Men Behaving Badly

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Men Behaving Badly
Men Behaving Badly title card.jpg
Series logo, which appears before the closing credits rolled. Gary and Tony dance badly in the background.
Created bySimon Nye
Written bySimon Nye
Directed byMartin Dennis
StarringMartin Clunes
Neil Morrissey (series 2–6)
Harry Enfield (series 1)
Leslie Ash
Caroline Quentin
Ian Lindsay
Valerie Minifie
Dave Atkins (series 1–4)
John Thomson (series 5–6)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series6
No. of episodes42 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)Hartswood Films
DistributorFremantleMedia
Broadcast
Original channelITV (1992-1994)
BBC1 (1994-1998)
Picture format4:3 (1992–1997)
16:9 (1998)
Original run18 February 1992 (1992-02-18) – 28 December 1998 (1998-12-28)
Chronology
Related showsMen Behaving Badly (US remake)
 
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For the American version, see Men Behaving Badly (U.S. TV series).
Men Behaving Badly
Men Behaving Badly title card.jpg
Series logo, which appears before the closing credits rolled. Gary and Tony dance badly in the background.
Created bySimon Nye
Written bySimon Nye
Directed byMartin Dennis
StarringMartin Clunes
Neil Morrissey (series 2–6)
Harry Enfield (series 1)
Leslie Ash
Caroline Quentin
Ian Lindsay
Valerie Minifie
Dave Atkins (series 1–4)
John Thomson (series 5–6)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series6
No. of episodes42 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)Hartswood Films
DistributorFremantleMedia
Broadcast
Original channelITV (1992-1994)
BBC1 (1994-1998)
Picture format4:3 (1992–1997)
16:9 (1998)
Original run18 February 1992 (1992-02-18) – 28 December 1998 (1998-12-28)
Chronology
Related showsMen Behaving Badly (US remake)

Men Behaving Badly is a British sitcom that was created and written by Simon Nye. It follows the lives of Gary Strang (Martin Clunes) and his flatmates, Dermot Povey (Harry Enfield) (season 1 only) and Tony Smart (Neil Morrissey) (season 2 onwards). It was first broadcast on ITV in 1992. A total of six series were made along with a Christmas special and three final episodes that make up the feature-length "last orders".

The series was filmed in and around Ealing in west London and the final scene of series six was filmed at the Cerne Abbas giant. The setting however is implied to be South London and many references are made to Surrey.

It was produced by Hartswood Films, and Thames Television co-produced the first two series for ITV. They also assisted with production of the third series onwards that aired on the BBC.

After being moved to a post-watershed slot on BBC1, Men Behaving Badly became highly successful. It was voted the best sitcom in the BBC's history at BBC Television's 60th anniversary celebrations in 1996. It also came sixteenth in the Britain's Best Sitcom poll commissioned in 2004 on BBC2. It has also won the Comedy Awards' best ITV comedy, and the first National Television Award for Situation Comedy.[1]

In a BBC article, it is suggested Gary and Tony were "a reaction against the onset of the caring, sharing 'new man'. It appeared to revel in a politically incorrect world of booze, burps and boobs". Nevertheless, critics Jon Lewis and Penny Stempel have stated the show "allowed male viewers to indulge in vicarious laddism, whilst allowing female viewers to ridicule the bad but lovable Tony and Gary". They also commented that "it was also a genuine sitcom in that the humour came from the characters and their context". Simon Nye remarked: "I don't do mad, plot-driven farragoes. You have to allow your characters time to talk."[2]

The show has been repeated on BBC One, Dave and G.O.L.D., and all six series are available on DVD.

Plot summary[edit]

Gary and Tony are two beer-guzzling flatmates, revelling in a second childhood, hours of TV and mindless talks about women, the kind of behaviour that puts their relationships with Dorothy (Gary's girlfriend) and Deborah (an attractive blonde in the flat above) in jeopardy.

Gary manages an office selling burglar alarms for a dead-end company. His staff are two ageing employees: the hen-pecked George and eternal spinster Anthea, who regularly drive him to exasperation with their old-fashioned ways. Tony stumbles through a range of jobs including modelling, bar work and miming, after his record stall collapsed (somewhat literally).

Dorothy is a quick-witted, sensible nurse. She and Gary frequently split up and are occasionally unfaithful (including one fateful night when Dorothy sleeps with Tony and thinks she might be pregnant), but always end up back together. Tony has many girlfriends but his true feelings are for Deborah, whom he initially just wants to have sex with, but quickly falls in love with. Deborah is often exasperated by Tony's immature behaviour, but can also see the good in him. The two finally end up in a relationship in series 6.

Cast[edit]

Tony and Dermot are similar in character, although Dermot is slightly more stressed and neurotic. He is only mentioned twice after his departure, the first to explain that he simply is not coming home, having gone travelling with a croupier called Letitia, and the second in the first episode of series five, when Dorothy recalls him to which Gary replies, "Did I tell you he got a job at Euro-Disney testing the rides?"

Other characters[edit]

Other characters include Clive – a friend of Gary's who never appears on screen. Writer Simon Nye played the minor role of Clive in series 6, wearing a bright green suit. Also, Neville appears in series 2 with Tony, running the stall adjacent to his.

The show's origins[edit]

The show is based on Simon Nye's 1989 book of the same title. TV producer Beryl Vertue came across the novel and tracked down Nye, believing it was suited for television adaptation. Harry Enfield was then cast first, and persuaded Martin Clunes that he should join the show.

The first series features Martin Clunes as Gary Strang, and Harry Enfield as his flatmate, Dermot Povey, but Enfield felt out of place in the sitcom and decided to quit. It has also been reported that Enfield has claimed he felt uncomfortable in the programme, and left stating that a "proper actor" would do the job far better. Simon Nye has stated that ITV picked up the series partly because Enfield had agreed to star in it, and his departure influenced ITV's decision to cancel the show after just two series, when audience figures were poor. It has been claimed that this was owing to ITV giving it a poor slot in the schedules, forcing the 'bad behaviour' to be toned down.

In 1994, the show went to the BBC, who aired a further four series. The shift to a new station and a later time-slot meant, as the BBC have stated, the show could indulge in "more colourful language and behaviour" although all f-words were bleeped as was common practice on the BBC at the time. The show became highly successful on BBC1, winning numerous awards for the show, its writer, and its stars.[3]

The first series featuring Enfield has never been repeated on the BBC, although the second ITV series has been shown.[3]

Episodes[edit]

The show aired for six series and forty two episodes, including a Christmas special titled 'Jingle Balls', which was broadcast over Christmas 1997. A final short run of three 45-minute episodes was made in 1998 to conclude the series. These were broadcast over Christmas, like the (then cited as final) three episodes of Only Fools and Horses two years earlier.

In 2002 it was revelaed that Simon Nye and the cast had agreed to revive the series for three further specials the following year, which came about as a result of producer Beryl Vertue looking at the idea of seeing how Gary and Dorothy were coping with parenthood.[4] However, the idea was shelved the following year after Caroline Quentin became pregnant.[5] In 2014, Clunes and Morrissey returned to the characters of Gary and Tony for the first time since 1998 in a sketch for Channel 4's Stand Up to Cancer telethon.[6]

Series one was the only series to feature Dermot, played by Harry Enfield, and the only series not to feature Neil Morrissey as Tony. The episodes of the first two series are about 24 minutes long because they were shown on ITV and time was needed for advertisements. When the show began on the BBC, the episodes were about four minutes longer.

DVD releases[edit]

All six series are available on region 2 DVD separately, and a complete collection featuring all six series is also available. The 1997 Christmas special and final trilogy are also available on DVD.

Owing to licensing difficulties, the music at the beginning of episode one 'Hair' and the rave in episode five 'Cardigan' had to be changed for the Series 5 DVD.

DVD TitleDiscsYearEpisodesDVD release dates
Region 1Region 2Region 4
Complete Series 111991625 January 20058 May 200014 August 2000
Complete Series 211992625 January 20055 June 200014 August 2000
Complete Series 311994610 January 20065 June 200014 August 2000
Complete Series 411995710 January 20063 July 200014 August 2000
Complete Series 51199677 November 20063 July 200014 August 2000
Complete Series 61199767 November 200620 November 200014 August 2000
Jingle Balls!119971On "Last Orders" DVD1 January 2008N/A
Last Orders1199837 November 20061 September 200314 August 2000
Complete Series 1661991–199738N/A22 September 2003N/A
Complete Series 1LO71991–1998427 November 200629 October 20128 August 2001

Other appearances and references[edit]

U.S. version[edit]

The series was remade for US television, broadcast on NBC 1996–1997, starred Rob Schneider, Ken Marino, Ron Eldard and Justine Bateman, and took place in Indianapolis, Indiana.[8] As a result, the original series was eventually screened in the US on BBC America as British Men Behaving Badly. In Australia, where the British version was screened under its original title on the ABC, the US series was broadcast as It's a Man's World on the Seven Network.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ (Book) Cult TV: The Comedies, the ultimate critical guide-Jon E Lewis and Penny Stempel
  2. ^ (Book) Cult TV: The Comedies, the ultimate critical guide – Jon E Lewis and Penny Stempel
  3. ^ a b BBC – Comedy – Men Behaving Badly
  4. ^ "Men to Behave Badly again". BBC News. BBC. 5 May 2002. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "Going Badly: Sitcom return shelved". Chortle. 23 February 2003. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  6. ^ "Men Behaving Badly return for charity sketch". BBC News. BBC. 13 October 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Men Behaving Badly (US) – TV.com

External links[edit]