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Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 1999

I came across Last of the Summer Wine when I discovered PBS would air British television after dark and fell in love with the show. Regardless of where you pop in, aside from the heartbreaking 21st series where Campo departs, there is no timeline that must be followed. It’s always the same show with a handful of senior men who wander the countryside and disperse dry British humor to a winning effect. Their adventures and camaraderie are solidified by great chemistry and great acting. Pick any season of the show and you’re sure to have a riotous good time laughing yourself silly.

In the first episode we find the men about to head out on a country adventure when they come across a suspicious man. It turns out the man is upset about a bad roe with the woman he loves and plans to end it all. Despite the dark theme the show still manages to turn the subject into a side splitting gem that finds Campo giving the man an unintended assist off of a bridge into shallow water.

Vintage 1999 episode two introduces Billy Hardcastle, played by Keith Clifford, a direct descendent of Robin Hood. Mistaken for a ghost (and a good archer), Hardcastle and the men end up causing small bits of havoc through the town; shooting out the power at the local pub, forcing a woman to doubt her relationship with a lover and ready to tell all to her husband, and giving some of the older ladies in town a bit of hope (that is quickly diminished). In any case, Hardcastle is a fantastic add to the show.

Later episodes finds the men coming upon a man with an earthquake machine, a bit of cross dressing, roller skates, a phantom bus, detective work, and of course the 2000 special Last Post & Pigeon where Compo is treated to a special event funded by his pals.

I still can’t believe they cancelled this show in 2010 despite its popularity (even reruns sometimes beat out current shows in the ratings). Either way, the show gave its fans a whopping 31 seasons that will go down in history as comedy gold. This chapter of the series is proof that, even after the show is gone, it never gets old and always stays funny. Enjoy.   

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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