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12 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Sometimes touching, often surprisingly biting and poignant

Author: smurfboy from United Kingdom
28 January 2005

A sitcom about a widow, her mother and her daughter living in three flats under one roof would never get made today - some producer with an eye on the under 25 market would probably insist on it being three young girls flatsharing. But back in the 80s, After Henry was the sort of gentle yet clever sitcom that thrived on British screens. The relationships between Sarah, Eleanor and Claire were so realistic you could imagine they really were related, with Prunella Scales successfully shaking off memories of Sybil Fawlty. Joan Sanderson as Eleanor is the real star here though. Sanderson may have ended up typecast as the slightly snooty, abrupt old woman, but like many typecast actresses, she ended up that way because she played that part so well.

The show seemed to be running slightly short on ideas in its final run, but was still well worth watching. Sadly, Joan Sanderson died just before the 1992 run was transmitted, so the decision over whether to commission a further series was made for ITV. In a way, this may have saved the show from an undignified end, as suburban sitcoms suddenly became very unfashionable in the recession struck early 90s. A shame really, as all ITV's attempts at 'modern' urban sitcoms were appalling.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Rare wit and sensitivity

Author: banshee-liam from New York, NY
15 February 2009

I discovered this show by chance on a trip to Ireland and was exhilarated by its comic freshness and unexpected poignancy. The three lead actresses and one lead actor had terrific chemistry, and the writing could make you belly laugh and sob almost simultaneously. It is a mystery to me that "After Henry" has not made its way to these shores, where I'm confident it would join the top ranks of most beloved Britcoms. Are the programmers at PBS all dead in their offices at this point? They would do well to retire their endless reruns of jukebox "specials" and seek out savvy, unfamiliar programs like "After Henry." (If I hear "Amazing Grace" warbled just one more time, there will be havoc in Mudville.)

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

One of Britians Best

Author: duchowy ( from Wisconsin, USA
8 August 2000

I enjoyed this show very much and only wish it would be running again. Very humorous with a good mix of characters. The lives of a grandmother, mother and daughter all living in a 3 storey flat. One of the Britian's BEST comedies ever made.

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2 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Better in its original form as a BBC radio series.

Author: Francis Harvey Little (ffranc) from South Wales, UK
21 October 2002

Television chiefs in Britain, desperate for new comedy ideas, seize on any successful radio series. When it first appeared, the idea of three generations of women under the same roof, and the sympathetic depiction of a gay man not in the first flush of youth were quite fresh. "After Henry" lost something in the transfer to TV, possibly because on TV it made fewer demands on the imagination. The cast, principally Joan Sanderson (qv) as Prunella Scales's mother and Benjamin Whitrow (qv) as the bookshop owner, were fresher, too.

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3 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Passable, But Not Exceptional

Author: supahz
20 March 2001

The Bottom Line - 2.5 out of 5

"After Henry" is a mid-grade Britcom. Britcom fans such as myself will enjoy seeing Prunella Scales (Mrs Fawlty from "Fawlty Towers"), as she is a fine actress and does admirably here. However, the show isn't memorably funny, the premise of multi-generational households is a well-tilled one and there's little new here, and the remaining cast is mediocre. The general impression left on the viewer after several episodes is that it's a rather run-of-the-mill program.

As an American who loves Britcoms, I try to watch and rent all that I can find on telly and in vid shops. I don't have the luxury of comparing "After Henry" to the regular programming that British viewers see each night. My comments on the show are in relation to the shows I have seen. The best shows would include "One Foot in the Grave", "Blackadder", "Fawlty Towers" and "Red Dwarf". "After Henry" is clearly not in that lofty class, but is passable. You could certainly find yourself watching worse... and better.

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