Page 1 of 1

Not of frocks and china on linen: The Royle Family

PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:04 pm
by kas
I apologise for the heading, David: I almost slipped this topic into the Ideological programming thread, since I could hardly think of a show spinning further from costume dramas...

Anyhow, our TV gave us a Christmas day treat of two Royle Family special episodes, "The Queen of Sheba" and "The New Sofa". And they were followed by a couple of Fast Show episodes where you could spot Caroline Ahern (series writer and actress of the role of "Denise Royle", the family daughter) in some of her pre-Denise skits.

The whole Royle Family series has been shown here, but I did not pay it much attention then. Now I have become an overnight convert thanks to especially the "Sheba" episode: some very strong writing and - you can call me a softee - a genuinely heartwrenching storyline about the final days of Denise's granny Norma.

"The New Sofa" was a much more lighthearted episode altogether about the Christmas day dinner not going at all like planned. But great fun to watch.

Re: Not of frocks and china on linen: The Royle Family

PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:34 am
by AndyM
As I chipped in with a qualified defence of costume drama, I'd like here to shout from the rooftops my adoration of The Royle Family. One of the greatest triumphs of British comedy. Uncharacteristic modesty prevents me naming the book in which I wrote about it, but PMs will be answered with full arrogance.

Re: Not of frocks and china on linen: The Royle Family

PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:59 am
by Rob Hall
What I have seen of the Royle Family suggests that it is worthy of the praise that it gets, but I cannot fall into step with the lauding of Ricky Tomlinson; I fail to understand why people are seemingly so happy to overlook his "naive" past membership of the NF.

Re: Not of frocks and china on linen: The Royle Family

PostPosted: Tue Dec 28, 2010 10:13 am
by NormanD
Was this year's Xmas "special" any good? I never thought to watch it after last year's disappointment (when they hire the caravan, etc). It was lazily written, coasting along on repetition, catch phrases and reminders of its past glories.

I find the wide condemnation (at least around here) of Mike Leigh's depiction of working class life as patronising quite interesting. Read those comments and think of The Royles: compare and contrast.

But the series as a whole has been ground-breaking television - it knocked most other sit coms for six and kept up a consistently high standard. My favourite bit of tv comedy must be the episode where neighbour Joe performs his version of "Danny Boy", in his sweet tenor voice - two verses, too. The killer punchline turns the scene from maudlin to brilliant humour.

Rob, I don't agree with you on your view of Ricky Tomlinson's past. It's better to understand why many working class people drift politically, attracted by union militancy one minute, racism the next. The fact that he and Des Warren were allowed to languish in prison on trumped-up charges (after the 1972 building workers strike) was an act that the TUC and Labour Party should be held responsible for, and rightly condemned. It's not surprising Tomlinson might have felt betrayed. To my mind, membership of a fascist organisation is not an original sin that forever taints you - you can pass through, you can learn and change, I have known similar people myself. Having said that, I'll read his book, it's supposed to be a good read.