Why The Royle Family is still relevant, 20 years on
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Despite the success of TV titan Gogglebox in the last ten years, what may seem like a ridiculous pastime - watching others watch tv- was first made fashionable way back in 1998, when British sitcom The Royle Family first hit our screens. Despite its regular screenings on GOLD, a clearly outdated set and a cast with very few who are left with us, The Royle Family is a timeless classic in its quintessential depiction of British family life, with comedy that continues to create impact even in its 20th year. The Royle Family first hit our screens back in 1998, and depicts an incredibly normal, working class family, firmly rooted in the North of England. The show literally shows nothing more or less than a family crowded round a black box television, bickering over who cleans the pots and gossiping about the small-town characters. And yet, it still manages to be comedic genius. Writers Caroline Aherne and Craig Cash, who also play the young and ‘bone-idle’ couple Denise and Dave write such effortless comedy, that its classic charm remains timeless, and relatable to British families even today. Jim, the slovenly, smart-arse patriarch is a character who perfectly balances a love/hate reaction amongst the audience, with a careless attitude that is admirable and simultaneously infuriating. His character is the perfect advocate for the presentation of questionable morals, outdated political correctness and gross stereotypes- and this is just what the sitcom does best. Things have moved on considerably since the 90s - there is greater awareness surrounding the different ways in which people choose to live their lives, the battle of the sexes has made considerable steps in the right direction, and kitchen sink politics appear to be eradicated in the media, with a tentative and cautious approach to political correctness being applied in almost every image we see on the screen.
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