MovieChat Forums > The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin Discussion > Third Season...Totally out of steam

Third Season...Totally out of steam


I have been watching one season per weekend on DVD. I've heard of this show for years but had never seen a single episode until now.

The first season was pretty funny; the second season had a few laughs but seemed to be retreading, and the third season is a total waste of time. Ho hum...we have to go through the whole rigmarole of assembling the same old cast, and hearing those STUPID catchphrases that were tiresome after the first series. Then we just go through stock sitcom situations.

What holds it together is the amazing Leonard Rossiter, who has wonderful timing and delivery. In the first season especially he shows his mastery of various characters and dialects. The rest of the characters are flat and repetitive. "Super!" "I didn't get where I am today..." "Dullsville Arizona!" What is wrong with British audiences? Is this their idea of humor...repeating the same silly sentences each week? The Goons did it in the 50s: "I've fallen in the water" "What what what what what??" And it still goes on today, as spoofed by Ricky Gervais in "Extras."

Anyway...it was worth seeing this old classic but sad at the same time, because it was a good idea that ran out of steam before it ran out of episodes.

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Yes the third series was really a waste of the actors' talents.It was missing something for sure.

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There are only two funny scenes in that entire season, the rest don't even come marginally close.
The first is during the conflict-resolution roleplaying exercise, where Reggie and C.J. play out the boss-subordinate scenario.

The other is when Reggie runs into his old business associate from Grot in the pub. If you remember, this is the vagrant that Reggie hired when he was trying to destroy the company, and who ended up being a wizard in the field of business. Of course, this scene really is a retread of all his scenes from the previous season, so I suppose this one doesn't really count.

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I agree that the third season off compared to the first 2 but it was still better than 90% of the other comedies put forth for our consumption. Part of what makes those "flat and repetitive characters funny is the fact that they are so flat and repetitive. Do something once or twice or a half dozen times its funny, do it 20 or 30 times it gets old, keep on doing it and it becomes funny again. The only repetitive joke that lost its appeal to me very quickly was the "farting chair" gag. I'm so glad they lost it early on. In the last episode they brought it back and it was funny again the first time. They went on a bit too long with it there again.

This show is not as funny to me as Fawlty Towers but it still rated a 9 from me. It was much better than I had remembered as a kid and I remembered it was pretty good back then. I guess I understood a few more of the jokes now.

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You have to remember that things were different back then...this kind of gentle, genteel comedy, relying almost entirely on a sort of rhythmic repetition of catchphrases or scenarios (Reggie's walk through the "Poets" estate each morning for instance) was the norm back then. I believe it was the last gasp of music hall, where artists would trot out the same catchphrases to different audiences for decades, and the audience would lap it up because they were getting exactly what they were expecting.

It was only a few short years after Reggie Perrin that The Young Ones, and alternative comedy in general, lit a huge fire under this staid, fusty style of humour.

It does look unbelievably creaky now and has not stood the test of time well (as I said in another thread), but a lot of the pleasure I get from watching it today is nostalgia inspired - I have a memory of how good it was in its day, and I love seeing all those old sets, clothes and hairstyles.

For my part, the farting chair and the mother in law/hippo gags were the most tiresome.






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"You have to remember that things were different back then...this kind of gentle, genteel comedy, relying almost entirely on a sort of rhythmic repetition of catchphrases or scenarios (Reggie's walk through the "Poets" estate each morning for instance) was the norm back then. I believe it was the last gasp of music hall, where artists would trot out the same catchphrases to different audiences for decades, and the audience would lap it up because they were getting exactly what they were expecting.

It was only a few short years after Reggie Perrin that The Young Ones, and alternative comedy in general, lit a huge fire under this staid, fusty style of humour.

It does look unbelievably creaky now and has not stood the test of time well (as I said in another thread), but a lot of the pleasure I get from watching it today is nostalgia inspired - I have a memory of how good it was in its day, and I love seeing all those old sets, clothes and hairstyles.

For my part, the farting chair and the mother in law/hippo gags were the most tiresome."

I would strongly disagree that Reggie Perrin counts as a "genteel comedy." I actually regard it as a very subversive piece which puts a dark spin on the traditional domestic sitcom, and as a result was some years ahead of its time. Let's not forget, Reggie spends the bulk of series 1 teetering on the verge of a nervous breakdown, and actively contemplates suicide - Terry and June, this is not. As for the repetition, that is surely the whole point of the show - it is the mind-numbing routine that Reggie finds himself in that drives him to rebel and try to change his life.

Having said all that, I would agree that series 3 is not as good. The characters and catchphrases are brought back to the well once too often, and the whole commune idea is rather forced. However, the very final episode is magnificent, deftly bringing Reggie right back to where he started.

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This series never ran out of steam!

Its that man again!!

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Yeah hard to disagree. The first two seasons are exceptional, some of the best comedy I've seen on British TV, but season 3 is just a car crash. What's with all the racism littered throughout it? Reggie blacking up to frighten away the neighbours and buy their houses cheaply... pretty grim viewing. The humour is way below par, particularly the scene where they all dress up as trees in the garden to ward off vandals. Cringe inducing. The Scottish chef speaking gobbledygook, just terrible. The new guy playing Tom was just terrible. It has a few laugh out loud moments, but they're few and far between. And the less said about the Rossiter-free reunion series the better.

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Suburban Robot That Monitors Reality

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