Eventmanager Brass - The Complete Series [DVD] [1983]:Eventmanager
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Brass - The Complete Series [DVD] [1983]:Eventmanager

THORINSTRUMENTS Published in October 23, 2018, 1:16 am
 Brass - The Complete Series [DVD] [1983]:Eventmanager

Brass - The Complete Series [DVD] [1983]:Eventmanager

David A. Edwards
David A. Edwards Reply to on 21 February 2018
Burlesque is one of the hardest forms of comedy to get right, and in the first two series, Brass succeeded brilliantly. The allusions to every cultural and political icon of the period, the mention of many historical figures (especially those yet to be famous, Scargill, Thatcher, Oppenheimer etc) and the merciless assault on the sacred literary cows of the early 20th century are all part of it. Forget mocking Catherine Cookson, that's an easy target! Will we ever take D.H. Lawrence seriously again?
It's part of a noble tradition -- Stella Gibbons' "Cold Comfort Farm" sending up the rural misery novels of Mary Webb and Thomas Hardy, Radio 4's "Gloomsbury" skewering the set around Virginia Woolf, and even Mel Brookes' films, which actually showed some respect and affection for their targets.
Brass also burlesqued the TV fashions of the time, from gritty Northern drama to precious Brideshead, all delivered in deadly and hilarious earnestness.
Sadly the attempt to revive the brand after 7 years was a well intentioned but rather dismal failure. Series 3 is perhaps worth watching once for a few good ideas early on. But you can see the quality, the "gag-rate", and also the actors' confidence dissolving as it limps to its end. The focus of parody got lost when the background period moved to the start of World War 2. There were no recognisable literary or TV drama genres to satirize.
But we still have the glory of those 26 episodes in Series 1 and 2.
Portland Bill
Portland Bill Reply to on 1 March 2018
It's grim up North, especially in Utterly, the mill town owned and controlled by Bradley Hardacre. But Hardacre's a man of the people who looks after his workers, aye, when the Depression set in he put his tenants' rents up to show confidence in the economy and cheer everyone up... Brass is very clever, very funny parody targeting stereotypes of all classes. Imagine E.M. Forster and D.H. Lawrence getting very drunk and writing a script together. It must have been difficult for the cast to keep a straight face delivering some of the lines, all of which are absolutely deadpan. George Fairchild's childlike wonder at being given his very own grape (just the one) in hospital is played so hilariously by Geoff Hinsliffe. By far my favourite character is Morris Hardacre, with his teddy bear Hesketh, living out a sort of Brideshead Revisited through a very cracked looking-glass. Morris's infatuation with Matthew Fairchild provides some of the wittiest dialogue of the series, for example when he offers to financially subsidise Matthew if he moves to Cambridge with him, and Matthew replies 'I couldn't take it from you Mr Morris.' It's droll, dark and deliciously irreverent.
M. Abbott
M. Abbott Reply to on 22 February 2016
Have only watched the first two episodes buy found myself clapping at certain parts it was that well done!
A parody of soaps like Dallas and brideshead and working class struggles in the greedy class system in the UK of the day.
Made during Thatchers ruling when the closing of pits was a priority so as well as a comedy it reflects the struggles relevant at the time.
Bradley hardacre The blueprint for the likes of Cameron or Thatcher,1983 to 2016 and nothings changed , just change Thatcher for Cameron and mills for steelworks!!!
You mean......
Aye lad,that's exactly what I mean!!!
Harry Armpit
Harry Armpit Reply to on 23 November 2012
I was really enjoying this series with it's brilliant scripts and the great Timothy West in his element. That has all been covered by other reviewers. However, towards the end of the second series I felt that it was starting to slip and that the third series was (apart from a few good lines) absolutely woeful. On that basis I certainly cannot understand how it gets so many 5 stars unless the authors have a vested interest in the product. I have donned my body-armour and await the assault.
Samweath Reply to on 6 July 2007
Bradley Hardacre is determined that the Lancashire town of Utterley shall not fall victim to the Great Depression. This is because he owns it - from the cottage hospital (the former cottage workhouse where he grew up on a diet of kicks and gruel) to the crutch factory where he first began to master the dark arts of capitalism and, finally, to the mine, the mill and the munitions factory from which he has earned a fortune. Now, having married a neurotic aristocrat and developed an abiding hatred of the working class among whom he spent his early years, Hardacre plans to climb to the pinnacle of British society - no matter what the cost (to be paid by others, naturally).

This is the premise of a inspired comedy from the early 1980s (apart from the final series, which was broadcast in 1990). The 32-episode series follows the fortunes of the Fairchild and Hardacre families as the relationships between their respective sons and daughters become intertwined in ever more bizarre ways. The whole thing is played very straight and deadpan, with suitably dramatic music and lots of theatrical touches.

Writers John Stevenson and Julian Roach hilariously exploit and discard one cliché after another, sending up Brideshead Revisited, Sherlock Holmes and Private's Progress among many other classic genres. In addition to the outrageously stereotyped characters themselves, brief glimpses of supposedly historical figures are also seen - `Murdoch' from the Utterley Bugle, `Fleming' in the laboratory and `von Braun' the fireworks engineer, among many others.

Quick delivery and sheer wealth of material means more than one viewing is needed to spot all the cultural and historical references. The acting is a delight throughout and the plot is enjoyably complex. Only the third series (in which Hardacre is determined that Britain should resist the Nazi onslaught for as long as he can turn a profit) shows hints of weakness, with some repetition of jokes and unresolved plot elements.

However, I would unreservedly recommend Brass to anyone who appreciates good verbal comedy and has some familiarity with the numerous genres on which the series is based (or debased).
Mr. I. J. Randall
Mr. I. J. Randall Reply to on 4 December 2017
Series 1 and 2 still hold up very well after all the years. Notable for it's lack of inane canned laughter, but it doesn't need it. They needn't have bothered with a third series though so don't waste your time watching it. Some of the excellent actors from the first two series, notably Geoffrey Hinsliffe, presumably had more sense than to get involved.
Superman at 65
Superman at 65 Reply to on 10 August 2017
Brilliantly funny comedy which has stood the test of time. If you share my sense of humour then prepare to crack ribs laughing. Timothy West is Bradley Hardacre - probably his best comedic role ever.
W. Baker
W. Baker Reply to on 5 March 2013
Is it really thirty years since this was on our television screens? Brilliantly written and superbly cast, Brass has long been one of my all-time television favourites and the discovery that it was available on DVD made my day. Although Timothy West is clearly the leading character, the "star", Brass owes much of its humour to a very strong cast of actors, able to portray and caricature life in a nothern mill town in an age gone by. This was a very funny series when it was first shown and it still is - and it still makes me laugh.
cactusroger! Reply to on 28 April 2017
OK the production is a bit clunky, but it's all one great pick p*** take, and brilliantly done. How Timothy West keeps a straight face when delivering some of those lines shows what a 100% excellent "proper" actor he is. I was laughing again within seconds! :-)
Shirley-Kate Reply to on 11 March 2012
Brass is funnier if you know a bit of history I think. It's set in the 1930s and has references to the Kennedy family when Joe was American Ambassador. The scientist Alexander Fleming (he discovered penicillin in a dish of mould) gets fired by Bradley Hardacre because his corner of the lab is filthy. 'Look at the mould in this saucer - you could grow tomatoes on that!' I watch every episode twice as jokes get missed first time round.
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