Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|On the Buses The Ultimate Collection|
Actors: Reg Varney, Bob Grant, Stephen Lewis, Doris Hare, Anna Karen
Director: Howard Ross (II)
Genres: Comedy, Television
A Superb Early 1970's Britcom!
Tiggah | Calgary, Alberta Canada | 10/23/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"On the Buses is a really enjoyable, slightly saucy early 1970's Britcom which features an all around terrific cast. The series stars Reg Varney as Stan Butler, the driver of one of London's double-decker buses. Stan, though not exactly incompetent, is (together with his conductor Jack) far more interested in getting dates with the "clippies" (the nickname given to female conductors--they collect the fares from passengers). Living as he does with his doting and very protective (indeed, smothering!) mother, his sister Olive, and Olive's husband Arthur, Stan does not exactly have a home life that's conducive to a bachelor hoping to bring the odd date home. It is an arrangement, however, that allows for endless possibilities from a comic standpoint.
Stan's sister, Olive, is one of the dowdiest--nay homeliest--creatures, what with her thick unflattering eye-glasses, poker-straight hair which is often in curlers, and "sensible" clothing (imagine, if you can, something like a young Nora Batty in appearance!). With a whiny voice and a constant complaint of one sort or another, she's hardly the picture of robust health. Needless to say, she's the polar opposite of the perky, short-skirted clippies, and it is no surprise (at least not to the viewer) that her and Arthur's non-existent sex life is frequently the topic of conversation over meals.
But work itself is not exactly a cake-walk for Stan and Jack, what with their boss, the miserable, sour-faced, regimental bus inspector, Blakie, to contend with. This can pose a bit of a problem when it comes to chatting up the clippies or trying to take care of personal business with the use of the company's buses or facilities! Blakie is played by Stephen Lewis (Summer Wine's Smiler), and fans of Summer Wine should enjoy Lewis's role here, for he's a lot like old Smiler--not his temperament so much as that mopey facial expression and the humorously pathetic aura he projects of being a born loser. In spite of his nastiness, one can't help feeling a little sorry for him at times!
This very compact dvd boxed set features the complete series (ie. all seven series--seventy-four 25-minute episodes in all) of this britcom classic, and it's excellent value for money when compared with the price of other britcom sets. Frankly, I wish the other companies would release entire series in one package rather than releasing them piecemeal and even then often not in their entirety! Hopefully VEI at any rate will bring us more classic hilarious britcom series!
This series was produced between 1969 and 1973, and the first couple of series are in black and white. Although I love the newer Britcoms, I also really enjoy many of the older classic series, and this one is, in my opinion, certainly one of the better ones, with some of the episodes being just hilarious. Though there is some great sparring between Olive and Arthur, this is not an antagonistic, hard-edged comedy like Till Death Us Do Part or Steptoe and Son. It is a lighter series, and I think, therefore, that it's appeal is likely to be a little broader, and I'd say that if you enjoy classic 70's Britcoms in general (shows like Rising Damp, for example), you should find this an enjoyable series. Personally, our family so enjoyed the sample episodes provided by the two old video boxed sets that we were thrilled when the complete series was released on dvd through Amazon (Canada), and we are really enjoying watching it.
L. F. Belk | 01/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"been waiting for this to come out in a complete set for years, one of the most funniest British comedies ever. Well worth the money and recommeded to any one who loves a laugh."
Still funny today!
Sandman | Canada | 06/06/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you're a fan of English humour/British comedy, you know stuff like Monty Python, The Goodies, Benny Hill etc, than this is a must have for you and your collection.
All you need to do is sit yourself down, turn the tv and dvd player on and be entertained like only the Brits can do. The laughs are non stop and that English humour is dry and simply outstanding.
The entire series is represented here in all it's 1970's glory. So you need not worry about missing any of your favorite shows. This is a cool litttle package that is really well thought out.
A classic that still has lots of life some 35 to 40 years later, amazing really!
A good time to be had here."