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Thursday, 2 January 2014

TV: changing social attitudes

My wife and I have just finished watching a re-run on BBC4 of the wonderful comedy series Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads. It was a laugh-out-loud series in which the humour had worn extremely well, despite it being first broadcast 40 years ago. But there were occasions -- particularly in the final episode -- when we were taken aback by comments that would not get past script editors today. Example: would a comedy be produced in this age in which homosexuals were routinely referred to as "poofs"? Most unlikely. And would there be scenes in which it was made to appear normal for young men to drink several pints of beer and a couple of whisky "shorts" -- then go out and drive away from the pub in a car? I doubt it.

Still, with those reservations, I thank the BBC for giving viewers another chance to watch and enjoy this fine series.It was high-class, finely-tuned comedy.

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