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Young Ones

Anarchic BBC Sitcom of the 1980s

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Not for stupid bastards

  • Nov 2, 2009
  • by
With all of the BORING shows on TV which could almost be bad clones of each other in terms of jokes, writing and taste of humor, wouldn't it be great if we actually saw something different for once? Thank god that a show was made that could always make one laugh and never fails to show how outragous without being completely tasteless and shallow a show could be. That show is The Young Ones.  It may be old but it's still great.

The show follows a simple plotline. Four young English college students share the most squalid of houses and go to the ficticous Scumbag University. Each one of these guys is completely different, original, and almost always getting on one anothers nerves. Vyvian is the standout, a punk with dyed orange hair, metal stars glued to his forehead and decorated in denim and chains. He's going to school to be a doctor and spends most of his time destroying the house or harrassing his roommates. Rick is a Socialology student whos loud voice is always heard, whether calling people Nazis, Facists or Communists, spouting bad poetry or vocalizing an obsession about singer Cliff Richards. Neil is a fan favorite. A downtrodden, dirty hippie who endures the most abuse. He often can be seen doing 1 of 2 things, cooking lentils or planning some form of suicide. Mike the final character claims to study in the school of life and is always looking for a way to scam somebody somehow, whether it's a girl for a date or government officials for money. A fifth cast member Alexei Sayle pops in occasionally for some of his own brand of humor and plays multiple roles from episode to episode. Usually he's the guy's landlord. 

The show doesn't stop there, in between the show we are treated to unusal side storys, existentialism of sorts, musical guests playing a hit song and other bizzare situations which have absolutely nothing to do with the show. Ths show is a bit dated, particularly with the musical guests (try asking anyone under the age of 13 who Madness or The Damned are,) but that doesn't hurt the show much.

Plots of the show are decent enough to fill the runtime.  DEMOLITION has city hall condemning the guy's house as a health hazard, but if Vyvian destroys the house form the inside, will the council still bother tearing down whats left? OIL has the boys breaking in their new house with Mike finding Buddy Holly in his room and Vyvian finding oil in the basement. BORING, one of the better eps from season 1 has the guys being so bored that even a little demon on the loose in the living room and Vyvian cutting his finger off go unnotticed. INTERESTING has Mike throwing a party which quickly goes out of control once the pub closes. Watch for Rick playing with the contents of a purse. BOMB involves an atomic bomb that has landed in the house. Can Mike sell it to the underworld before Vyvian blows it up? In the house?! FLOOD has the guys running out of food, and when the water gets too deep, they consider canibalizm. BAMBI is the most famous episode with the boys voting never to do their laundry again and being accepted onto a college gameshow. NASTY, another popular one has Vyv and Mike getting a VCR (new at the time thats how old this show is) and later being attacked by a Vampire. CASH is about how winter has rolled around and with no money, the guys are burning their possesions for heat and Neil getting a job when Vyvian makes a special anouncement. TIME has Rick lying about an affair with an escaped murderrer and the house being taken back to the middle ages. Vyvian attacking Rick with a howitzer is hysterical. SICK has all 4 guys being sick with horrible colds and later decide to alter the show based on Neal's moms suggestions. Rick being harrassed by his consciense is probably one of the funniest scenes in the series if not anything. Finally SUMMER HOLLIDAY has summer begining and the guys being bored with nothing to do. Not even setting Rick on fire or attempting a bank robbery can kill the time.

An older version of the show appears on DVD and is ported right off the VHS tapes which is missing the musical sequence in CASH and Neil's singing in NASTY.  The newer "Extra Stoopid Edition" has remastered picture quality and those missing scenes put back in, BUT taking a different scene involving teddy bears out of the NASTY episode.  Can't win.

Now does this sound like your average show? Does it sound like something completely original and needed on TV today? Do you like violent slapstick and mindless, hilarious destruction? If you said Yes to any of these questions, you know what to do.  You Bastard.

Not for stupid bastards Not for stupid bastards Not for stupid bastards Not for stupid bastards Not for stupid bastards Not for stupid bastards

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More The Young Ones (TV show) reviews
review by . May 21, 2009
The Young Ones
The Young Ones was an alternative sitcom that truly changed the way people looked at comedy and the traditional sitcom. It was the true anarchist of TV released at a time when the working classes were close to embarking on a full blown revolution against Thatcher's Britain. The show combined a number of different formats; traditional sitcom, violent slapstick and surrealism to make what some would consider truly bizarre but utterly brilliant. The creation of Rik Mayall, Ben Elton and Lise Mayer …
About the reviewer
John Nelson ()
Ranked #8
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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