Some shows are better left dead

The BBC is celebrating glorious comedy moments of the last 60 years with its Sitcom Season. These last few weeks we have seen sitcom classics such as Are You Being Served?, Porridge, Keeping Up Appearances and Goodnight Sweetheart come back to life. Considering how much this nation loves to indulge in a bit of nostalgia, and especially after the success of Dad’s Army earlier this year, viewers had high hopes for those sitcom revivals. However, starting off with good intentions, BBC’s Sitcom Season eventually landed on our screens with a disappointing thud. Although viewing figures could almost compete with ITV’s new period drama Victoria, reviews and the backlash on social media was telling a different story. 70s sitcom Porridge and 90s favourite Goodnight Sweetheart at least attempted to put a modern twist on the original, bringing it to the present day and giving viewers at least some chuckle worthy moments. Keeping Up Appearances took on a different approach in creating a prequel called Young Hyacinth at least trying to be somewhat innovative. All of the above gained mixed reviews, some praising the way it honoured the original others accused them of ruining a classic.

However, the one show that clearly stood out was the reboot of Are You Being Served?. Picking up where the show left off the viewers found themselves stuck in the 80s with endless innuendos, misunderstandings and cheap jokes. As critic Michael Hogan rather aptly described it, the Are You Being Served? reboot ‘was just tired and limp, like an iceberg lettuce long past its sell-by-date’.

These sitcom revivals wasted a good prime time spot on the BBC and would have been better off taking up a lazy Sunday morning. Better yet, not wasting money that could be used for new, more innovative productions, on cheap reboots. Leave it to Gold or Dave to show much more enjoyable reruns of the original. We have only managed to get 60 years of TV comedy because of innovation and originality, not because of cheap rip offs.


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July 2021
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