View Single Post
Old 04-18-2010, 04:46 AM   #1
Manute for Ever!
Bol'd over
Manute for Ever!'s Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Singapore, via Australia
Posts: 9,203
Default Favourite British Sitcoms

I'm a huge fan of british comedies so I thought it would be fun to see which ones other posters on here like. Now, before someone comes in and writes "British comedies are shit! American sitcoms >>>> British sitcoms", I'll give my reasoning for why I believe British Comemdies to generally be better (Remember, this isn't fact, it is soley my opinion):
  • Artistic licence - It seems that the BBC and Channel 4 seem willing to take more risks and prdouce more bizarre shows whereas US networks only care about ratings, thus they usually take the safe option.
  • Ideas aren't drawn out as most series only have about six episodes and usually continue for for two or three seasons.
  • I just find British humour funnier.
Anyhoo, without any further ado, my favourite British sitcoms (in no particular order):

The Goodies

Premise:Anyone my age who grew up in Australia will rember this TV staple on ABC at 6pm. The story revolved around three men who were on call to do "Anything, anytime", from trying to rid London of a giant 'Kitten Kong' to trying to capture wild Rolf Harris' in Australia.
Pointless Fact: Bill Oddie (the one with beard) is one of the worlds most reknowned bird-watchers. Also, there is a reported case of viewer dying from laughter:
On 24 March 1975 Alex Mitchell, a 50-year-old bricklayer from King's Lynn literally died laughing while watching an episode of The Goodies. According to his wife, who was a witness, Mitchell was unable to stop laughing whilst watching a sketch in the episode "Kung Fu Kapers" in which Tim Brooke-Taylor, dressed as a kilted Scotsman, used a set of bagpipes to defend himself from a black pudding-wielding Bill Oddie (master of the ancient Lancastrian martial art "Ecky-Thump") in a demonstration of the Scottish martial art of "Hoots-Toot-ochaye." After twenty-five minutes of continuous laughter Mitchell finally slumped on the settee and died from heart failure. His widow later sent the Goodies a letter thanking them for making Mitchell's final moments so pleasant

The Office

Premise: A 'mockumentary' set in a fictional paper company in Slough with a completely incompetent regional manager, David Brent. Brent spends more time trying to be popular with his staff than actually working, always with uncomfortable results.
Pointless Fact: The Office has been reproduced or heavily influenced series' in five different countries. Obviously there is the US version, 'Le Bureau' in France, 'Stromberg' in Germany, 'Os Aspones' in Brazil, and a French-Canadian version called 'La Job'.

The Young Ones

Premise: A surreal and violent slapstick comedy about four students at Scumbag College who share a house; Vyv the punk, Neil the hippie, Rik the sociologist and Mike the "cool person".
Pointless Fact: An American pilot of the show titled "Oh No! Not Them!" starring the original Neil (Nigel Planer) was filmed, but Fox never made the series.


Premise: Almost an unnoffical continuation of The Young Ones, Bottom is another violent slapstick comedy about two unemployed flatmates, virgin Ritchie (Rik Mayall, Rik from The Young Ones) and alcoholic Eddie (Adrian Edmondson, Vyv from The Young Ones). The show almost soley revolves around their unsuccessful attempts to make money and get laid.
Pointless Fact: Christopher Ryan (Mike from The Young Ones) acts one of Eddie's friends, Dave Hedgehog.

The Mighty Boosh

Premise: "Come with us now on a journey through time and space... to a world of imagination...". This one goes in the "You just have to see it to understand" category, but it is ****ing hilarious! This show is so surreal I can't even begin to explain it, just check out their website to get the gist:
Pointless Fact:There might be a future collaboration between The Mighty Boosh and Alice Cooper.

The IT Crowd

Premise: The IT Crowd follows the day to day life of the three employees of the IT department in the basement of the building of the fictional Reynholm Industries. The staff consists of three socially inept nerds, the super-intelligent Moss, lazy and seemingly perpetually hungover Roy and their IT-incompetent manager Jen.
Pointless Fact: American and German pilots were made of the show, but were never made into series'.

Black Books

Premise: The series revolves around a bitter and hostile book shop owner, Bernard and his employees Manny and Fran. Brenard seems to hate the entire world and it is this deep loathing, as well as Manny and Frans efforts to make him more sociable that are the source of the humour.
Pointless Fact: Black Books is considered by the producers to be a sister show to the sitcom Spaced.

Peep Show

Premise: Peep Show follows the lives of two flatmates, the nerdy, socially-awkward Mark and wannabe DJ Jeremy. This show is great because a lot of it is filmed from the perspective of the characters. Just watching how uncomfortable Mark is makes this show worthwhile. One of my favourite quotes from Peep Show: "Frosties are just Corn Flakes for people who can't face reality".
Pointless Fact: Again, there was an American pilot called Odd Couple, it sucked. Apparently Spike TV are now doing a script. I'm going to have to find out how many Britcoms were remade for US audiences.

That's it for now, I'm sure I'll think of others and will add them as I go. And before you ask, no, I was never really a fan of Red Dwarf.

Last edited by Manute for Ever! : 04-18-2010 at 06:51 AM.
Manute for Ever! is offline   Reply With Quote