Friday, March 31, 2006

We Only Do Tuna 'N' Sweetcorn

I was just having a chat with one of my workmates, a woman of Irish/English heritage who I always address as "Our Cath". We were talking about our favourite English comedy shows and the conversation reminded me of two of my old favourites that I haven't seen for a long time, and really should seek out on DVD.

My family background is resolutely English 'working class', and working class from the north of England. Maybe it's no coincidence that both of these shows take that socio-economic setting and use it as the source of much rich material for satire.



Dinnerladies, an inspired two season series by one of my favourite UK comedians Victoria Wood. Populated with loony but lovable characters, with Wood's character Brenda as the the core, this comic soap-opera of the daily goings on in a factory canteen always cracked me up. Throw in cameos by the always fantastic Julie Walters as Brenda's delusional bag-lady mother, and it was a recipe for comedy gold.

Here's a clip of the scene We only do Tuna 'n' Sweetcorn.



My other great love, The Royale Family. Possibly the most minimalist comedy ever created, as 95% of the show took place on the 'living room suite' of the Royale family. It's a hard show to describe, but much of the comedy came from the careful observations of family dynamics and the unique comic timings and cadences of speech of people from the Manchester area. Amongst the family tensions were some very close relationships, and the air of good natured ribbing and banter was quite similar to my own family. The series was cleverly written by two of the cast members, primarily by Caroline Ahern who played the daughter Denise.

8 comments:

Q - 60's girl said...

Reminds me of living in England. I love these shows - sigh. I could sit on the couch in front of the TV on a cold winters day and just love it..

morgan said...

Shameless - SBS on a Monday night - is one of the few things I watch on the TV regularly... although I'll happily watch the next series of Little Britain, too.

The Other Andrew said...

I'm not sure what it is about this type of satire that I love so much, maybe it's that it's observational satire - which I love. Less emphasis on "gags", although both shows did have some very funny dialogue.

I suspect that I'll end up on the couch watching endless hours of it when I do find these on DVD...

The Other Andrew said...

Morgan, I love "Shameless"! I can rarely watch it though because my SBS reception is so bad. I've blogged too much about Little Britain for it to be any secret that I love it.

Bodhi said...

yeah but no but yeah but no but yeah but no but yeah but no but yeah

The Other Andrew said...

...or summin or nuffin. Shut UP!

Q - 60's girl said...

Bodes - doesnt no mean yes? LOL

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

MrM-T gets terrible giggles when he sees Bubbles... I actually think the new wife is somehow funnier, maybe because she's slightly less selfish and evil? but only slightly.

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