It's been some time since my last post - a long time by my usual standards, but I seem to have a bit of writer's block and can't think of anything to say.
Recently I wrote two half-songs (sadly they can't be combined into one), half a speech and half an introduction to a chapter before getting bogged down - so just because sometimes you have to just plunge in and write something I'm going to do a post i've been putting off for a while.
Those of you who read my blog regularly will be familiar with, and no doubt shriek with fear at the mention of, my ongoing List-O-Fives. We've had concept albums, movies, books, sci-fi - and a while ago I threatened to do one on sit-coms.
Problem is that there's too many for just a basic list of five - so i thought what i'd do is a list of all the sit-coms i like, in alphabetical order - and only pick out a few for more than a brief description.
Here we go:
The Big Bang Theory - despite playing to the stereotype that all scientists and clever people are, therefore, total nerds this is sharply funny and Sheldon Cooper is surely a classic creation. I'm quite enjoying the ongoing joke about Sheldon's deadly rivalry with Wil Wheaton as well
Blackadder - starting at the time of Richard 3rd and ending up in the 1st world war several generations of Edmund Blackadder strove to do dastardly deeds and generally failed. My personal favourite will always be Blackadder II with the genius casting of Miranda Richardson as Queenie (Queen Elisabeth 1st) - favourite quotes include:
Queenie: They've completely vanished
Lord Percy: ...like an old oak table (and so forth)
Dad's Army - 60s-70s show about the British Home Guard - don't tell him Pike!! A very rare combination of 100% perfect casting, very distinctive characters and top quality one liners
Father Ted - enjoyably daft comedy about three Irish priests sent to a small island essentially to keep them out of harm's way. I had the pleasure of attending the filming of an episode in series two and got to meet Fathers Ted and Dougall afterwards. Top episode has to be the Eurovision one
Fawlty Towers - more farce than sit-com this John Cleese vehicle is one of the most infamous sit coms and is second to none in terms of tight writing, characterisation and cringe-enducing moments
Frazier - one of the best from across the pond, right up to the point they introduced Daphne's family - but often very hard to watch because of the stupid, down-right pompous things the main character did. Home of one of my favourite quotes: "If we were looking through the world's most powerful microscope right now I still couldn't locate my interest in your problem"
The Good Life - 70s sit-com starring Richard Briers and Felicity Kendall as two surburbanites who turn self-sufficient, to the horror of their posh neighbours. It has been said that no truly british man can think of Felicity Kendall in The Good Life without a sigh.
One Foot In The Grave - Richard Wilson as grumpy pensioner Victor Meldrew with his long suffering wife Margaret - endlessly ranting at the world. Last series wasn't as good, but still very funny at its best
Porridge - Ronnie Barker's shining moment and one of the best written comedies of all time about serial offender Fletcher and his fellow inmates at Slade Prison as they try and outwit the guards
Red Dwarf - 3,000,000 light years from Earth a slob, a career-no-hoper, a cat, a mechanoid and a senile computer are trying to find their way home. First two series were actually very clever sci-fi ideas with humour, then descended into a monster-of-the-week format (though still funny for another four years) - until finally took it a series or two too far. Best lines increasingly went to the mechanoid Kryten, including when they had to go from blue to red alert and Kryten says, "are you sure sir, it does mean changing the bulb?"
The Simpsons - does this count as a sit-com? Maybe not - once great, not as funny as it was, but still worth watching we are all familiar with the story of America's No1 family
Still Game - shamefully overlooked Scottish sit-com about a group of pensioners living on a rough estate.
Still - i couldn't leave you withouy a chance to watch at least a bit of one of these shows - so here's that Eurovision song from Father Ted - and if you don't smile there's something wrong with you!