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Best of the Britcoms: From Fawlty Towers to The Office
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Best of the Britcoms: From Fawlty Towers to The Office [Kindle Edition]

Garry Berman
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

With crisp dialog, outrageous characters, and an absurd sense of humor, it's no wonder British sitcoms are so well-loved! Best of the Britcoms covers the most noteworthy situation comedies ever to cross the pond. Each entry combines a show summary with descriptions of standout episodes and behind-the-scenes details, plus gives you production data and full cast listings. And now, the revised edition of this Britcom classic contains seven new chapters on programs that have aired in the U.S. since the original edition was published, such as The Office, Extras, and My Family. Fans of old-school Britcoms won't be disappointed either, as the revised edition also includes the later developments of older series' storylines and detailed information on specials and cast reunions that have occurred in the intervening years. Pick up this book, kick back, and get to know a Britcom!

Editorial Reviews


Garry Berman lets his love of British television ring true. Best of the Britcoms is a must for anyone who wants to get into British comedy and its unique humor. (Midwest Book Review )

About the Author

Garry Berman is a freelance writer and author of We're Going To See The Beatles!, an oral history of the Beatlemania years in America. As a lifelong Anglophile and avid fan of British TV, he has a personal video library of over 300 hours of Britcoms, from which Best of the Britcoms was born. In a previous life, he was a video/TV producer and a contributor to British Television magazine. He lives in Westampton, NJ.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2558 KB
  • Print Length: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Taylor Trade Publishing; Revised Edition edition (February 16, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #435,513 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
118 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Would it were only longer! September 10, 1999
Some time ago after a meeting of some sort, I happened to call out, "You've all done very well!" and every person there laughed. If someone else ever uses the word "bucket," all you have to do is say "Pronounced bouquet" and very few will not get the reference. Or a simple "Nudge, nudge" might get knowing chuckles. Now for the very few of you who are wondering what that was all about, you have obviously never seen (in order) "Are YouBeing Served?" "Keeping Up Appearances," or even "Monty Python's Flying Circus." Although those three and many other exports from England are so familiar, very few of us over here know anything of their backgrounds. Well, the solution is now available from Taylor Publishing Company. Garry Berman's <Best of the Britcoms: from Fawlty Towers to Absolutely Fabulous> has just been issued.At $18.95 it is a goldmine of information about three sorts of British comedies: (1) those you know and love, (2) those you have known and loved but are not shown any more, and (3) those very popular over there but never shown over here. Of the over 30 programs discussed in the all too few 140 pages (I only wish it was longer) of this book, several are still around on the PBS stations other than the three mentioned above: "Red Dwarf," "'Allo! 'Allo!," "One Foot in the Grave," "Waiting for God," "The Vicar of Dibley," and more. ("Absolutely Fabulous" was a bit too much for Public TV and can be seen on the Comedy Channel with lots of commercials. Read more ›
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Indispensable Guide to British Comedy September 17, 2001
By Tiggah
For aficionados of British comedy, this 140-page book is a must-have. It is specifically directed toward North American audiences and includes synopses of 50 of the most popular British situation comedies to have been viewed by North Americans. Most of the favourites are here--from Fawlty Towers and Are You Being Served in the 70s to Keeping Up Appearances and The Vicar of Dibley in the 90s. Many of the lesser-known comedies are also here--comedies like Only When I Laugh or Rising Damp. As with any "Best of" collection, there is bound to be the odd favourite that didn't make the cut (shows like Fresh Fields or No Job for a Lady, for example).
The comedies are categorized by decade. The amount of space devoted to each show ranges from a scant one-half page to as much as four pages, largely dependent on the popularity of the series with its North American audiences.
For each comedy, author Garry Berman provides a splendid summary of the story-line and characters. Often Berman includes brief summaries of what he calls "typical" episodes, occasionally with snippets of dialogue to elucidate the type of verbal humour at play. The result is that the reader has an idea not only of what the series in general is about, but of what to expect in any given episode. Although the focus is very much on the series themselves, Berman frequently treats us to tidbits of behind-the-scenes information--things like how the series came about, why certain actors left a show, what other series they have appeared in, and so on. Often much of this information is provided through comments from the writers and even from some of the actors themselves.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for the Anglophiles among us January 31, 2002
It's almost inarguable that Britain has more than its share of classic sitcoms: Are You Being Served?, The Good Life (Good Neighbors to Americans), To the Manor Born, Fawlty Towers, Yes, Minister, Black Adder, Red Dwarf, Absolutely Fabulous . . . the list goes on and on.
This book is a splendid overview of most of these that have made it to America. Each one gets several pages of text and a few photographs. The text provides an overview of the series concept, how it came about, and usually an episode summary or two to give one a flavor of the series. I found that I learned a little bit about the series I had seen and had some fond memories brought back. I also felt that I got a good idea of what the unfamiliar series were like.
An excellent book for the Anglophiles among us.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Britcom-hahahahahahaha! January 28, 2003
There's quite a bit of interesting trivia and information in the booklet. It mentions the noteworthy shows of the 70s, 80s, and the 90s. If you want to blend in England or watch popular British telly, this is the book to get. Also the book notes some useful information on how it differs from American television, so I reckon that this might be a good read for students of television.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good overall view, not too specific March 5, 2003
By Amyred
This will tell you about a bunch of them, and some you've never heard of, but not too much on one program. If you're just getting into Britcoms, this is a good primer that will introduce you to the genre that so many of us think is far superior to the drivel on American TV!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
There is a different sort of humor that Brits don't share with some Americans, but for those who understand it, looking to the other side of the pond makes for quite the entertainment. "Best of the Britcoms: From Fawlty Towers to the Office" looks at the best one can expect from British Television. Tracing each of the shows, stating their premise, their stars, how many episodes, and more, Garry Berman lets his love of British television ring true. "Best of the Britcoms" is a must for anyone who wants to get into British comedy and its unique humor.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good purchase.
Excellent transaction. Excellent condition. Perfect all around. A great item at a fantastic price. Words cannot describe my experience on Amazon as of late. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Loralie Wilson
3.0 out of 5 stars Short on information and photographs
I'm a Yank who is a huge fan of Britcoms. I've used the original edition of this book as a reference source since about 1999 IIRC. Read more
Published 22 months ago by DougJustDoug
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, not 100% accurate
I have been a fan of British comedies ever since I was in middle school, and ever since I've happily absorbed all information about Britcoms, familiar and unseen, that I can come... Read more
Published on December 12, 2011 by Eric Norton
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read!
"Best of the Britcoms" by Garry Berman is a must have for anyone who has ever laughed at a British sitcom. Read more
Published on September 20, 2011 by Kelly M Thompson
2.0 out of 5 stars Britcoms for Beginners
I love britcoms, and British television in general, as much as anyone, but this book is lacking in one key are: no episode guide to any of the series! Read more
Published on January 2, 2004 by Mr. William C. Rapp
5.0 out of 5 stars best of britcoms
i love british comedy..this book is well described and has been loaned many times..a keeper.
Published on December 29, 2001 by lee l ammenhauser
3.0 out of 5 stars Britcoms Rule
This is an excellent book to whet your appetite for more news/trivia about Britcoms. Thoroughly enjoyable. Just what I
thought I wanted when I was looking for it. Read more
Published on September 5, 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome
I've been a big fan of Britcoms for many years, and I'm so glad to have found such a complete and well-researched book about them. Read more
Published on July 19, 2001 by larry h
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