I thought I’d go through my DVD collection to show you what I have, and this post and video is part 4, looking at more of my favourite TV shows. Feel free to comment if you share any of my tastes. 🙂
- Only Fools And Horses. I have the box set of this, as it’s my all-time favourite sitcom. There’s really not much you need to say about the show. I think everybody knows it, and there are so many great characters and stories and memorable scenes, like Del Boy falling through the bar, the Batman and Robin scene, ad the chandelier scene, the bus that blows up, the blow-up dolls, Del Boy playing poker, and so on. And not just funny moments, but drama as well. John Sullivan was an extremely good writer, and these are all extremely good actors, so they could mix pathos and drama in amongst all the humour very effectively. So it really felt real and true to life. You could really believe that people lived like this, and there are probably many who did.
There are frustrations with the set though. For series 3, for example, they’ve used a double-sided disc, which I always find annoying, as you never know which side is which. But also, the episodes in the set aren’t strictly complete. There are are bits of music cut out for rights reasons, occasionally requiring entire scenes to be cut in the process, along with one or two lines of dialogue that were remove in case they cause offence. Many episodes aren’t touched too badly, but certainly a couple of the longer specials and a few of the other episodes have bits cut out. And you do notice this if you’re familiar with the TV versions that get broadcast, compared to the DVD versions. The Jolly Boys Outing is one good example, I think there’s a whole scene in a club cut out of that because of the music involved. So it would be nice to have a complete set of the uncut episodes one days.
But still, I am grateful that we’ve got every episode here. I think they should have stopped when they became millionaires, it went a bit too far and let the ending down a bit when they did the extra 3 episodes beyond that. They were nice, but it was just a step too far. It’s good to have them all the same though. And there’s a documentary here as well, which is very interesting. It would be nice to have more extras for each series really though – surely they must have outtakes and deleted scenes and other extras from each year the show was out. Given how popular the show was, and still is, it is surprising that each series has never got the special edition treatment. Sort it out BBC! You’d earn a load of money from it! I’ve also got a book called The Only Fools And Horses story, though, which also gives interesting insights and behind the scenes glimpses to, so it also makes up for the extras we haven’t got on the DVDs.
- Going Straight. This is the sequel to Porridge, which I forgot to mention in my last part, so I’ll bring that in now. This was when Fletcher was out of prison, and it’s still a good sitcom. There’s only one series, and it’s not as good as Porridge, but it’s certainly well worth it if you like Porridge.
- QI, I’ve got the first 3 seasons of this, and it is a brilliant show. It’s not just Quite Interesting, it’s Very Interesting as far as I’m concerned. Sandi Toksvig has of course now taken over from the N series, and she’s doing a very good job judging by the one episode I’ve seen so far. She does seem very well suited to the role. And there’s lots of extras on those QI DVDs as well, so that’s great. It would be nice to see them release all the other series at some point.
- Red Dwarf. This is another classic. I’ve got all the episodes, and they’ve done a great job with the releases for the first 8 series in particular. Not only do you get all of the wonderful episodes, but there are also lots of extras on every series as well. They’ve really made a good effort with these. And even the later series they’ve done have still been good, they’ve still been up to a good standard. The most recent series they’ve just released on Dave was great, and there’s another one on the way, which is good to hear. So it’s good to see that Red Dwarf legacy is still going, because it’s definitely one of the best sitcoms out there.
- The Ricky Gervais Show. This was based on the podcasts he did with Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington. I never listened to the original podcasts, but these programmes have put animation to the best bits of them, and it works really well. It’s often hilarious, and Karl Pilkington is brilliant. I don’t know if some of what he says is acted or put on or not, but I don’t care, it’s hilarious.
- Rock And Chips. This was the prequel to Only Fools And Horses. It wasn’t as good as the show itself, it was more of a comedy drama really. But it was interesting, it’s good to have for completion in the collection. And Nicholas Lyndhurst does a great job in this. So it’s worth getting, but it’s not as good as the main show it’s related to.
- The Best Of Ronnie Barker. I’ve got a couple more DVDs of his, because I am a big fan of his, so I’ve just got everything I can. He was a genius, a brilliant writer and a brilliant comedian, who was great with words and language. And there are some of his best moments on here.
- The Ronnie Barker Collection. This isn’t a collection of all his stuff. Rather, this is a couple of series he did where he had different episodes doing different things. And it’s very interesting, there’s some good stuff in here. You’ve got Hark At Barker, which has got Josephine Tewson in it again, as I mentioned for Clarence before. And then Six Dates With Barker, which which has got Spike Milligan in as well as other people.
- Ross Noble’s Australian Trip. I love Ross Noble, I think his surreal humour and tangents he goes off on is just brilliant. He’s really good at improvised comedy, and I’ve got his live shows as well, which I’ll get to later. But this is a really interesting road trip, and it’s very entertaining to watch You get to see some very interesting places and people, so it’s definitely well worth getting.
- Russell Howard’s Good News. This is one of many shows you get on the TV poking fun at the week’s news, but this is particularly funny and well done. I love Russell Howard’s sense of humour and his comedy, and I’ve got his live shows as well. So it’s good to have a couple of compilations of this TV show. It would be nice to have some more, perhaps, and it would be nice to have some new series on the telly as well, we haven’t had one for a while. But he is very funny.
- Sorry! This was a sitcom starring Ronnie Corbett. It’s one of those I’d never seen before when I bought it, because they don’t repeat it on the telly much. Which is a shame, because it’s pretty good. It’s well worth watching if you’re a fan of The Two Ronnies and Ronnie Corbett.
- Saturday Live, which went on to Friday Night Live as well. This has some very early appearances of people like Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmondson, Harry Enfield, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Peter Cook, Ben Elton, and various others. There are some sketches that don’t quite hit the mark, but there are also plenty that do. And it’s a really interesting historical artefact in terms of their comedy, because you don’t get to see these things on the telly, they don’t repeat these shows.
- Dangervision – On the Saturday Live shows, Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson did a number of sketches as The Dangerous Brothers, which this DVD is a compilation of. It’s their typical violent, slapstick humour, it’s very funny. So if you’re a fan of Rik and Ade, seek this one out, I think you’ll like it. It’s a very interesting and enjoyable insight into how their comedy developed over the years.
- Seven Of One. This is another Ronnie Barker DVD. This one’s particularly significant, because you’ve got the pilot episodes for Porridge and Open All Hours on it, as well as a few other episodes for comedies that didn’t get made. So they are very interesting to watch, because they’re quite rare. Naturally, some work better than others, which is why some got commissioned and some didn’t.
- Shooting Stars. I have a couple of later series that they did, as they’ve never released the earlier ones. And they’re very funny. It’s a completely wacky, zany show, but very well done. Vic and Bob are very clever at what they do, as mad as it seems.
- Sherlock. Again, not much needs to be said about this. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman are superb, and Steven Moffatt and Mark Gatiss have written some cracking episodes. It’s a shame you only get 3 a series, and that the series are so spread out, because everyone’s so busy on other things. But when we do get episodes, they’re well worth it. So I’m really looking forward to the new series coming up very soon.
- The Simpsons. I’ve got 19 seasons of this show, and I would buy more, but they’re not going to release any more on DVD, because apparently there isn’t a market for them. And I think that’s a bit unfair, because I would keep buying them for a start, and I know many other people would. But what we have is very good. The artwork on each set is very nicely done, and there are plenty of extras, including commentaries on every episode. So it’s a shame that it’s not going to get more physical releases, because it certainly deserves it.
So that’s the end of Part 4. Still plenty more to come, and I hope you’re still enjoying it so far. See you in Part 5!