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Sex and the Sitcom, BBC Four | reviews, news & interviews

Sex and the Sitcom, BBC Four

Sex and the Sitcom, BBC Four

A high-class tele-essay explains why sexual frustration still underpins British comedy

'Rising Damp': No sex for Mr Rigsby, he's a British sitcom character

Whatever you think of Friends, you have to concede it was good in the sack. If there were jokes to be had about sexual fantasy, sexual abandon and sexual incontinence, they were had. The one with free porn, the one with Rachel dressing as Princess Leia for Ross etc. The one area they avoided was sexual inhibition. It was all very refreshing, all very welcome, unless you happened to be watching with addicted youngish daughters. I was appalled at all the sex. No doubt this was a case of conditioning: in the sitcoms I grew up with sex was a dirty word. Naturally they were all British.

You couldn’t quite tell what Leslie Phillips regretted: the decline in moral standards, or that it didn’t happen on his watch

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