• Philip Bryer

A Touch of Basil

Updated: Apr 16


In one of those, 'I haven’t seen these for ages and the video cassettes I got for my birthday years ago are in the loft, and anyway so’s the VCR,' moments, I downloaded the full set of Fawlty Towers from the Sky box and flicked one on the other night.

As the string intro drifted through the air Mrs B glanced up and remarked, “I never liked Fawlty Towers”. Surely this isn’t possible? “Never saw much of it.” Nonsense, surely everyone has seen every episode at least a dozen times and knows them all by heart? Apparently not.

We watched it together, the one with the builders. Complete with its casual offensiveness towards builders, the Irish, Irish builders in particular, and of course, the Spanish. Then we saw the one when the psychiatrists came to stay, and Mrs B enjoyed them both. We watched another, the Mrs Richards, Dragonfly, vase episode, which also went down well. A few days later I decided she was ready for Gourmet Night. However...

“It reminded me of why I didn’t like it in the first place. Manuel hopping around with the duck on the end of his shoe, and…”

“How about when Basil thrashes the car with the twigs?”

“Which also reminded me of why I didn’t like it.”

My confidence somewhat shaken, I lined up the Waldorf Salad one a few nights later. That’ll do it, I thought, Basil meets his match and we’ll be back in business.

We watched it, in something approaching 50% silence, and at the end I asked her what she thought.

“Good God, all that SHOUTING.”

Which, whether you agree with her or not, is such a concise and incisive take that someone really should give this woman a job as a TV reviewer.

#FawltyTowers #BasilFawlty #Manuel #Waldorfsalad #GourmetNight

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