Gary was seen as a sort of pathetic but loveable loser. These days, he’d just be seen as plain pathetic. He makes comments like: ‘Life isn’t fair, if it was I’d be shacked up with my 19 year old niece.’ He and his flatmate are constantly trying to shag the girl upstairs. In fact, put any pretty female near them and they’re hitting on her in the creepiest, leeriest way. The only thing that makes it bearable is how often it failed.
I have an affection for this show. I was born in 1982: I was watching this at the same time I was into Red Dwarf, Blackadder, The Young Ones, and Bottom. In fact, most things Rik Mayal (RIP) was in wouldn’t make it today, as people get offended so easily, and my god was he good at being crass, sexist, rude, brash, and creepy. Also funny as hell but, well, you probably had to be there. Bottom would definitely not do well these days but, tbh, I’m not sure anyone other than me and my friends liked it at the time! It certainly wasn’t popular with the parents.
The sexism wouldn’t be seen as funny today. During a boardgame called ‘Who’s the Postman: An Exciting Career Game For Young Folk,’ there isn’t a job for female players, just ‘someone’s wife.’ Gary’s girlfriend, Dorothy, is the voice of feminism and equality, but in reality wouldn’t even be with such a dickhead these days. Gary tells her that her job as a nurse ‘isn’t a real job’. These days, people break up over shit like that (rightly so) and it wouldn’t be funny, realistic, or admired, for a strong female lead character to stick with someone who talks to her like shit and openly salivates over her best friend, oh and freaks out when he thinks his new flatmate might be gay, even using the dreaded expression ‘It’s not normal.’ It’s not even like he becomes a better person or learns to be tolerant; no, it just turns out the guy’s straight after all. So that’s that issue brushed over.
To my knowledge, it was a completely white show. I can’t recall any other ethnicities. Perhaps because, if there was, it would have been completely in character for Gary to have said something awful about it, and the producers knew that that was going ‘too far.’ There is a Portuguese girl, who works as Gary’s cleaner, and of course her accent is mocked, oh and Gary tries to shag her.
I think the eye-rolling misogyny and homophobia of the 90’s is so intolerable now that shows like MBB would flop at series 1. Still, the comedy highlights, like Tony pulling his tooth out, the episode called ‘Drunk’, and any scene with George and Anthea in it, still cheers me to this day. It was Lad Culture, all booze and birds. And we couldn’t help thinking that, underneath it all, Gary and Dorothy really loved each other. And, one day, Gary might grow up.
It’s all on Netflix. If you want a glimpse at how bad it is watch Series 2 Episode 2. Maybe then people will realise Friends isn’t so bad by comparison. There’s a huge difference between a show where a guy is uncomfortable with his son having a doll, and a show that still casually uses the term ‘homo.’
I also loooovvvveee bad puns. They make connections in my head even if they’re a stretch. Just the other day I replied to a post about a Boardgame I backed on Kickstarter called Thwarted. The printer screwed up and thought the print order was supposed to be delivered in March rather than December.
(Insert Monty Hall example here. Then draw a matrix of initial options to show how you should track the wrong door, not the right one. Then explain how they will never forget the “correct” answer because I just made a counter-intuitive problem intuitive.
Munchkin. User mentioned this and it can be very funny, but much more so if those playing are into the theme of the game (the original munchkin lovingly makes fun of the game D&D, and there’s a superhero version, a Conan the Barbarian one, sci-fi, cthulus, zombies, super heroes, vampires, etc..
Codenames is fantastic for slightly smaller groups (4–10; 6–8 works best). You layout a grid of cards with words on them. Each team appoints a spymaster (judge) who looks at a key that shows which cards are a spies for each side and the spymasters take turns giving single word clues to let their team ferret out the spies. There’s a version that uses pictures in place of words too. My wife does not like this game because English is her second language and she comes from another culture, making it difficult to give clues for guessing the words — but everyone else seems to go gaga for it.
Forbidden Island and it’s sequel, Forbidden Desert, are relatively quick, simple, and have good replay value. Players work together to retrieve artifacts before elements of the board change and make it impossible to complete their mission. If you ever feel it’s too easy, you can increase the difficulty very easily.
Dixit is a wonderfully illustrated game that plays best with 4–6 players. Each card has a surrealistic painting on it and players try to match paintings to clues and guess the correct the actual card while getting others to vote for theirs.