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Home thoughts from abroad: Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and condition-of England comedy under Thatcher

Knowles, J (2024) Home thoughts from abroad: Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and condition-of England comedy under Thatcher. In: Marshall, R, (ed.) New Waves: 1980s TV in Britain. Out There Publications, London, pp. 206-230. ISBN 9798876530127

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The comedy drama series Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, broadcast on ITV for its first two series (1983-1986) enjoyed both substantial popularity and has also received critical recognition. However, it has received little critical attention in comparison with its peers in 1980s television drama or comedy, something this essay aims to redress. Auf Wiedersehen, Pet’s identity in the marketplace of early to mid-1980s British television shows its hybridity and ability to capitalise on developments in television genres, in broadcaster profiles and branding, and in the relationship between viewers, TV shows and the cultural politics of the time. The show uses hybrid generic televisual forms to convey the shifting aspects of its central theme, men ‘out of place’ in terms of their personal lives, social identities and sense of masculinity as an increasingly embattled arena of life. It also indicates the climate of TV production as one which encouraged and valued explorations of the everyday as political. Auf Wiedersehen, Pet uses its comedy framing to set up what we can see as a condition-of-England comedy, enabling the examination of contemporary social life and politics but also fulfilling the requirements of a mainstream show and entertaining large and varied audiences.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Television; 1980s; comedy; masculinity; class
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0441 Literary History
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Divisions: Humanities & Social Science
Publisher: Out There Publications
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2024 15:53
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2024 15:53
Editors: Marshall, R
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22610
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