Two Pints Of Lager

Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps. Image shows from L to R: Gary 'Gaz' Wilkinson (Will Mellor), Jonny (Ralf Little), Donna Henshaw (Natalie Casey), Janet (Sheridan Smith), Louise (Kathryn Drysdale). Copyright: BBC.

Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps

Sitcom following the lives and loves of a group of twenty-somethings in Runcorn, an industrial town in the North of England

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Rood Eye

  • Monday 15th July 2019, 9:59am [Edited]
  • England
  • 3,286 posts

When this sitcom first appeared on our TV screens, I couldn't believe the BBC was responsible for the production of something so dreadfully unlike anything the BBC had ever produced before.

On another comedy forum, I immediately denounced it as entertainment for the scum of the earth.

The problem for Britain and for British television standards was that, as well as entertaining the scum of the earth, it also entertained the sort of higher grade viewers who in times gone by would have paid money to watch lunatics shuffle around the local asylum. Surprisingly, such "higher grade" viewers are not as rare as might be considered ideal in a civilised society.

As far as I recall, nobody on that forum agreed with me.

Last night, however, to my amazement and delight, a TV critic said Two Pints of Lager was hated by everybody in the intelligent comedy community.

That, I can very well believe!

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chipolata

  • Monday 15th July 2019, 11:53am
  • England
  • 29,848 posts

I never cared for it but denouncing people who like it as scum of the earth is bit, well, scummy.

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Rood Eye

  • Monday 15th July 2019, 12:18pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 3,286 posts
Quote: chipolata @ 15th July 2019, 11:53 AM

I never cared for it but denouncing people who like it as scum of the earth is bit, well, scummy.

If you read my post a little more carefully, you might see that no such denunciation is included.

On the contrary, I state with crystal clarity that its fans include higher grade viewers with a penchant for gawking at unseemly forms of entertainment.

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Aaron

  • Monday 15th July 2019, 12:34pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,418 posts

A great sitcom. Very much looking forward to the revival/sequel.

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Definitely Tarby

  • Monday 15th July 2019, 2:20pm
  • England
  • 1,891 posts

I got in to it because of er indoors and grew to like the crude but funny script and characters. The musical was a highlight.

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Feeoree

  • Monday 15th July 2019, 3:30pm [Edited]
  • Basildon, England
  • 585 posts

It's one of the shows I used to watch if nothing else was on. I neither loved it or hated it but remember that I did find it funny a good few times.

I hated the 'chavvy' criticism at the time though. I'm not 'chavvy' though I am working class and from a similar area and thought the criticism class wise was pretty snobby.

I'm kinda interested in the revival too. Despite the show starting 18 years ago, I forget that Nickson is still only 37 - that's two years older than I am, and I would say my outlook on life and comedy is a bit different than when I was 18 to mid-20s, wonder if it's the same for her and actually turns it into a different show.

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chipolata

  • Monday 15th July 2019, 3:47pm
  • England
  • 29,848 posts
Quote: Rood Eye @ 15th July 2019, 12:18 PM

If you read my post a little more carefully.

I skim read them whilst simultaneously doing something else! Life's too short to read a Rood Eye post carefully.

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Rood Eye

  • Monday 15th July 2019, 4:02pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 3,286 posts
Quote: chipolata @ 15th July 2019, 3:47 PM

Life's too short to read a Rood Eye post carefully.

It's gratifying to know that you bother to read them at all.

That, together with the fact that you never cared for TPOL, suggests that you might not be an entirely lost cause.

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Monday 15th July 2019, 8:34pm [Edited]
  • Aldershot, England
  • 5,970 posts
Quote: Feeoree @ 15th July 2019, 3:30 PM

It's one of the shows I used to watch if nothing else was on. I neither loved it or hated it but remember that I did find it funny a good few times.

I hated the 'chavvy' criticism at the time though. I'm not 'chavvy' though I am working class and from a similar area and thought the criticism class wise was pretty snobby.

I'm kinda interested in the revival too. Despite the show starting 18 years ago, I forget that Nickson is still only 37 - that's two years older than I am, and I would say my outlook on life and comedy is a bit different than when I was 18 to mid-20s, wonder if it's the same for her and actually turns it into a different show.

Teary

She got given a long lasting sitcom commission at 19!!! Did she have coffee with the producer or something? I never took it seriously so it never bothered me too much but looking back, it's something for the young'uns so good luck to it. Not as though it's encroaching Classic Sitcom territory or vying for BAFTAS so it can fill a slot for as long as it wants. 19! Pirate

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Text Lexus

  • Wednesday 17th July 2019, 12:22am
  • West Anglia, United Kingdom
  • 122 posts

I believe the writer of Sledge Hammer! created the show when he was sixteen, having joined the Writers' Guild of America 'at age 15' as they say over there.

I've no idea if he'd shagged anyone.

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Sunday 21st July 2019, 10:09am
  • Aldershot, England
  • 5,970 posts

Who said anything about shagging anyone? Huh My point was really about the incredibly young age of getting a big TV commission, probably with their first submission when there are quite a few getting on a bit who have given up all hope of getting one, after penning many scripts with no success.

The only solace I can take from this is Two Pints was every bit as unsubtle as Sledge Hammer - raw confident direct youth unacquainted with nuance. But yes there's a market for everything.

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Aaron

  • Sunday 21st July 2019, 1:01pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,418 posts
Quote: Alfred J Kipper @ 21st July 2019, 10:09 AM

My point was really about the incredibly young age of getting a big TV commission, probably with their first submission when there are quite a few getting on a bit who have given up all hope of getting one, after penning many scripts with no success.

Perhaps they're not talented enough, don't have good enough ideas, or both?

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Sunday 21st July 2019, 1:37pm
  • Aldershot, England
  • 5,970 posts

What, all of them? Writers' forums are littered with tales of rejection slips after being praised by other prods or script doctors. Possibly too many of them are just too similar in subject to previous especially recent broadcasts while ticking most other boxes. Two Pints found a market, young viewers with a taste for crude brash humour, after that that there's not much talent on view apart from the acting. imo obviously.

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Guilbert

  • Monday 25th November 2019, 2:47pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 85 posts

Judging from the comments above "Two pints of lager..." does not seem to be a "hit" amongst people on this forum.

I must admit I did not watch it first time round (my son who is now 30 did) but I was busy working back than so never watched it.

Before I get in to taking about it must say I have just turned 70 years of age (a young 70 I think) and now retired and have been a comedy fan for as long as I can remember. I am a fan of what I may call "quality" comedy such as Marx Brothers, Cary Grant (wonderful comic), Jack Lemmon / Walter Matthau, Bilko, the Goons, Python, Peter Cook / Dudley Moore, Porridge, Alan Partridge, Young Ones etc. I have read many books on comedy and comedians and still watch comedy on TV today.

Recently Gold have been repeating Two Pints on TV so I have been watching some of them. And while I wont pretend it is the best comedy ever, it does seem to have a bad "image" judging by the comments above.

Personally I would say it is a Comedy / Drama, similar in style to Only Fools in Horses which mixed comedy and drama. It covers the long running story of Gaz and Donna and their relationship, as well as the life and relationships of their various friends.

It is VERY rude at times, possibly some of the "rudest" comedy I have ever seen on TV. One of the episodes is called Spunk!

One of the first episodes I saw on Gold was "When Janet killed Jonny" which was a rather strange and unusual one off "horror" episode that reminded me of the Young Ones with its zaniness (I have always been a fan of zany comedy) and some rather gory horror. It was the only episode filmed with no audience.

The "horror" special effects are excellent and would not be out of place in a horror movie. This was the episode that made me want to hunt out other episode.

Here it is on YouTube and well worth a watch

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-0H3NUNf3A

While it is easy to dismiss the show as "chavvy" and shallow there were some fine acting and comedy performance in it,

Here is a scene from one episode where Gaz has been seriously injured in a car crash and Donna (in a fine performance by Natalie Casey) comes to see him in hospital. I found this scene very moving and reminded me of the "lift" scene in Only Fools and Horses between Del and "Dave" (Rodney) after the miscarriage, having a mixture of comedy and tears.

The scene ends with a moving song and a reprise of some of the scenes from that series.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQr7h2RjyRU

Of course some of the performers like Sheridan Smith and Ralf Little (as well as Natalie Casey who appears on the West End stage) have gone on to "better" things so it cant have been that bad and I think they give good comedy / acting performances. And of course the executive producer was Geoffrey Perkins who was no comedy slouch.

As I said, not saying it is the greatest comedy ever, but I do think many young people who watched it at the time must have very fond memories of it. I know my son loved it at the time.

I found some of it very funny and think it deserves revisting.

All episodes are currently on the BBC iPlayer though only till the end of November I think (so just a few more days).

Give it a go !

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jsg

  • Monday 25th November 2019, 4:39pm
  • United Kingdom
  • 238 posts
Quote: Guilbert @ 25th November 2019, 2:47 PM

One of the first episodes I saw on Gold was "When Janet killed Jonny" which was a rather strange and unusual one off "horror" episode that reminded me of the Young Ones with its zaniness (I have always been a fan of zany comedy) and some rather gory horror. It was the only episode filmed with no audience.

It was quite surreal, yes, and judging by the quality of the later series it probably should have ended there.