John Lacey comes home one evening to discover a letter from his wife (starting with "Dear John" - hence the title) telling him that she is leaving him. Lonely and now divorced, the series ...
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Frances de la Tour,
John Lacey comes home one evening to discover a letter from his wife (starting with "Dear John" - hence the title) telling him that she is leaving him. Lonely and now divorced, the series tells of his adventures as John joins a divorcee club (where lonely divorced people can meet) and meets the strange members within... Written by
Lee Horton <Leeh@tcp.co.uk>
Alongside the over-rated and welcome-outstaying Only Fools & Horses, John Sullivan wrote this little beauty. It only ran for two years, in my early teens, but I remember it as if it were yesterday. Rewatching it on VHS recently has been such a treat.
Pathos. Bittersweet. These are some of the best words to describe the rather cynical and negative look at love that is presented here. Poor old John: living in a vile flat, paying for his ex-wife's nice house and the ex-wife's boyfriend's new car. Unfulfilled at work. Desperate for excitement. The "One 2 One Club" is a club for divorcées, singles and lonely-hearts, and the complex personalities who attend, week-in week-out, become the stars of the show. Some very understated performances and some startlingly heart-rending moments give Dear John a real element of ordinariness that OF&H lacks.
Louise's catchphrase, "were there any sexual problems?", as she leans in for a bit of gossip. Ralph's bizarre Polish ex-wife and his curious mode of transport. The OTT Kirk, who hides a truly shocking secret. The Ice Maiden "Frigid Brigid" (wonderfully played by Belinda Lang), whose determination to remain single raises many questions about why she attends the club. Mrs Arnott, who rarely says anything. The terribly cackling woman whose nerves always get the better of her. These people, mostly, seen very real: again something lacking in OF&H.
Best moment? When John is offered the chance to spend Christmas with his ex-wife. Something he has been dreaming of for weeks. Until Mrs Lemenski, the angry next-door neighbour, gives him a better offer. Marvellous stuff. Truly believable, and very much worth tracking down on VHS (it's out there somewhere!).
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