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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > British TV > Britcom > One Foot In The Grave – Season One + Two (BBC Britcom)

One Foot In The Grave – Season One + Two (BBC Britcom)


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C-     Episodes: B



Though not a laugh riot all the time, one can see why the 1990 debut of the British TV situation comedy One Foot In The Grave went over as well as it did.  Like The Golden Girls, it intelligently dealt with the problems with older persons being treated like disposable society.  While the American show was somewhat liberal in the face of Reagan, this comedy was even more implicitly antagonistic of Margaret Thatcher and a tad more political in its humor.  The first two seasons have arrived separately, but at the same time on DVD from the BBC.


Victor Meldrew (Richard Wilson) has been forced against his will into retirement, but still is not wealthy and has to survive somehow.  The show is about his attempts to find new work, hold his marriage together with Margaret (the also-funny Annette Crosbie) and deal with eccentrics and idiots in equal measure.  Creator David Renwick and company have created a surprisingly solid show with all kinds of great in-gags that sitcoms used to be capable of all the time.


A sign of a great TV comedy is that the characters grow on you quickly and that is exactly what happens here with The Meldrews.  This is classic comedy in the making and ran for six seasons in all, racking up 43 impressive half-hours and these discs offer six shows each.  Why this is not even more well-known and celebrated is a surprise, unless someone is trying to censor it for being to edgy.  It holds up very well and could be seen as one of those great TV shows belatedly and finally arriving on DVD.  If you want some big laughs, don’t miss it.


The 1.33 X 1 image is softer than one of the last professional analog PAL TV series should look, but color is still not bad and the sources are clean.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono is better, with clear dialogue and the fun music score by Eric Idle!  Each season has an extra.  The first has a featurette called Britain’s Best Sitcom for which it could claim to be in its time and the second includes the 2000 Christmas reunion show on a bonus DVD.  All in all, a great start for the show on disc.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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