Here’s the second part of another list
stolen from inspired by Abbi over at Where the Wild Things Are. I never write about TV but couldn’t resist the temptation to share my favourite British comedies because, when I’m not watching films, I’m probably watching one of these. Because I love these shows so much I’ve gone on a bit, hence the two-part post. If you’re remotely interested, part one is here.
Edina “Eddie” Monsoon and her best friend Patsy like to live the high life, much to the chagrin of Eddie’s super-sensible daughter, Saffron (Saffie). Eddie is a middle-aged, over-weight, hard-partying, new-age, heavy-drinking, chain-smoking, PR “professional” and Patsy is a former model and all-around reprobate. I grew up watching this, and always loved the mother-daughter role reversal, and the supposed adults’ outrageous behaviour. Plus there’s a wonderful cast of British treasures, including these women here:
The Thick Of It
What an amazingly, brilliant, utterly foul-mouthed fucking stroke of genius this fantastic show was. The stand out character of this behind-the-scenes political mockumentary-style comedy was, of course, the outlandishly sweary political advisor – Malcolm Tucker. The man-made bad language an art-form. He is without doubt, the single most creative swearer I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness.
Whichever party is in power, whomever he’s working for, Tucker is always on hand with a diatribe of abuse, and we love him for it. He might be Dr Who, now, but to me, Peter Capaldi will always be Malcolm Tucker. The sweariest man in history.
Only Fools and Horses
This is an old-school comedy, one that I remember watching as a kid in the ’80s and beyond and one that I think everyone likes. There are so many genius moments – the fluorescent gravestone, the free holiday, the wine bar fall – I love it all (except when they revived it for those terrible episodes all those years after it first finished).
Another oldie, and one that stands up as well as ever. John Cleese is beyond hilarious as the hotelier from hell, Basil Fawlty, who could give Malcolm Tucker a run for his money when it comes to vicious put-downs and aneurysm-inducing rants.
The IT Crowd
When The IT Crowd first came out it was billed as being the new comedy from the creator of Father Ted which I loved. I didn’t like it. I didn’t really think it was funny. It wasn’t anything like Father Ted. But what was I thinking? What a fool! The IT Crowd is brilliant in its own right. It really grew on me.
It follows the exploits of IT nerds Moss and Roy, and their (knows-nothing-about-computers) boss Jen as they end up in a variety of unlikely but hilarious scrapes including almost getting eaten by a German cannibal, inventing a highly flammable bra and accidentally acting as a getaway driver for a group of armed bank robbers.
What are your favourites…?
Thanks, Alex! What would you choose?
Yes Minister always made me laugh tonnes. The Inbetweeners too. And if you stretch British to include Irish, Father Ted.
Yes, yes and yes! Good choices.
I’ve quoted the first and third but The Inbetweeners is difficult. Hilarious, but not the sort of thing I can put up haha. I do need to see the second film.
Nice list btw. You really covered some classics 🙂
More great choices!
Thanks Abbi! It was really hard whittling it down.
Yay IT Crowd! Love it. But yeah, it does have to grow on you. Also, I’m hearing that they’re going to make an American version of IT Crowd (God help us all, ugh).
Oh no, please don’t let it be so! Did you see what they did with Fawlty Towers and Men Behaving Badly?
I know, right? If they do an American remake, I hope they use Brits because Americans just CAN’T do British comedy. Lol. I didn’t . . . but to be honest, it wouldn’t surprise me if they screwed it up. American TV LOVES to borrow from the UK, and sometimes they do it justice, but more often than not they don’t.
So much American comedy is really brilliant in its own right, I just don’t get the remake thing. It’s kind of sad because it must surely be at the expensive of original ideas.
I totally agree! American comedy can be really good. I am just not a big fan of them remaking original British things because the comedies are different in their own rights.
Exactly! They don’t need to remake everything when their own ideas a good enough. I love 30 Rock and Arrested Development, and I really enjoy American Dad and Family Guy, and there was a time when I used to watch Friends every day. To be fair, Friends was pretty hard to avoid her, it was on TV everyday for more than 15 years. They only stopped showing it on mainstream TV about 2 years ago.
Wow, I had no idea they showed Friends over there that much!
I love Arrested Development too! At some point I will probably give 30 Rock a try.
Friends was on morning, noon and night for YEARS. And when they got to the last episode…they would restart from the beggining! It was on a perpetual loop.