What are my top ten of those 1985-99 shows? And how does that list compare to the top ten of the last fifteen years?
That throws up a number of issues, not least the fact that some shows are part of my childhood, and can be associated with nostalgic images of the dairy farm on which I was brought up. But I had my favourites back then and the first thing I'll do is whittle it down to the shows that I watched pretty devotedly, and have thought about a lot since. (I exclude Father Ted because I missed it when it came out didn't catch up with it until years later.) So that gives us:
One Foot in the Grave, Dear John, Men Behaving Badly, Birds of a Feather, Bread, The New Statesman, Waiting For God, Brush Strokes, You Rang M’Lord?, Red Dwarf, Drop the Dead Donkey, I’m Alan Partridge, Bottom, Spaced, Operation Good Guys, How Do You Want Me?, Hippies, Sean’s Show, Mr Don and Mr George or Maid Marian and Her Merry Men.
That gets us down to 20. If had to pick 10 'great' shows from that list, rather than just decent or successful at the time it would have to be:
|Mr Don and Mr George. A show of utter joy.|
And I'd classify How Do You Want Me? as a comedy drama. Mr Don and Mr George is probably almost a sketch show in tone at least. (Even though I just love it and it isn't a sketch show) And Maid Marian is a kids show.
Now, let's put that list up against my list from 2000-15, and you can draw your own conclusions:
Black Books, The Thick of It, The Office, Phoenix Nights, The IT Crowd, Yonderland, Not Going Out, Outnumbered and Count Arthur Strong
One Foot in the Grave, Bread, Dear John, I’m Alan Partridge, Bottom, Spaced, Birds of a Feather, The New Statesman, Red Dwarf, Drop the Dead Donkey.
Some big hitters on both lists, but I know who wins on points.