Barbara (TV Series 1995–2003) Poster

(1995–2003)

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we liked it,but we're american,so who knows....
trevillian29 February 2004
didn't see one with a dead body, but loved the episode where they bricked up her doorway. a good example of someone causing themselves the most harm. we are flying in the face of the other reviewers,but we enjoyed the show. we also like fine romance,are you being served,as time goes by, and one foot in the grave. wish more of our american comedy was as much developed and fun.....I have always like the dry British wit. Barbara reminds me of so folks I actually know, that is why it is even more fun. I didn't find it "predictable,and trite" I found it very down to earth. It may not have been good enough for more than 2 seasons, but it was fun to watch anyway.
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9/10
The best laughs of the night
Sylviastel30 May 2001
Long ISland's WLIW aired a British battle for the best British comedy to fill an upcoming empty spot in their Friday night lineup. The other choices were Father Ted, A Fine Romance, Murder Most Horrid, and Barbara. My vote goes to this innovative recent British import. Gwen Taylor is marvelous and the cast is surprisingly good. I wanted it to win but Father Ted won the vote. Maybe next time, Barbara who is played beautifully by Gwen Taylor from another British comedy, Screaming, and her husband is played by the veteran comedian Sam Kelly. Her sister is played by Sherry and the woman who plays her best friend are both Coronation Street veterans. I like the fact that Barbara is a strong woman, a mother, a wife, a sister, and a friend and not perfect in any of them. I love Jean Alexander, another Coronation Street veteran, playing her mother-in-law too. There are great episodes too like her grandson's christening, her sister's wedding, and whatever you could imagine happens. Mark Benton is memorable as her celebrity son-in-law.
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I Remember Not Liking This ...
Theo Robertson23 April 2005
... And having seen a repeated episode earlier today I now know why

BARBARA is yet another in a long line of sit coms featuring dysfunctional middle class types . In fact there's so many of these instantly forgettable comedies that if I listed half of them I would use up my 1000 word limit As mentioned there's two things that make this alleged comedy so memorably awful . One is its pathetic attempt at bad taste comedy . For example todays episode featured a mother husband and wife discussing the eponymous Barbara babysitting . " I'm so glad my mother volunteered to babysit for us " Cut to a wide shot as the baby's pram sails down the hill and ends up in the river . Of course you do quickly jump to the conclusion that the baby isn't actually inside the pram which spoils the pay off as Barbara turns round with the tiny child in her hands as she watches her daughter and son in law frantically jump into the river to rescue their offspring

This telegraphs the show's second obvious failing - The predictability factor . For example one of Barbara's neighbour pops round to her house to give the family a video that's been pirated " If I get caught doing this I'll be charged with distributing pirated videotapes " . As soon as you hear this you instantly know where this is heading . Same as a scene where Barbara's husband is dressed as a fox ( Don't ask ) , his car breaks down so he takes a short cut through a field to the nearest garage . So he's in the English countryside dressed as a fox , I wonder if someone nearby is having a fox hunt ? Yup thought so .

ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE also has comedy come out of unlikely coincidences but that classic comedy is well written enough to make you forget the unlikely scenarios and the cast manage to disguise any remaining short comings . With BARBARA however you get the impression that the cast realise they're appearing in a pile of crap but don't really care because it helps pay the mortgage
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8/10
I like it but i can see what others are saying
deem_bastille12 April 2015
I saw this show back in the early turn of the (new) century and I in general, liked it a lot.

I can see what others are saying in the 'wasted talent' and 'where is this going' areas but I guess, when the show is supposed to be carried by one person, the supporting players shouldn't be funnier than the headliner.

The episode with the taxidermy neighbor is in fact, funnier than the other review stated. you just have to be in tune with this type of humor and not be deterred by it when taken by surprise.

give it a try. the first season's episodes are a riot.
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3/10
Mildly entertaining sitcom
studioAT7 August 2014
No, Barbara isn't ever going to be remembered as a classic example of British comedy, but it did run for a while so clearly managed to entertain people - and that's no bad thing.

The performances from the cast can't be faulted. Headed by Gwen Taylor the series is mildly funny at times and then downright ridiculous the next.

When the scripts perhaps aren't as strong the acting does become a bit pantomime but there are usually some good moments to be found in each episode.

It is certainly better than much of the comedy we have to endure today.
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RUBBISH
ciarano11212 March 2003
They say that when you use upper case in emails, it signifies that you are shouting. Well regarding the British TV "comedy" series Barbara, starring Gwen Taylor & Sam Kelly I have to shout it, RUBBISH. This is easily the biggest load of tripe ever to be passed off as comedy, I thought "So Haunt Me" was bad, but this takes the biscuit. British comedy has gone steadily downhill in the last few years, mainly because they don't tackle anything new, and are prepared to lose themselves wrapped up in a middle class chintzy world of Dado rails, Garden sheds, and "More Tea Vicar?" The only good comedies recently, have been the comedy/dramas like Cold Feet and in particular "Teachers" which was buried on C4, and was superb. On the other hand the script writers and producers of "Barbara" clearly think that the best way to make us laugh is to insert canned laughter after practically every sentence,as if to signify to the viewer "OK laugh now". No No we are getting more mature that that now and we expect a comedy to make us think and laugh at the same time.
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Comedy......methinks not
Smegger1 December 2000
Trash drivel etc, and its back 4 a second series oh dear, the jokes are second hand, the acting if you can call it that is terrible. Its also on prime time television, while it deserves to be on in the graveyard slot. So many decent series' get canned, why does the rubbish keep coming back. Please stop this madness
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Chronically bad
crawfrordboon24 November 2003
Warning: Spoilers
It is hard to put into words quite how bad the so-called 'comedy' was. It is equally difficult for me to convey my amazement that this got a second series when the brilliant 'Believe Nothing' of 2002 did not. Check out the other reviews and these will give you a few more details on what exactly makes this show so awful.

I came across it after switching off my VCR one night last Christmas, it was early evening, around 6.30, and there was some horrendous middle aged sitcom in ITV1, with a plot revolving around the fact that someone had invited a corpse to a dinner party and spent the evening trying to explain the mute, expressionless, rigomortis-riven state of the body as "a bit under the weather."

That, pretty much, is the level we are working at here. Quite honestly, to see that kind of material at that time of day was nothing but disturbing. The sight of a dead body being carted around a living room set, in a shopping trolley, was not only shockingly tasteless and profoundly and totally unconcious of how unfunny if was, but it was also down right offensive. Not only to somebody who may have lost relatives, but to people who enjoy real comedy and had been unsuspectingly given this junk instead.

The one plus point would be the appearance of Elizabeth Carling from 'Boon', but she is wasted here as the only member of the cast who can act. True the bizarre and confused scripts, which cross middle class, middle aged domesticity with poorly done ideas that wouldn't be out of place in a disturbing Kubrick film, do not give the actors (if that is an appropriate description) much idea about how to go about their job.

I am not against disturbing images on television, so long as they are though-provoking and useful. The images of dead people being merrily subjected to humiliation at chirpy middle aged tea parties is disturbing, but far from provoking any thought, it was just mind-numbingly awful.

I watched a few episodes of this, whilst reading, just to get a sense of how bad it really is. And the answer is Very. A total waste of time and money, probably the most ineffective and poorly-thought out TV show I have ever seen.
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