Respectable British sitcom from Independent Television about the middle-class in their middle-age. Short-lived (26 episodes) but much admired, the sitcom was all about the simple ... See full summary »
Respectable British sitcom from Independent Television about the middle-class in their middle-age. Short-lived (26 episodes) but much admired, the sitcom was all about the simple relationship between Mike and Laura, two fairly unlikely individuals to come together and form an unmarried union. Nearing 40, Laura (played by Judi Dench) appears perplexed most of the time... Mike sports a perpetual grin. The two come together at the insistence of Laura's younger/cuter sister Helen (at a party) and his sweet, inept and endearing character sparks something in the bossy, stubborn, big-softy Laura. They never quite hit it off but there's something there that keeps them together. Played by real-life husband and wife comedy duo, this ITV production was in the same vein as The Good Life, Butterflies and Ever Decreasing Circles. Written by
At a party given by her sister Helen (Susan Penhaligon) in the first episode, Laura (Judi Dench) is reading the novel "Bouquet Of Barbed Wire", which had been dramatized for television five years earlier starring Penhaligon. The edition Laura is reading features Susan Penhaligon on the book's front cover and Dench makes a knowing reference to this by peering confusedly at the picture as if to indicate the face in it looks very familiar to Laura See more »
This is just the kind of wonderful English comedy that American television would buy and then immediately strip all its charm away by loading it down with sexual innuendo and casting actors wrong for the parts.
Judi Dench is admirable as an actor because she is willing to take on the mundane and see its dramatic possibilities. She has never been a snob about television comedy roles. Her work in it is usually better than 95% of movies filmed. Her husband, Michael Williams, is a master at physical comedy that reveals his character's state of mind. There is even pathos in the series as each character learns that what he or she thought was "settling" is actually a golden opportunity because the other person has valuable qualities.
It's a shame that the world did not fully recognize Mr. William's brilliant comedic talent before his untimely death.
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