Up Pompeii was a sitcom that placed Frankie Howerd in the spotlight - with scripts by Talbot Rothwell, unique formula (breaking the fourth wall) and dialogues full of innuendoes it was a perfect setting for Howerd, whose stand up routines as well as film appearances were very close the character he was playing in Up Pompeii. Later Whoops Baghdad was almost exact copy of Up Pompeii, but set in the Middle East, but in early 1980s Howerd was given another series, Then Churchill Said to Me, as it turned out the last in his career.
When Are You Being Served? was about to finish in 1985 the creators, Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft, were already thinking about a spin-off. The concept of department store have already dried out (which is hardly surprising after 10 seasons), so they would need a new location, constant cast changes in previous seasons did not helped in keeping it all together, but on the other hand they gathered a group of colourful characters, very good actors, that could be a powerhouse for another sitcom.
Simon Nye created quite few sitcoms throughout his career, from great Men Behaving Badly, through unusual Is It Legal? to a lost chance with Hardware. The one thing they all had in common was that... they were completely different. How Do You Want Me? produced in 1998 and 1999 is hardly similar to any other of his sitcoms, but unfortunately in this case it wasnâ€™t a good thing.
Since 1980s the comedy series started to look for new themes, one of which was of course the new generation of... unique young people known as the nerds. The revolution started with computers led to such shows as Dweebs, IT Crowd or lately Silicon Valley and Big Bang Theory. Lab Rats, similiar in concept and atmosphere was showing a different world - the world of scientists working on ground-breaking experiments... Well, working anyway.
Two young men - boring Mark and aspiring musician Jeremy - share a flat in London. They have not much in common... apart from the unusual talent for putting themselves in embarrassing situation. And when I say embarrassing I don’t mean our every day embarrassing - when they screw up it is always a big time!
British comedy series had sometimes quite strange concepts - Only When I Laugh was taking place pretty much in a single room throughout 4 series, Last of the Summer Wine was about elderly people looking for something interesting to do throughout 20 series, Red Dwarf was taking place after human kind ceased to exist throughout 10 series... Benidorm was another completely surprising idea - group of Britons spend their all inclusive holiday in hotel sitting next to pool or in karaoke bar. How can you stretch such idea to 10 series? Obviously you can...
There are few themes that are hardly the laughing matter, like someone’s death, illness, being broke or having the personal crisis. Yet comedy series managed to deal with all those themes without actually crossing the boundries. Death? Getting on (British or American version). Illness? Only When I Laugh or Scrubs. Personal crisis? The Fall and Raise of Reginald Perrin for example. Being broke? Oh, this list would be too long - from Steptoe and Son to Married with Children and many more. The Job Lot is another example of trying to make comedy of something that on first glance seem hard to achieve - unemployment.
Jimmy Perry is most remembered for his work on such hit comedy series as Dad’s Army, It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, You Rang, M’Lord? and Hi-de-Hi! that he wrote together with David Croft, but not many people remember that Perry did tried to make some sitcoms on his own and Room Service was one of them.
It’s not often that British sitcom takes the American approach to comedy and is created in same manner as in United States. Even "My Family", created by American Fred Barron, was still close to other British productions. But Not Going Out is a completely different matter.
Blackadder as sitcom set a new quality in British television - historical show that made fun of the British past wasn't that original (to recall Dad's Army or The Almost Complete History of Britain), but the level of humour and great characters made it a classic. But just like in The Life of Brian there was another show, who did not made it to the top, although it had all the components to be great - Chelmsford 123.
Comedy Series Blog - we search all the interesting (and sometimes not that interesting) comedy series from around the world. Some of them might be slightly better than the others, but in comedy there are no strict rules - sometimes less funny series, but made with skillful touch could be a hit. On the other hand there are series that try too hard to be funny and lose on the plots and characters building.
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