Monday, 18 May 2009

Great comedy

Well, it happens to all great shows in the end. Some go on longer than they should and some end prematurely. I remember sitting down with my father in the late 70s to watch some of the greatest TV comedies ever made - "Dad's Army", "Fawlty Towers", "The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin", "Yes Minister" and "Yes, Prime Minister" come to mind. I've moaned about the UK recently but if there's one thing that place can do, or at least used to be able to do, is create wonderful comedy. The US can do it as well but I don't think the series they've produced are quite up there with the very best. Mash was great of course, Cheers was pretty good and I love Frasier. Seinfeld was superb of course, but that was a series that just went on too long for me.

On the way down from the mountain last Friday I found the fifth and last series of Boston Legal in my mail. I've just watched the last episode.

I have to say that this show, at least in my opinion, is up there with the best comedies the Brits ever produced. It's clever, it's very funny, often surreal and deals with everything from the death penalty to fishing and senility. There has been no other series I've watched that has made me laugh so much and actually cry - often in the same episode.

For those people who only know William Shatner as being Captain Kirk in Star Trek, I urge you to watch, at the very least, a few episodes of Boston Legal. He won an Emmy for one of the series and all I can say is that it was richly deserved and I hope he wins more awards. The show is now finished and I think it was the right decision as nothing ruins a great TV comedy more than running out of ideas, but I'm still sad that there are no more new episodes to watch.


Anonymous said...

Ummm Hello...

William Shatner is the priceline guy.


Who is Captain Kirk and what's a Spock?

And I don't even want to tell you what a Klingon really sounds like.

Zuzana said...

I also like "My Hero" and "The Black Adder".;)

Kevin said...

I notice you didn't mention Are You Being Served? :-).

It's interesting, I had memories of Reggie Perrin being really funny, but then I saw some re-runs of it on PBS recently, and I couldn't figure out why I found it funny years ago. Maybe it didn't age very well.

Tom said...

Damon - er, yes, whatever!

Protege - Black Adder was great, probably should have included it along with Father Ted, although I don't know if the latter is truly British! I've never heard of My Hero.

Kevin - for some reason "Are You Being Served" is huge here. I've no idea why, it's terrible! I used to watch it as a kid but I didn't know better in those days...

As for Reginald Perrin, I have all three series here. When I watched the first couple of episodes I felt the same way you do, but after that I realised how much of a genius Leonard Rossiter was (I think he was up there with Peter Sellers). I don't know what PBS showed, but by the 2nd series when "Grot" was being so successful and then being destroyed by Reggie, it was avid viewing. The third series isn't so good, but still funny IMO.

For some strange reason, I never liked "Rising Damp" which many people see as Rossiter's best stuff. Odd.