Synopsis by Hal Erickson
If there is such a thing as a public-service sitcom, the long-running British effort The Setbacks would certainly qualify. First aired by Thames Television in 1980, the series instructed viewers as to how to avoid accidents by using the incredibly maladroit Setback family as an example of what not to do. Thames went so far as to issue flyers to the viewers at home, stating in no uncertain terms what the Setbacks were doing wrong. Yielding 13 ten-minute episodes and 12 15-minute installments over a six-year period, The Setbacks narrowed its focus during its fifth season on the air by concentrating on the clumsiest member of the family, son Barry Setback (played first by Andrew Paul, then by Glyn Grimstead). Accordingly, the series was briefly retitled Barry Setback and the Big Wide World.