Old Guys Will (Not) Be Old Guys

The Old Guys: Roger Lloyd Pack as Tom, Clive Swift as Roy

(L to R) Tom (Roger Lloyd Pack) and Roy (Clive Swift) prepare to get married

Meet Tom and Roy, two mismatched housemates who just happen to be seniors but, don’t tell them that. These two are Zoomers all the way who spend most of their time making jokes about the situations their ages bring about. They quibble, compete, ogle at and flirt with their beautiful neighbour and poke fun at each other like a couple of rowdy teenagers.

Tom: “Anyway, you’re the one who constantly needs a wee.”
Roy: “No, I don’t.”
Tom: “Yes, you do. All you ever do is wee, or make preparations for when and where you can next have a wee.”
Roy: “Everyone has to pass water, Tom.”
Tom: “Yeah, but not like you. You pass gallons. Where does it come from? All I hear in the night is ‘click, pad, pad, pad, click, weeeeeee, click, pad, pad, pad, click.’ Three times a night at least.”

Whether it’s challenging each other to see who can hold off from weeing the longest, or falling over themselves to make sure they’re invited to their sexy neighbour’s party, Tom and Roy tumble from one hilariously uncomfortable situation to the next. Tom (Roger Lloyd Pack), the slightly disheveled, more irresponsible of the two, spends his time trying very hard not to act his age. Roy (Clive Swift) is the straighter arrow, perpetually annoyed by Tom, still smarting from his divorce and longing to fill the void its left. Roy and Tom spend much of their time sarcastically pointing out each other’s differences enough to know that their differences are what make them such good friends.

The Old Guys: Roger Lloyd Pack as Tom, Clive Swift as Roy

Roy nurses Tom after a fall

The Old Guys: Roger Lloyd Pack as Tom, Jane Asher as Sally, Clive Swift as Roy

Tom (Roger Lloyd Pack) and Roy (Clive Swift) lust over Sally (Jane Asher)

Tom: “I’ve never had a hobby.”
Roy: “Well, you must have had as a child.”
Tom: “No, I never got into anything long enough. I had a coronation mug from when the Queen got crowned and I thought I might collect coronation mugs but, she simply never died.”

The main cast is rounded out by the cheerfully patient, sought after neighbour, Sally (Jane Asher) and Tom’s goofy, endearing daughter, Amber (Katharine Parkinson). The Old Guys made its debut on BBC One in January 2009 and aired for two seasons until August 2010. The British Comedy Guide says that The Old Guys “is a wonderful example of grown-up but largely family-friendly comedy.”

The Old Guys: Roger Lloyd Pack as Tom, Katherine Parkinson as Amber, Jane Asher as Sally and Clive Swift as Roy

(L to R): Tom (Roger Lloyd Pack), Amber (Katherine Parkinson), Sally (Jane Asher) and Roy (Clive Swift)

In this clip, Tom tries his best to impress a lovely, new librarian.

The chemistry between Lloyd Pack and Swift is fluid and unforced, even through uproarious situations like agreeing to marry each other so that Tom can collect a pension windfall.

Tom: “Marry me, Roy.”
Roy: “You’re drunk. What strength is this lager?”
Tom: “6.5. Look, I mean it Roy. Civil partnership is the same as marriage. If we were civily partnered, I’d get my extra pension and we could split the eight grand, yeah?”
Roy: “No way! No! What about all that bed stuff?
Tom: “There’s no bed stuff. We’d simply be marrying for tax concessions and state handouts, without any love or sex, like the Royal Family.”

Through all the squabbling, contention and misunderstandings, we get to know two men who truly have a strong bond of friendship and a zest for life. These old guys may be aging slightly disgracefully, but we get to have a grand old time watching them do it.

The Old Guys airs Tuesday nights at 8:30pm ET/5:30pm PT on VisionTV.

- Henry Lees

all photos | (c) BBC 2009

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