Goodnight Sweetheart – One of the Most Underrated BBC Sitcoms?
When people talk about some of the great sitcoms to have been made by the BBC, they often mention series such as Only Fools And Horses, Porridge, The Royle Ramily and The Office, but Goodnight Sweetheart hardly ever gets a mention. Okay so maybe it isn’t up there with some of these great sitcoms, but it is definitely underrated.
Goodnight Sweetheart was shown over six series in the 1990s and yet it’s a sitcom that’s been largely forgotten by British audiences. This seems odd because it was very popular when it was first broadcast, and yet you only find this series repeated occasionally on digital channels such as ITV3.
The show starred Nicholas Lyndhurst as an ordinary everyday man living in the 1990s who had one extraordinary ability – he could travel back in time to the 1940s. This sounds a ridiculous premise but when you actually watch the series you really do get drawn into it, and it almost becomes completely believable.
The writing by Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran is absolutely brilliant and they capture life in war-torn London perfectly. They really bring that era to life and it’s fascinating seeing how the main character, Gary Sparrow, lives two separate lives (with two different girlfriends) in completely different times.
It’s not really laugh-out-loud funny but it doesn’t really set out to be. It’s the time-travel element that really adds something extra to this show. There are plenty of funny moments, but for me it’s the brilliant storylines, both in the 1940s and the 1990s, that provide the real entertainment. Plus of course there is the supporting cast who are also superb, particularly Victor McGuire who plays Ron Wheatcroft, Gary’s best mate in the present day.
Overall Goodnight Sweetheart is an excellent sitcom and certainly a lot better than some of the recent sitcoms to have been made by the BBC such as My Family and The Green Green Grass. While it may not be the funniest sitcom ever made, it is still a highly enjoyable and very well-written TV series.