: kevin lloyd as a faded rock star in series 2 - classic. i recommend this too everyone especially if your fans of fools and horses etc
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on 5 August 2010
Well the long wait is finally over - this classic sitcom from the 80s is finally released - and any fans from its original showing on the Beeb won't need convincing to snap it up! Those not fortunate enough to have seen "Dear John" first time round are in for a real treat. As a previous reviewer has said, the subject matter seems unpromising ground for a sitcom, but the adventures of hapless John Lacey (superbly played by Ralph Bates) after his wife leaves him are a delight!

John decides to put his life back on track by attending the 1-2-1 Club for divorced and separated people. This is run by Louise whose catchphrase "were there any ... sexual problems?" is the stuff of sitcom legends! Other members include Kate (Belinda Lang) an attractive but somewhat insecure divorcee, Ralph, played by Peter Denyer, whose Polish wife has married him to stay in the country and has since disappeared, Mrs. Arnott (Jean Challis) a somewhat frumpy older lady who says nothing until an unexpected revelation at the end of the first episode, and the unforgettable Kirk St. Moritz, brilliantly portrayed by Peter Blake, a medallion-wearing, leather-trousered lothario who appears to be super confident and succeeds only in insulting just about everyone!

This is a briiliantly written series which would certainly have reached a wider audience and fanbase had it been repeated as is the BBC's usual wont with sitcoms, but with the release of the DVD it's time to redress the balance! In my opinion one of the best-ever comedies - treat yourself - you'll be hooked in no time!
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on 23 March 2012
First aired on the BBC between February 1986 and Christtmas 1987 this John Sullivan (of Only fools and horses reknown) penned sit-com is classy entertainment. The opening episode sees the title's John Lacey, a forty something school teacher, outed by his wife after she finds favour with his once best friend. Stripped in the divorce court of his family, home, his car and deserted by his so called friends he tries to remain upbeat and seeks solace and company through a local encounter group, the "1-2-1 Club". The gentle pace follows the relationships between the group members, the crass would be spy Kirk St Moritz, frigid beauty Kate, bland and boring Ralf, Club organiser Louise and of course John. The ongoing back story of his relationship with (ex) wife Wendy, his son Toby and his marital replacement, the annoying rugby playing former best friend Welshman Mike, gives a steadying timeline to a comedy with plenty of honest humour.
A wonderful cast includes Ralph Bates and comedy stalwart Belinda Lang amongst others and is backed up with strong camios from the lovely Sue Holderness (Marlene from Only fools...) and The Bill's Kevin Lloyd.
This set includes all twelve 30 minute episodes from series 1 & 2 along with the 45 minute Xmas special. A very enjoyable comedy sadly cut short by the premature loss of lead actor Ralph Bates
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on 19 February 2012
I haven't watched Ralph Bates in Dear John since the original screening many years ago but the writing of John Sullivan and the comic acting ability of a superb ensemble cast make this Dvd a joy to watch and savour.

From the brash bravado of Kirk to the shrinking pessimism of Ralph, the show has a timeless quality able to create hoots of laughter and then wring tears from the hardest viewer as one disaster follows on another.

Ralph Bates is wonderful as John, the recently divorced middle-aged character, as he tries hard to hide his lack of success in his social life and often misses out on invitations due to his need to seem fully "booked".

The sad and early demise of Ralph Bates makes this gem even more poignant and and a real must-see.
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on 19 February 2012
I really liked this show when it was on television and wondered why it didn't get so much publicity as others. Watching it again it still makes us laugh, some really funny lines, good characters and worth the money. Ralph Bates was a fine actor in both comedy and drama. A sad loss.
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on 2 June 2014
We both enjoyed it. We enjoy watching DVDs as there is little of interest broadcast on the television nowadays. Ralph Bates played "John" superbly, the part could have been written for him.
We now have all the BBC comedy series box sets of DVDs. Wish there were more. We watch them over and over and always laugh at them. Where are all the wonderfully funny scriptwriters these days?
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on 20 December 2015
Ralph bates stars as john a man whose wife has left him for his best friend so he joins a singles club called the one to one club and he meets all sorts of crazy people while he's there its a very funny series well worth your time and your money buy this!
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