In 1984, alternative sitcom 'The Young Ones' mocked the safe middle class comedy of 'The Good Life' for being so 'bloody nice'. Although it's difficult to watch 'The Young Ones' these days without cringing, 'The Good Life' abides: still funny, still entertaining, still clever. It's a dismal, dirty world, after all, what's wrong with 'nice'?
No doubt you're familiar with the premise: 40 year old Tom Good lives in Surbiton with his incredibly sexy wife Barbara. He works as a lead draughtsman for a cereal manufacturer, designing the plastic toys to go in the boxes. He hates being a 'grotty little cog in a whacking great machine' and, in the grip of a midlife crisis, he decides to throw in his job, tear up his lawn and become self-sufficient, living only on what he can grow and make and sell.
(A year later, Reginald Iolanthe Perrin would go through a similar dark night of the middle aged soul but, instead of getting a goat and a rotorvator, piled up his clothes on a stony beach and faked his own death. Reggie Perrin wasn't married to Barbara Good, though.)
|Commuter as Dalek.|
|The fruits of Tom's labour, soon to be rendered in plastic.|
|Barbara Good, Suburban Fox.|
|This ornamental fountain will be one of the first things to go.|
|'If you'll excuse me, I've got three hundred weight of spuds to put in'|
|Society looks on aghast as a nice front lawn is destroyed.|
It may be 'nice', but it's a quietly revolutionary philosophy.