Monday, November 29, 2010

We May Not Be the Young Ones Anymore

The Young Ones, a BBC comedy that I used to watch on PBS back in my college days, hasn't held up to the test of time, at least for me. I bought the series a few weeks back on Amazon, and finally put the first DVD in to watch last night. I was disappointed. The show seemed flat and forced at the same time. There were moments that were just painful to watch, and that was just the first episode.

I guess my taste in comedy has changed over the years, just like my taste in RPGs has changed. I used to really enjoy AD&D 2e, Complete Handbooks and all, but I'd never consider running it these days. My tastes have changed. I want something a bit more streamlined in my current day RPG choices.

I hope Black Adder holds up better. I'm going to pop that into the DVD player tonight and see if I have any taste left for classic British Comedy.

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  1. We live in an incredibly creative age. With so much really good new stuff coming out, who has time to go back and re-enjoy old stuff. The very fact that you've seen it at least once already sort of kills it for you--at least it does for me. Much as I love Johnny Weismuller's Tarzan movies, I have no difficulty getting up and walking away from one.

  2. Black Adder to me has withstood the test of time (for the most part ... that very last "special" the one where they time travel is kinda goofy ... the Roman part is still hilarious though ... the rest of the series is classic IMO).

    I know what you mean though ... its internet suicide to talk about 3.5 or 4e ... but for me this is why I actually really like and have enjoyed 4e. It is streamlined ... we get together (all the former 3.5 fiends who knew that system like the back of their hands) and we have fun. Character builder is awesome ... monster builder rocks for the DM ... its fast, fun and furious gaming for our group. I know many others haven't had that experience ... and they find what works for their group ... I say bravo to them ... whether that is 3.5 or Labyrinth Lord or OSRIC ... awesome for them!! I know that Pathfinder is providing the same for folks who can't leave the dear friend of 3.5 behind as well. My point isn't to start a version war rant/flame ... but to just use it to illustrate that times change ... tastes change. The vogue in the late 80s through mid 90s was big "simulator" systems like Shadowrun, GURPS, RIFTS, I'd toss 2nd Ed D&D in here too, etc. where there was a rule for every possible occasion, endless "gear" books, endless historical era/setting books, etc. What I personally (not a judgment statement just my personal preference) look for now are streamlined rule sets. In our gaming group we play 4e, Savage Worlds and a plethora of indie RPGs (Spirit of the Century, Mouse Guard, Dogs in the Vineyard, Apocalypse World, Fiasco, etc.). Some people in the group won't do indie stuff ... some don't want to try 4e ... so we do different games on different nights of the week. It works for us. In an age where people can play basic dungeon crawl style D&D via WoW (yucky!!) and not have to leave their home ... and where we've all been internet-ized ... instant gratification seems to reign supreme. So prying people away from their home PC/console is victory for me. Games where one has to spend hours just to create a character or hours to do basic actions in a game just doesn't work anymore. I have wanted to do Dark Heresy/Rogue Trader and/or Warhammer Fantasy 2nd Edition ... no takers ... people look at the rules and just say no. At least in our group. I'm sure there are tons of second edition D&D groups out there and tons of GURPs, RIFTS, Shadowrun groups going strong ... bravo to those folks ... but for a guy like me who has moved to a new area and had to fully rebuild his gaming group ... finding a single person who wants to play games like that has yet to happen. So we play 4e, Savage Worlds, etc. I have tried to get people to do some old school 1st ed style D&D ... but thus far no takers. No one in my group is interested in solving puzzles and overcoming brain teaser traps. I think I'm going to have to wait until my kids are old enough to play to be able to experience anything old school again. Its sad but time marches on and many times old stuff falls by the wayside ... not everything can be a classic ... some stuff just gets tossed in the heap of pop cultural antiquity.

  3. Black Adder will hold up. Much of it is genius, IMO.

  4. I definitely agree with you about the first episode of the Young Ones, but I've found that later ones were definitely more funny. Plus, the musical guests were all fabulous (including Madness, the Damned and Motorhead).

    However, Blackadder is pure goddamned genius on every runthrough, especially II and IV. It gets even funnier the more you know about the historical period ("Who do you think I am, Wat Tyler? You can have a day off when you die.")

  5. Well, I watched the latest Walking Dead tonight... Black Adder will have to wait until wed nite, 'casue tomorrow is Date Nite for me and the fiancee ;)

  6. Black Adder is awesome, and will stand the test of time. Rowan Atkins is a genius.

    I agree with Jamie, TYOs gets better after that first episode, but sometimes I still go 'huh?'. Sometimes I think they didn't know what kind of show they wanted to do.


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