Friday, 15 May 2009

Really Good comedy from the 1970s - The Good Life

Advantages: Nice harmless and fun viewing

Disadvantages: none

Oh how I loved this program as a kid! 

To quickly sum-up, it is about a couple (Tom and Barbara Good) who decide to give up middle-class suburban life, to live the 'Good Life' of self-sufficiency. 

They live next door to a rather uppity couple (Margo and Jerry Leadbetter). The programme is set in well-to-do Surbiton, so as you might imagine the sudden inclusion of a couple of overnight farmers dressed in shabby clothes, in the neighbourhood, along with a few farm animals, does not go down too well. 

Much of the humour in this show revolves around the clash between the Goods' new-found freedom from the "middle-class commuter-9 to 5 life" and the social compliance that goes with it, and Margo Leadbetter's "holier-than-thou" stuffiness. Jerry over time becomes more relaxed about having self-sufficient neighbours and often (at his peril) sides with the Goods over his wife. 

The Goods, despite Tom being previously in a well paid job, found themselves, struggling to cope with money, though oddly they continued to live in expensive leafy Suburbia. 

Although filmed and shown on the BBC in the 1970s, to watch it now, it feels like it was filmed a long, long time ago (OK so your under 25 and that is a long, long time ago to you). By that I mean. life seems much slower in this - God I must be getting on if I am speaking like this. 

It is typically canned laughter, but the gags are all there, in the right places and nicely done. 

You are bound to see a repeat of this on one channel or another, so if you haven't had a chance, watch this. 

Tom Good played by Richard Briers 
Barbara Good played by Felicity Kendal 
Margo Leadbetter played by Penelope Keith 
Jerry Leadbetter played by Paul Eddington

Summary: A blast to the past

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