My top ten British sitcoms – number two

14 Mar

I have to admit, since I came up with the idea for this list, I have been torn as to which order my top two British sitcoms would be in. Whilst it was very close, I have finally made up my mind.

Number two – Blackadder

As a series, Blackadder is set across six centuries of British History. The first series depicts the end of the Middle Ages, the fourth (and final) series depicts the trenches of the First World War. Along the way we get the chance to visit a number of other notable periods in history, including the Elizabethan era and the Regency period. Despite the vast timescale over which this sitcom is set, the two central characters (Edmund Blackadder and Baldrick) remain the same. As the series progress, these two characters represent the descendants of the ones that have gone before. In each series, Edmond Blackadder is a member of the ruling class and associates himself with some very notable figures in British history. From the second series onwards (which is when I started watching), his sole focus is to improve his own lot in life. To do this he will use any means, no matter how deceitful or cowardly. Baldrick on the other hand is Blackadder’s servant. Whilst Blackadder is clever and cunning, Baldrick is incredibly stupid (the roles are somewhat reversed in the first series). Also accompanying Blackadder in each series is an aristocrat whose pomposity far outweighs their intelligence.

I think perhaps that of all the British sitcoms on this list, Blackadder is the one that would get onto most other people’s top ten list. The reason for this is that unlike many of the sitcoms I have listed, Blackadder has an almost universal appeal. The star of the show is of course Blackadder himself and it is from him that most of the laughs (usually via some desperate attempt to gain riches or avoid death) come. A wealth of remarkable supporting characters including Queen Elizabeth I, Melchett and Lord Flashheart make this a truly complete comedy package.

You can buy all four series of Blackadder here.

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8 Responses to “My top ten British sitcoms – number two”

  1. Sandra Bell Kirchman March 15, 2011 at 3:43 am #

    I’m probably one of the few people in the world who doesn’t like Mr. Bean (aka Rowan Atkinson aka Blackadder). Blackadder is okay, and I would rather watch it than a Mr. Bean episode. Because he is such a household favorite all over the world I am almost apologetic about not liking him, but I’m afraid I don’t find utter stupidity very funny. Sorry 😦

    • stickinsect March 17, 2011 at 12:23 am #

      First John Cleese, now Blackadder! Outrageous!!! Oh well, we all like different things, I suppose I forgive you 😉

  2. sterlingsop March 15, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    I watched all of the Blackadder series from when they were first aired and thought the first series was probably the best…until I watched Blackadder Goes Forth. Absolutely fantastic and what an ending! I never thought I would ever be so moved by a sitcom but that was absolutely top drawer. My favourite “repeat” character have got to be the ones played by Hugh Laurie. Brilliant!!

    • Sandra Bell Kirchman March 16, 2011 at 5:15 am #

      I have to admit the guy in the photo doesn’t look like Rowan Atkinson. Do I have the characters mixed up?

      By the way, Michael, I have awarded you a blog award called the Memetastic Award. Come on over to my page to have a look.

      • stickinsect March 17, 2011 at 12:25 am #

        No, it is Rowan Atkinson, the same person who playes Mr Bean.

    • stickinsect March 17, 2011 at 12:24 am #

      Yes, the fourth series is a cracker! I think I have a soft spot for the second series myself.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. My top ten British sitcoms – number one | Michael's Blog - March 22, 2011

    […] since I will openly admit that I find some of the other British sitcoms on this list funnier (Blackadder and Red Dwarf spring to mind here). The reason that I have placed One Foot in the Grave at number […]

  2. My top ten British sitcoms « Michael's Blog - May 9, 2011

    […] Blackadder – A journey through English history with the cunning Edmund […]

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