PictureAs this show was initially broadcast in 1991, I was hoping that the quality wouldn't be too bad and luckily it wasn't. Flesh tones are a little pale, but then I found that the whole print was a little drab colour wise. Artefacts are occasionally present but don't really intrude into the proceedings, while the detail level is fine. Edge enhancement is present but minimal, with no colour bleeding present and only slight halos. The print was very clear with no blemishes and no graininess either. Not reference quality, but for a television transfer, there's no real complaints.
SoundSound wise, this soundtrack performs adequately. As it's a television sit-com, it is dialogue heavy, with voices being clear and crisp without being drowned out by any sound effects, although the canned laughter does tend to be rather annoying. Separation to be fair wasn't noticeable, but then from the source material, it's not really aiming to be a stunning soundtrack. When music is playing, it's done well with an adequate level of depth and bass, although it's never particularly outstanding. Overall it does its job, but nothing more.
ExtrasAs much as it is admirable, I thought that the “Tribute to Gary Olsen” was far from a tribute, instead ultimately being a complete biography read with scenes from the program in the background. As harsh as it sounds, I think that it's a waste of disk space, being of the thought that surely a tribute should have been where cast, crew and writers pay homage to him and tell anecdotal stories, so viewers get a real feel for the actor and how he was regarded by his peers and colleagues. No, apparently we need “voice over guy” telling us what he starred in and what years they were. As heartless as it sounds, it's pointless and a severely wasted opportunity.< p>
VerdictI'm sure that anyone that was a fan of this show will pick up this disk, but it didn't make me laugh in the slightest. The BBC has made some superb comedies, such as Coupling, Red Dwarf and Game On, but I would imagine that most of the people who like this may not like them and vice versa (and I'm very much in that camp). I would totally recommend this if you like Only Fools, One Foot in the Grave and that ilk, but if you don't like them but the premise of the show intrigues you, rent it or catch an episode or two first before you commit as you may be disappointed.
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