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Wednesday, January 09, 2008
GEORGE & MILDRED: The Special Edition [2008]
GEORGE: "Sez in 'ere, your 'ex' was pumping you in the Caribbean"
"Ah've nevah 'eard it called that bephwoarr!"

Looks like this could be surprise hit for ITV1 if GEORGE "Can We Do Another Three Indy Films?" LUCAS gets his way with BLAKE "Ass-raped For Soup Everyday" FIELDER-CIVIL and AMY "Black To Blonde" WINEHOUSE fronting the show. Apparently they are in talks with PETE "Man About The House" DOHERTY to play the cheeky upstairs tenant. If you don't what the flip GEORGE & MILDRED is, and many don't (bless 'em), go HERE for the 411 on the late-Seventies 'classic' UK sitcom.

BLAKE [right]: "I hope you used protection"
"Yeah, I 'effed my up my hair now no-one will screw me."

'Til the next time,

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posted by Cameron McEwan at 8:26 pm -
  • At 1:14 am, Blogger Richard Starkings said…

    GEORGE & MILDRED was remade in the US as THE ROPERS, which was a spinoff of THREE'S COMPANY which itself was a remake of MAN ABOUT THE HOUSE. Interestingly, CHEERS was inspired by FAWLTY TOWERS, if you doubt me, compare Fawlty's THE KIPPER AND THE CORPSE to Cheers' OLD FASHIONED WEDDING.

  • At 11:11 am, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…

    As you so rightly say, interesting.

    I was aware that MAN ABOUT THE HOUSE was remade but did not know about THE ROPERS. Odd that they kept the same surname. I see the show didn't last long.

    As for the FAWLTY TOWERS remake, which one is Manuel? Coach? So, Ted Danson is Basil; Shelly Long is Cybil; Carla is Polly? Can't remember the CHEERS episode you mentioned.

    I don't doubt it though (having just looked up Wikipedia)!

  • At 3:25 pm, Blogger Richard Starkings said…

    That was the one with Woody's Wedding -- the priest, played by Duran Duran himself, Milo O'Shea -- dies in the kitchen and the rest of the cast have to hide him from Woody.

    Carla is Sybil! Diane is Polly. Norm and Cliff are combinations of the Major and the two old ladies!

    The thing about American sitcoms versus British sitcoms (referred to as Britcoms over here) is that the American central characters are almost always heroic, sympathetic figures (Sam, Hawkeye, Seinfeld, even Homer) whereas British central characters are almost always tragic (Steptoe, Fawlty, Blackadder, the Likely Lads, the Liver Birds, Dad's Army). MY theory, which belongs to me, and is mine, is that you can't sustain a season of 20-26 episodes with a tragic figure (even Frasier became more heroic in his own show, with Niles assuming the more tragic role that Frasier had played in CHEERS), let alone ten or twelve seasons. Consequently Britcoms are shorter lived, and, I'd say, more true to life.

    That is my opinion and I have enjoyed sharing it with you, and telling you who it belongs to.

  • At 4:22 pm, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…

    Ah, I do remember that one.

    As for you theory, spot on. Although I would take issue that JERRY SEINFELD is heroic or sympathetic. I think he's surprisingly 'UK' in that way. He doesn't seem to care ("Ah well, that's a shame") and never really does anything 'good'. But, despite that, he's certainly likeable.

    Your theory is sound though. When Brits try to be 'heroic' it comes across as 'wrong'. Maybe that's down to the writers though.

    Interestingly, I have just finished having a conversation about THE OFFICE with a chum of mine - JAMIE "JamJar" LAIRD - and we both agree that the US version is better. Well, much funnier anyway. And here your theory is clearly portrayed - Michael Scott is constantly trying to be heroic. And, even though he's an a*se, our sympathies are with him and increasingly so as the series continues.

    Are UK sitcoms better?
    I wouldn't like to say.
    I'm sure HEIL HONEY, I'M HOME may have worked if it had been a US production. If I were to look at my all-time favourite sitcoms they would be SEINFELD, THE OFFICE (both versions), BLACKADDER, FAWLTY TOWERS, ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, SPACED, BLACK BOOKS, FALL & RISE OF REGINALD PERRIN and FUTURAMA. So, I don't really fall clearly into a US or UK camp.

    Nice deconstruction there Rich. I hope others get in on the debate.

    And that's my opinion!

  • At 1:48 am, Blogger Richard Starkings said…

    I like the US OFFICE a lot too, but in the recent season they have been showing Michael in a VERY sympathetic light. Steve Carrell wrote one particular episode that really won you over to his character's side.

    Seinfeld is selfish but totally sympathetic. Compared to Fawlty or Blackadder or Harold Steptoe, he's a saint. EARL is another great US show with an heroic character at its heart.

    I'm a big fan of SPACED and BLACK BOOKS, which are also full of tragic characters. I'd add GREEN WING and THE FAST SHOW to your list, but also DAD's ARMY, VICAR OF DIBLEY, THE GOOD LIFE and STEPTOE AND SON because I am a product of the 70's.

  • At 2:06 pm, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…

    To be honest I was always on his side!

    But I agree with your thoughts on that episode of THE OFFICE. The last one of the current run was odd where Michael sided with the company rather than his girlfriend. There he came off rather tragic and childish at times.

    Compared with those guys you mentioned SEINFELD is a saint but, in terms of US sitcoms, he is a rarity. We sympathise with him yet his character is not sympathetic to others in the show. Though he is never 'tragic' like Basil or Harold.

    Interesting you should mention MY NAME IS EARL. I've kind of tuned out of that one after loving it to start with. Earl is a 'bad' guy but, as you say, he is heroic with the best intentions. America seems to be fond of bad guys with a heart and this can be seen in their culture stemming from the Wild West onwards.

    UK sitcoms seem to have dispensed with the tragic character as the focal point of the show. They seemed to be sidelined into peripheral members of the cast.The US model is becoming more and more the UK model sadly. Andy Millman in EXTRAS was tragic but, sadly, chose to be 'heroic' in the final episode.

    I enjoyed the GREEN WING for a while but wasn't too keen on how it ended. Oddly, I have never seen the VICAR OF DIBLEY so I cannot comment. When I was young I watched THE GOOD LIFE (and watch it now if I ever come across it) and liked it but dunno if that was because I lusted after Margo. Wasn't a fan of DAD'S ARMY but I haven't seen it in many years so I can't say how I would view it now. I'm afraid STEPTOE & SON was a little too tragic for me. Actually, I don't think I was allowed to watch it when I was wee.

  • At 2:25 pm, Blogger Cameron McEwan said…

    I forgot to mention THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW and CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM as two of my faves too.

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