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It's hard to say goodbye to Compo on this latest Summer Wine standard-def set...
BBC / 292 Minutes / 2000 / Unrated / Street Date: October 15, 2013
There is an implicit charm to this DVD edition of Last of the Summer Wine, but it's distinctly bittersweet. For those familiar with this strangely beguiling British import, this Vintage 2000 compilation has the dubious distinction of bring us Compo’s final episodes: the man who played the ole (Bill Owen) passed away while these episodes were being filmed.
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 meet up with a woman who can see the future by looking at hubcaps (!), one of the men decides to have a particularly unsuccessful stint with an ugly, ugly toupee, and there is even an episode that sparks rumors that some in this small town are having affairs with one another. In short, it's business as usual.
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 2000 - 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.