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George and Mildred Roper are forced to leave their home in South Kensington (as the landlords in Man About the House (1973)) when they receive a compulsory purchase order from the council. Mildred talks George into buying a nice middle-class house in suburbia, and they move next door to Jeffrey and Ann Fourmile. Unfortunately, Mildred's dream of upward mobility seems doomed to failure, as George relentlessly embarrasses her in every way possible. Poor Mildred not only has to cope with George's gormless behavior, she has to try and deal with the the snobbish Jeffrey as well as her rich-bitch sister Ethel and mad old mum. Written by
Roseanne Hodge <email@example.com>
British television sitcoms of the '70s have acquired a reputation for being shallow and purile, and 'George and Mildred' is often cited as a supreme example of this.
Nothing could be further from the truth, this sitcom really worked. There was real chemistry between the characters, and while the plots were shallow there was a great deal of comedy present.
Developed as a spin-off from 'Man About The House', it centres around a working class couple (George and Mildred) who move into a middle class neighbourhood. Mildred (Yootha Joyce) is determined to overcome her lowly roots, whilst George (Brian Murphy) is working class and proud of it!!
Their new neighbours are the Fourmiles, Geoffrey is a out-and-out snob, but his wife, Ann, is down to Earth. They have a young son, Tristram.
Most of the comedy revolves around the antics of George antagonising Geoffrey, whilst their respective wives try desperately to maintain tranquility.
The concept of neighbour / class conflict is the mainstay of many a sitcom, but seldom works as well as this. The chemistry between the characters is perfect, especially George and Mildred, I think that the sitcom would probably have failed with anyone else playing these parts.
The success of this sitcom lead to a film version in 1980, but the film never really captured the vital spark that made the television series such a hit.
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