Of Funerals & Fish.... My pick of S1 - 5

RickAns

Dedicated Member
Marianna, thank you for the info on Gloria. That fills in a piece of the puzzle I had wondered about. I remember her scrubbing and talking with Nora. Just did not put 2 and 2 together.
 

imitation700mb

Dedicated Member
In another episode, the title of which escapes me at the moment, Sid was speculating on ways to shed Ivy and said to Compo, "Your wife left you, didn't she?" Compo replied, "She run off with a fizzin' Pole." (Which the subtitles render as "fishin' pole".) She left very soon after World War II, while there were still a great many Polish refugees in the UK, so she wouldn't have had to go far to find one to run off with.

I remember the scene Marianna, but the episode title also escapes me. Perhaps our encyclopedia of all things Summer Wine, our Roger will know?
 

Onslow

Dedicated Member
I've just watched this I'm not sure if anyone else has managed to take a fresh look at it. The wonderful thing about watching this wonderful comedy is you always spot something new.

I considered the pilot to be barely-watchable for a long time. Looking at this thread an others over the months I am relieved it's not just me.

I'm on my fourth or so viewing of Funerals and Fish. Astonishing when you consider it was a different time (both in reality and in The Summer Wineverse).

For me the best part of the older episodes are subtle things you only notice when rewatching them.
 

David Piper

Well-Known Member
"If God's omnipotent, with all that choice available, what could he possibly want with my old woman? No, it implied blind chance working there, not selection.”

~Norman Clegg

Compo, Clegg, and Blamire go around town, discussing life, love, and death and observe their fellow townspeople.

Everything about the pilot sets up several Summer Wine tropes: the original trio and early takes on their personal characteristics, how they know one another, and their connection to Yorkshire are all present in this, the introduction to Summer Wine Land. The Trio are already developed, although Norman Clegg is a lot more cynical; He smokes cigarettes and even does so in the library!

The Trio drink pints in a local pub, which is something I don't recall seeing often in the show's later (2003-2010) years. I enjoy this early take on our heroes. I appreciate that the trio are not "old-age pensioners", but rather workers in their 50s--my age now--who have been made redundant for one reason or another (it could be argued that I was made redundant long ago; ah, but that's another topic).

Compo is already himself and has attained self actualization from the very start, making his iconic character all the more endearing in retrospect. Bill Owen really knew that LotSW was "pure gold."

Cyril Blamire (Michael Bates) is also outstanding. His take as the original Third Man defines the rougher edge of this period of the show.

There is also a glimpse of Nora Batty, cafe owners Sid and Ivy, and the short-lived library staff. Given LotSW's early "Library Mob" concept, it's not surprising that the librarians receive more screen time. Among the librarians, I took special note of the bookish and absolutely lovely Mrs. Partridge (Rosemary Martin), who, based on this initial appearance, appears to out-Marina Marina! Albeit in a shy, hesitant way. I took an instant liking to Mrs. Partridge and her performance in the pilot.

Summer Wine has an edge to it here that would have long since disappeared by the time of the post-Compo era (2000-2010). The show is dialogue driven, and the indoor-video/outdoor-film concept would continue until the early 1990s. The slapstick comedy of future series is nowhere to be found. I appreciate both approaches, but being a 1970s obsessive, a chunk of me wishes that Summer Wine had remained with the more caustic, cerebral, and philosophical directive it began with initially.

My Rating: 10/10
 

Barrychuckle

Dedicated Member
A wonderful review @David Piper you're clearly a Summerwine Nut like the rest of us!

If you've not already done so I strongly recommend the Andrew Vine & Alan Bell biographies of the series. I learned so much from these books which wouldn't have been apparent just by watching. Also for a lighter read, the Summerwino's books are a great comical look into the early series.
 

David Piper

Well-Known Member
I have the Andrew Vine book, the BBC Books anniversary book, and the charming Country Companion. I've just ordered the Summer Winos Volume 1, even though the shipping to the US from the UK makes this painful (£9.99 for the book, £17.00 shipping).
 

Marianna

Dedicated Member
Of Funerals and Fish is my favorite episode of the entire series, even after having seen all of the episodes myriad times. It'll be interesting to see which episode you settle on after having seen all of them.
 

Graham

Dedicated Member
For what it's worth, my favorite book about LOTSW is 'from the directors chair' by no less than the great Alan J W Bell.
A real insight about the goings on & conflicts behind the scenes.
 

David Piper

Well-Known Member
For what it's worth, my favorite book about LOTSW is 'from the directors chair' by no less than the great Alan J W Bell.
A real insight about the goings on & conflicts behind the scenes.

That's a book which goes for big money on the secondary market. I'm on the hunt for a decently-priced copy, though.

Of Funerals and Fish is my favorite episode of the entire series, even after having seen all of the episodes myriad times. It'll be interesting to see which episode you settle on after having seen all of them.

Even though it's early in my Summer Wine viewing, there are a handful of episodes I will never forget (more on those later). Summer Wine has a way of keeping itself in the viewer's memory. I remember the first time I stopped to watch an-already underway episode: Foggy, Clegg, and Compo were having a philosophical conversation while leaning on one of those slate(?) fences. Of course, that could be almost any episode with Foggy in it! While watching the scene, I felt that the series was something with ongoing plotlines. Thankfully, it wasn't; it was yet another of those great interactions the Trio have courtesy of Roy Clarke's pen.
 
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Barrychuckle

Dedicated Member
That's a book which goes for big money on the secondary market. I'm on the hunt for a decently-priced copy, though.



Even though it's early in my Summer Wine viewing, there are a handful of episodes I will never forget (more on those later). Summer Wine has a way of keeping itself in the viewer's memory. I remember the first time I stopped to watch an-already underway episode: Foggy, Clegg, and Compo were having a philosophical conversation while leaning on one of those slate(?) fences. Of course, that could be almost any episode with Foggy in it! While watching the scene, I felt that the series was something with ongoing plotlines. Thankfully, it wasn't; it was yet another of those great interactions the Trio have courtesy of Roy Clarke's pen.
You can get this book on the Kindle, that's how I read it, that will probably work out much more cost effective. Although I appreciate e-books aren't the same as having your own copy tho.
 
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