Birds of a Feather

Rumours printed in tabloid The Mirror suggest that British sitcom Birds of a Feather is to return to our screens, allowing viewers with nothing better to do to catch up with the lives of sisters Sharon and Tracey (Pauline Quirke, Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph) and their aging nymphomaniac neighbour Dorian.

“Great,” you might think, “Another classic sitcom brought back by the Beeb!”

However it isn’t in that great.

If a list was made of sitcoms to bring back, then Birds of a Feather would be nowhere near the top.  Appealing only to women of a certain age, the humour was crass, sexist and a bit on the racist side, not to mention comprising repetitive plots, tiring recurring jokes and poor performances from the supporting regular cast.

I don’t even want to think about Lesley Joseph doing her “Like a Virgin” routine. :shivers:

Birds of a Feather ran on BBC One from 1989 to 1998, outliving its sell-by date by around 4 years.  Created by the Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, episodes were distributed to a variety of writers including the creators, leading on the whole to a 9 year series of 99 episodes of wildly varying quality.

It’s another in a long line of BBC attempts to revive old sitcoms to fill in the void left by Only Fools and Horses. The atrocious spin off Green Green Grass barely satiates the urge to call Rodney “a Plonker”, while past failed remakes include the canon-busting return of The Liver Birds in 1996 and a reunion of the Are You Being Served? cast and characters in Grace and Favour in 1992.

Which just goes to show that old sitcoms don’t die – they get dug up and reanimated for as much airtime and as few jokes as possible.

Whether Birds of a Feather returns or not is academic – the fact is, it is not a classic.

Real classics can easily be identified – they’re the ones that know when to stop.


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