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 Posted:   Nov 4, 2009 - 8:55 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

According to a 2004 poll--yes, take any poll with a block of salt--ONLY FOOLS AND HORSES is Britain's best sitcom. I've never heard of it, but I'd be interested in reading your thoughts on this. Was the show THAT good? I'm in the midst of exploring several "Britcoms", so this obviously gets my attention.

http://www.listal.com/list/britains-best-sitcom

EDIT: And if the show isn't the "best", which one do you think is?

 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2009 - 9:13 AM   
 By:   BobJ   (Member)

I am not a Brit, but I saw the first few seasons and thought it was a fun series. But the best? I wouldn't agree, but again, being a Yank I may not be getting all the more subtle British references.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2009 - 10:49 AM   
 By:   groovemeister   (Member)

Only Fools And Horses is very funny and had with David Jason playing Del Boy an unforgettable character.
It has very recognisable situations and characters, and had constant good writing.
To say that OFAH is the best comedy Britain's ever produced is doubtful.
To me, Fawlty Towers remains the best comedy i've ever seen.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2009 - 10:58 AM   
 By:   Hercule Platini   (Member)

No. Funny at the time (in places) but went on two years too long. If I don't ever see it again it won't bother me.

 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2009 - 10:58 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Obviously down to taste and, for a long running series, it wasn't always great. The first series, in particular, was largely weak but when it changed from the 1/2 hr to the 50 min format it became something special. In addition, the Christmas specials (1hr +) were of a high standard.

Lead actor, David Jason knew his job ... he'd been in prior situation comedies with other experts of the genre (especially Open All Hours with Ronnie Barker) ... and, with a largely excellent cast they made the show work.

Of the earlier series, the crystal chandelier episode is considered an absolute classic (albeit much the program is on the weak side but the finale brings the house down ...)

In the later, longer episodes, they were able to develop the human relationships a lot more and, if it did tend to become something of a funny soap rather than a situation comedy, this was not to its detriment.

I particularly enjoyed sequences in which there was a build up to a big joke rather than simple funny banter. For example when the family decides to go into the bottle water business ... filling bottles from the kitchen sink tap ... only to find business booming because of the water shortage they were creating! Daft but very funny.

The last few specials, after they had become millionaires (a fantastic build up to this - supposed - finale) had lost the magic somewhat but there are many, many funny moments to recall ...

... losing their way whilst crossing the channel to Holland: seeing a cross-channel ferry Del shouts out "Follow that ferry" ... and later we find out that they succeeded in reaching Holland but only after going back to England first as the ferry was going the wrong way.

... going into the entertainment business and partnering his wife with a singer and choosing the songs ... only to find the singer can't pronounce the letter "r" ...

... the boys' day out coach ride to the sea-side when brother Rodney (I think) is telephoning home saying everything is fine, after a number of problems, at which point the coach is seen to explode in the background ...

The best sitcom (English speaking) ... if not, I'd find it difficult to find another better - and I thought Just Good Friends was exceptionally good, too.

 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2009 - 11:03 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Only Fools And Horses is very funny and had with David Jason playing Del Boy an unforgettable character.
It has very recognisable situations and characters, and had constant good writing.
To say that OFAH is the best comedy Britain's ever produced is doubtful.
To me, Fawlty Towers remains the best comedy i've ever seen.


Yes, Fawlty Towers is/was very good but there were only 12 episodes and not all of them are that great. Hence, for me, it is not in the same league.

 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2009 - 11:08 AM   
 By:   mgh   (Member)

To me, Fawlty Towers remains the best comedy i've ever seen.

I agree. "The Rat" is one of the funniest things I've ever seen.

 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2009 - 12:11 PM   
 By:   Hester_Prin   (Member)

"Waiting for God"

'allo, 'allo.

Black Books

 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2009 - 1:42 PM   
 By:   johnjohnson   (Member)

Porridge and Whatever Happened To the Likely Lads, Steptoe And Son, Dad's Army and It Ain't Half Hot Mum, Spaced, Not Going Out, Thin Blue Line, Bottom.

 
 Posted:   Nov 4, 2009 - 3:42 PM   
 By:   BobJ   (Member)

Red Dwarf

Black Books

are two of my favorites.

 
 Posted:   Nov 5, 2009 - 1:05 AM   
 By:   Jehannum   (Member)

Never really watched Only Fools ... what I've seen wasn't really my thing. I found Nicholas Lyndhurst especially annoying.

For 'gentle' comedy I'd recommend Ever Decreasing Circles - Richard Briers is a genius.

For not-so-gentle comedy, Peep Show is great.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 5, 2009 - 3:42 AM   
 By:   Hercule Platini   (Member)

Red Dwarf

Indeed. The first six series, particularly 4 and 5, were works of genius. (So great that I named myself after a character in my favourite episode, Holoship.)

Two clips from Series 2:





 
 
 Posted:   Nov 5, 2009 - 7:13 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

Not even close, Only Fools was the kind of comedy your dad liked (mine did). But I much prefer American sitcoms.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 5, 2009 - 8:44 AM   
 By:   Timmer   (Member)

Never really watched Only Fools ... what I've seen wasn't really my thing. I found Nicholas Lyndhurst especially annoying.

For 'gentle' comedy I'd recommend Ever Decreasing Circles - Richard Briers is a genius.

For not-so-gentle comedy, Peep Show is great.


Peep Show is very good.

Fools & Horses could be very hit and miss for me, a lot of the early episodes were excellent but it ran well past it's sell by date.

Mange tout Rodney, mange tout.

 
 Posted:   Aug 15, 2010 - 3:28 PM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

Saw my first episode of OFAH (on the flight to the UK, no less), "Tea for Three" and it was very funny. The old man wasn't so great but David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst were hilarious. The latter I had seen in a not-so-good sitcom called After You've Gone but he was much better in OFAH. Obviously it's too early to make a judgment on whether the show is the best British sitcom ever, but at least I got a taste of it.

Also saw an episode of Dad's Army. Amusing more than funny, but my wife liked it. The episode was called "Sgt. Wilson's Little Secret."

 
 Posted:   Aug 15, 2010 - 4:29 PM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

I'm not the biggest sit com fan, in general, and like Britcoms even less. However, I do love Once Foot in the Grave, Keeping Up Appearances and Absolutely Fabulous. Otherwise...

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 15, 2010 - 5:20 PM   
 By:   Clark Wayne   (Member)

Only Fools has been over for a long time though-15 years or so maybe? I think we've maybe had a couple of special episodes since then but that's all. Pretty dated nowadays.

Foreign visitors should understand that it only tops the polls because it stars Sir David Jason is who pretty much regarded as a National Treasure due to his many starring roles.

It is probably fondly remembered by Middle England as something the family could sit and watch together as it was not exactly edgy. That is what gets it votes.

Dad's Army was dated when I was a kid in the late 70's-the joke was then, watch the main credits and say "He's dead" as each of the main characters used to appear.

Similar to the Carry On films, who's stars generally died young.

Even the great Spaced, Black Books, The Office and Father Ted are now all around 10 years old.

Sitcoms are pretty rare in the UK these days.

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 15, 2010 - 5:25 PM   
 By:   Clark Wayne   (Member)

Mind you, we used to get some God-awful American dross as well-The Cosby Show, Roseanne, The Golden Girls-all purely piss poor.

We also have a channel called E4 that seemingly broadcasts nothing but the incredibly unfunny the first time, Friends.

 
 Posted:   Aug 15, 2010 - 6:08 PM   
 By:   GreatGonzo   (Member)

Fawlty Towers is/was very good but there were only 12 episodes and not all of them are that great.

Blasphemy! A show that's pitch-perfect in every episode AND knows when to call it quits? How does it get better than that?

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 15, 2010 - 6:38 PM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

Never heard of this show. So, I went to Netflix and brought it up. There it was, a few years worth from the early 80's. I clicked on 'MEMBER REVIEWS' and, it's a definate mixed-bag. But the reviewers there (hundreds of them, some American, some British) mostly give it a SINGLE STAR rating. A few 4 or 5 star, but mostly a single star and say it's 'miserable', 'poor', 'don't waste your time' etc. I suppose comedy is highly subjective.
Then again, Netflix viewers gave 'The Vicar of Dibley' mostly 5-stars. I watched about 5 minutes of the very first episode and thought it a huge piece of shit (with an obnoxious laugh track. WHAT were all those people originally laughing about I wonder.)

 
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