Have You Met My Mate Tom Good?

Today I want to talk a little bit about a favourite sitcom of mine from the mid 1970’s, The Good Life.

Anyone living in the UK will be familiar with it as it’s repeated almost constantly on UK Gold but for those of you unfamiliar with the show I’ll give you a short synopsis and then talk about why I love this show so much and why lots of things in it resonate with me.

The basic premise of the show is about a man called Tom Good who has just turned 40 and is reflecting on his life and his place in the world.

He works as a draughtsman for a local plastics firm in London and like a lot of people today, he’s starting to question the meaning of his life. He finds no value in his job whatsoever and his latest assignment – which is to design plastic toy animals which end up as gifts in cereal packets – leaves him feeling uninspired to say the least.

So, what is he to do?

Well to cut a long story short the series continues with Tom and his wife Barbara making the life changing decision to quit the rat race and try their hands at self sufficiency. Each episode follows their adventures documenting their successes and failures with often hilarious consequences.

I have to say I love this show A LOT. Sure it’s corny and cheesy at times with a generous layer of shmaltzyness buy hey, so what!! In todays world we are surrounded by far too many cynical people so I reckon there’s room for a bit of shmaltzyness now and again.

What really stands out about this show though is the quality of the writing and the acting by all concerned. By the end of the series both Tom and Barabara ultimately find the whole experiment into self sufficiency incredibly hard but also incredibly rewarding and he finally finds a real quality of life.

This is where the themes of the series strike a chord with me. I’ve never really known what I want to do with my life and it’s such a shame and a big frustration also because work is such a big part of all our lives these days it would be nice to spend the time doing something laudible and enjoyable which provided value to society.

Now of course not all of us are meant to feel this way and some people actually are quite happy doing a simple day to day job and that’s fine and right. After all, there are many things which are vital to the smooth running of society which involve doing less than inspirational jobs – put it this way, if your favourite football team and lets say  . . . your local refuse collector went on strike for a month who do you think you’d miss the most?

So the point is, I’m not trying to say that because I seek something of more value through my work I’m worth more than someone who is quite happy doing a menial job – not at all, all I am saying is that I feel a deep sense of unfulfillment and like Tom Good I’d like to try and find out what ‘it’ is.

I’ve included the first episode of the Good Life below for anyone who’s interested to see it. I hope you enjoy it.

1 Comment

  • Alex Mc

    Reply Reply January 14, 2010

    *Nudge Nudge*

    You should defo getting posting again mate.

    Especially with your new found notoriety on the WF!

    I loved this program by the way although slightly before my time. Brit-Comedy (the classics) are still the best in my opinion.

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