The Last of the Summer Wine, The VERY Last….

2 06 2010

Bear in mind two thirds of this cast has been dead for quite some time...

Today the BBC (In conjunction with Dignitas) has annouced the end of the longest running sitcom in the Milky Way, Last of the Summer Wine. When I first saw this show as a child in the 80s I was sad, not from the sight of old men riding down hills in a bath upset me but because I misunderstood from the show’s title that this was the last series of a show called “Summers Wine” and to a child the ending of things is always a distressing moment.

But no, another series came after that so I thought the show had found a reprieve from the blacktoothed and dirty clawed horrors that ended television shows. I must stress at this point that I wasn’t a fan of the show (and my mum certainly wasn’t, but then she hates Yorkshire with a passion) but being an only child I imbued the objects around me  and television characters on screen with a certain kind of personality and sentience. For example I would see a discarded teddy bear by the roadside, alone and forgotten with the same horror as seeing a dead body. A television character disappeared from the screen and in my childish mind that character would have been thrown screaming into a void of nothingness, never to return.

Oddly enough this void of nothingness is exactly where the people of anorak wearing Holmfirth have been living for the past 37 years. The setting of the show has been compared to an existential purgatory, “The Island” in Lost  or like some kind of modernist and baffling Samuel Beckett play but really every week it was the same joke about old men behaving like children without the other unpleasant sides of senility such as Geriatric Profanity Disorder and public nudity or defecation.

This sitcom, despite teetering on the edge of oblivion throughout  my entire existence and having outlived Communism, the World Trade Centre and Bruce Forsyth (who has been dead since 2004 but his BBC contract runs out in 2012) the last episode of the Summer Wine has finally drawn near.

But here are some ideas for a last minute reprieve, based on the varying successes of other shows.

1) Introduce a sexy cyborg rescued from an  hegemonizing swarm of Apple users (Voyager)

2) Introduce an annoying nephew to plug into the viewer demographic’s natural contempt of anyone under 40 (Scrappy Doo)

3) Have the show relocated into a new and sexy location like Las Vegas or Baghdad.

4) Introduce an unlikely romance between characters, say the ones portrayed by Russ Abbot and Burt Kwouk (with graphic scene of homo-eroticism)

5) Last of the Summer Wine: The College Years

6) Re-imagine the series to 50 years before current events and explain how the robot war started.

7) Compo wakes up in the shower, it was all a dream. In reality he and the other characters fight the forces of evil in a post-apocalyptic world of vampires, mutants and ninjas.

8) In the end it was all done by angels and Foggy dissappears for no particular reason (the Battlestar Galactica Ending)

9) Clegg realises that Foggy hadn’t betrayed them all to the Federation and holding up his laser weapon, surrounded by goons the scene goes to black (the Blakes 7 “Best Ending Eva!!”)

10) carry on regardless, with new writers who while managing to get at least one laugh out of each episode slowly piss on the memory of the show’s golden age (like The Simpsons)

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One response

21 06 2010
Arf

I must admit, Compo always did appeal to me as a child. In fact, it was because of his antics with Nora Batty that i was inspired at roughly age 5 to go around pinching the bottoms of all the old ladies with wrinkled stockings that i could find in Stirling (having vacated the comfort and protection of my parents to achieve this). He was also the driving force behind my use of a piece of string as a belt for at least 2 years at high school.

Of course, the links to be found in the infant mind can be tenuous in reason yet stronger than steel. And it is for this reason that i thought it entirely credible that Foggy was in some way related to C3PO and couldn’t be killed (regardless of how many times Compo would endanger them all with some hybrid bicycle/bathtub/metal detector device.)

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