Quote: Gussie Fink Nottle @ 29th April 2015, 1:56 AM BST
'The thin blue line' I think is underrated. It was hardly a masterpiece, but it had some lovely moments. Inspector Grimm's rants were quite priceless, especially combined with Fowler's eye rolling.
In fact Atkinson's Fowler was a good, solid comedy main man.
As for 'The Royle family', I could never find anything in it. To me it was another one of those supposedly so apt observations. 'Look, this is how people are.' So what?
There was just not enough meat in watching people watch telly, no matter how realistic.
I don't wish for 'Gogglebox'. So too do I not wish for 'The Royle family'.
And yes, I know that many a person has a thing for Joanna Lumley.
I suppose you are not alone. But 'Ab Fab' could not be saved.
If Joanna Lumley had a comedy moment it, was in real life, when she handbagged the Labour defence minister on TV and made him promise to accept the Gurkhas.
I can't help but smile at that as I type.
I could be right. I could be wrong. "Rise" by Public Image Ltd. What a great song and an even better vocal delivery. Any ways, I could be wrong. Or right. I am feeling that you switch off in some key areas - swearing in comedy and, if it isn't quite that, vulgarity. As a rule, I am with you there about 75%.
It's my starting point. Maiden aunt phrases even now run through my mind - "it just isn't necessary", "the BBC is supposed to have standards". Then I realise it is not my maiden aunt's voice but that of my Dad who is a splendid sort of fellow except that he was prevented because of ill health from doing National Service. Plus, of course, he didn't sit in a field and grow his hair long into pretty curls as he was almost 40 by the time of Woodstock. Think Des O'Connor, Ronnie Corbett, Arthur Askey, that sort of person. I'm a little honey bee. Buzz, buzz, buzz and - unquestionably - a Shuttleworth organ.
But let me not digress. Just as I would like a well written piece like "Detectorists" to be consistently gentle - and that would include less effing and blinding - that also works in totally the reverse way. Where the latter is wholly expected, ie effing this and that, it is pure joy to see that the writing is truly great. This is where we find Caroline Aherne and "The Royle Family". Great characters are so important as to be almost all-important at times. The characters are quite brilliant in that programme. And as regular listeners to my programme on BCG will know, I like the characters in "Benidorm" too.
From there I think we have a very small leap to issues about class. Some might say that the working classes were presented in a very lower middle class way in the 1970s/1980s. That Del Boy and Ted Bovis would have been more colourful with their words in real life. I know from personal experience that was - and is - not necessarily the case. There are strands within that section of the population. Types of employment vary, aspiration varies, outlooks vary, and so too do communication styles.
So I guess the question has to be whether you just cut out one particular chunk of it. Whether you say we will not have this strand on television not so much these days because people like Gussie Fink Nottle will be offended but because they will say instead that comedy isn't what it used to be. And then perhaps if we do include such programmes that they will say comedy isn't what it used to be as they know they will be howled down by a huge ugly mob if they say that actually they are offended by it. And if that is the case, would that be sad? I think it might be. But I could be wrong. Or, yes, right.
Maybe we should indeed take account of their positions more - your position Gussie - as their free speech - or yours - would have been stifled. Stifled because they/you would have had to make your/their objections known in a way that didn't unduly upset the acutely politically correct. No? So I suppose it all depends on whether you think standards should be raised - if standards exist - or that they shouldn't and when they slip alarmingly more should rise about it. And that could depend on how angry people want to be. Anger is an energy - but it doesn't suit every chappy on the street.