- Six episodes on one disc
One Foot in the Grave - Season 1
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One Foot in the Grave: Season One (DVD)
The BAFTA-nominated series about the growing pains of growing old is finally on DVD! Forced into early retirement, Victor Meldrew optimistically tries to adjust to years of leisure with his wife Margaret. If only events -- coincidences, misunderstandings, bureaucratic inefficiencies and sheer bad luck -- didn't conspire against him.]]>
Think of One Foot in the Grave as a British version of Curb Your Enthusiasm: Cranky, misanthropic Victor Mildrew (the wonderfully bilious Richard Wilson) perceives himself as the only sane man in a world out to drive him mad--a world in which yoga instructors abruptly keel over, a dead cat appears in his freezer, a man in a bee costume uses his loo, and an escaped snake crawls into his luggage. Of course, Victor can dish it out too; he gives a political candidate a severe tongue-lashing and has a vacuum cleaner duel with an old man who's even more cantankerous than Victor. Only his long-suffering wife Margaret (sweet-tempered Annette Crosbie, Calendar Girls, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman) provides Victor with any serenity--even as he destroys hers! Wilson had a long career before One Foot in the Grave (including the series Tutti Frutti, costarring with Emma Thompson and Robbie Coltrane), but this show became a phenomenon, giving a voice of outrage to the disenfranchised (young and old alike) in Margaret Thatcher's political era. But politics were always secondary to humor, and anyone with a taste for scathing invective and madcap plots will bask in Wilson's indignity. Written by David Remnick, creator of Jonathan Creek. --Bret Fetzer
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Top customer reviews
Accompanying Victor on his journey through the golden years of his life is his wife, Margaret. Outsiders may refer to her as long-suffering, but in her own ways she is just as bad as her husband. She too is prone to long, loud rants (sometimes because of Victor, but not always), and whenever the chance to do the right thing comes along, she almost always defaults to taking the deceitful path.
“One Foot in the Grave” is easily one of the darkest sitcoms I have ever seen, and may not be for everyone. The Christmas specials mostly have nothing to do with Christmas, and there are a lot of bottle episodes. It is also unique in that it so frequently jumps from comedy to genuine drama in mere seconds that it could leave you with emotional whiplash. Also, be warned that there is a lot of death in this series; humans and animals tend to drop like flies around the Meldrews, and not many of them are not from natural causes. This is a dark, dark comedy.
I am quite happy with having purchased this series, and find it quite worthy to share shelf space with the likes of “Fawlty Towers” and “Black Adder”. If you enjoy dark, dry, British humour, you will probably like this too.
"Alive and Buried"--Victor Meldrew--who worked in security reception--is replaced by an automated system and is forced into early retirement. To pass the time, he collects wrappers left in his front lawn, practices magic acts (the magician side of him seems a bit out-of-character), shouts at mechanics, and is accused of suspected curb crawling (like Hyacinth's brother-in-law Bruce in 'Keeping Up Appearances'). Speaking of 'Keeping Up Appearances,' I notice his telephone conversations are not done as well at Patricia Routledge. He talks too fast to convince the viewer there is someone on the other line.
"The Big Sleep"--It's hard for Victor not to think about dying when death is all around him--his cousin, the health & fitness instructor, even a bird he feeds worms to in his front yard.
"The Valley of Fear"--Victor gets tired of Margaret leaving doors and cupboards open: "What am I supposed to do, carry out a daily inspection of the premises now for batty old women and mummified tomcats." Concerned about hooligans, Victor organizes a neighborhood watch and ends up getting a hoodlum reputation himself. Christopher Ryan ('The Young Ones') makes an appearance as a plumber in shorts.
"I'll Retire to Bedlam"--Victor is in an even fouler mood than usual as he's attacked by bees, his little grand-nephews, and Britain's peculiar medical service. Best moments are in the doctor's office and his handling of his bratty nephews.
"The Eternal Quadrangle"--Margaret is not happy about Victor sketching a nude woman in art class...especially when he accepts a job cleaning at the nude model's house. I liked the vacuum duel between Victor and the model's senile father. In the meantime, Margaret finds she has an admirer. It is funny how dense Victor is about his wife's friend's intentions.
"The Return of the Speckled Band"--Victor and Margaret get ready for a trip to Athens. In the meantime, Victor unknowingly keeps making life miserable for Mrs. Warboy and the Meldrews unknowingly have a new companion--a 7-foot Indian Python (speaking of pythons, Eric Idle of 'Monty Python' fame wrote and sang the show's theme song). The snake part of the story isn't settled here, you'll have to get the second season DVD.