Early Doors and the Working Class Idyll

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This article offers an analysis of Early Doors, a situation comedy set in a dowdy Manchester pub where the downbeat regulars are badly out of step with the enterprising and modernising tendencies of contemporary Britain. With its sepia-tinged style and depiction of a white, working class surviving intact, Early Doors is not an obvious candidate for inclusion in a volume on radical television drama. But this article argues that The Grapes, the pub at the centre of the sitcom, represents a working-class idyll, where the virtues of welfare, solidarity and free time prevail. This might not make the comedy radical in any conventional sense, but in its eschewing of aggressive individualism, competition and joyless, endless and flexible labour, Early Doors is a small antidote to an era defined by austerity imposed from above.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-240
JournalJournal of British Cinema and Television
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2013


  • Early Doors
  • working class
  • situation comedy.


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