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This retro British sitcom import continues to show flashes of lazy, dum-dum fun....
BBC / 330 Minutes / 1997 / Unrated / Street Date: January 15, 2013
There is an implicit charm to this latest DVD edition of Last of the Summer Wine, but it's distinctly bittersweet. For those familiar with this strangely beguiling British import, this Vintage 1997 compilation has the dubious distinction of bring us Foggy's final episodes: the old codger offers us adieu on the final episode here. It's a shame - I'll miss the ol' coot.
But don't let this throw you: the rest of this Last of the Summer Wine release has our folks up to the same shenanigans they always find themselves knee-deep in. Our protagonists find themselves lost in the woods during one episode (Deviations With Davenport), they investigate some enigmatic love letters in another (The Mysterious C.W. Northrop), and they even spend a late-season installment trying to find a monkey who has gone missing in the nearby woods (Destiny and Six Bananas). In short, it's business as usual.
This isn't groundbreaking television of any major import, but TV has always been a haven for dingbat characters who reliably act like nincompoops, and Last of the Summer Wine recognizes this wholly. Those versed in the syntax of British TV comedy of the era will likely find affinity with Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 1997 - if you can stomach Ab Fab or Fawlty Towers, this one's kind of a Golden Girls riff on that style - but as fleeting as it can be, there's some jovial, good-natured fun to be had here.
And so long, Foggy: we hardly knew ye...