Posted by Lewis on September 22, 2003
In Reply to: Question about "Red Dwarf" posted by ESC on September 19, 2003
: : : I am preparing my Christmas wish list and need some advice. Someone told me (can't remember who) that the series that best represents British culture/way of life, etc., is Red Dwarf -- kind of a science fiction British Seinfeld. It's not airing on BBC America right now but is offered on DVD. http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/reddwarf/
: : : Should I ask Santa to bring me this series?
: : Highly regarded by affectionados on this side of the pond. It had a recent re-run. Very cultish. Worth an investment.
: OK. It's going on the list. Thanks.
"Red Dwarf" is sci-fi comedy. A spaceship in deep space goes into a cryogenic state for the odd few million years - the only survivors are a crude, but rather likeable Liverpudlian, a hologram of a petty and narcissistic crew-member and a mutated cat-man. They are assisted by a robotic servant and the ship's computer.
They go through many amusing, and some not so amusing, adventures - often involving time-travel paradox and creatively devised alien life forms (who usually have one particular oddity).
The budget is low, the script is usually funny, but it is talent of the cast that makes the series.
As for being an insight into British life - forget it - there are some amusing swipes at social mores, but it is enirely fantastic "what if" using a sci-fi context.
No single British comedy series sums up British culture - if you add together "Lovejoy" "To the Manor Born" "Coupling" "The Royle Family" "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme" "2.4 Children" "Goodness gracious Me" "My family" and "Last of the Summer Wine" you might get some kind of overall impression, but frankly British culture is fairly diverse and too fragmented for one show to encapsulate its width.