Blind Men (ITV, 1997-1998)
This entry in the “were there any decent 90s ITV sitcoms?” series made me realise something. Excluding pilots, and the ones that had launched in the 80s but continued to run into the 90s, there were about 40 or 50 sitcoms that got at least one full series on ITV in the 90s. The vast majority of these didn’t reach a second series, while the BBC did much better by comparison.
Looking back, it is interesting to see how a new sitcom is sold to viewers, and why this really will be the one that’ll take off with them. Maybe it could be because of the writers, the cast, or it could be because of the actual situation. What was Blind Men able to offer then. Well firstly, one of the writers was Nick Hancock, best-known at the time for hosting They Think It’s All Over.
The cast contained a few names that people might actually be familiar with, including Jesse Birdsall and Tasmin Greig (who was also in The Archers at this point). Now, about that situation. Blind Men was shown in a Friday evening slot, and is set at Luxus Interiors, a company that specialises in selling window blinds. Among the staff is Graham, along with various other employees.
Graham is always the one who thinks that he comes out on top. But then one day, Phil joins the team. He also thinks that he is a success, so a rivalry soon forms between Graham and Phil. And then, Phil and his family move to live near Graham, meaning that their rivalry is not now just in the workplace, it becomes a 24-hour thing as they are in contact all the time.
And this is where the comedy comes in? It’s fair to say that their wives watch on, and begin to wonder if they have got married to two bickering boys as they constantly wind each other up. And well, this turned out to be yet another sitcom that only lasted for one series. Viewers became indifferent to the antics rather quickly even by their own standards, along with criticism of predictable plots.
There has been no DVD release of Blind Men, and even Forces TV or That’s TV haven’t given this a repeat run, and they’d show any rubbish. A few years on from this though, there were a couple of attempts at an American adaption, one featuring that guy who was in 3rd Rock From The Sun (and no I don’t know what he’s squinting at), but this got no further than a pilot.