This series was set in a fictional Yorkshire town and based on the books by David Nobbs, the creator of Reginald Perrin and Henry Pratt. Each episode took place at a different social ... See full summary »
Snobbish dentist Laurence Rodenhurst and his flirtatious wife Liz see their socially conscious daughter Jenny marry Paul,scruffy son of lower class Ted and Rita Simcock. At the reception Jenny argues...
Rita is marrying Geoffrey though Liz,annoyed that Simon lost his job through Elvis,is hoping the bride will again fail to show. She is disappointed but Rita is staggered to find Ted and Sandra have ...
Liz and Neville get married,though Laurence's recent suicide throws a shadow on the proceedings.Jenny and Paul have reconciled as she is pregnant again, Elvis is dating Carol and Simon,under Elvis's ...
A British Sub goes missing at the end of the war leaving only one crew member surviving. Everyone believes it lost to the bottom of the Baltic Sea, then 40 years later it reappears without ... See full summary »
Arthur Harris is a happily married man who returns from his job to discover that his wife, Fiona, is leaving him. Devastated he gets really drunk and tries to commit suicide. After a few ... See full summary »
Arkwright is a tight-fisted shop owner in Doncaster, who will stop at nothing to keep his profits high and his overheads low, even if this means harassing his nephew Granville. Arkwright's ... See full summary »
This series was set in a fictional Yorkshire town and based on the books by David Nobbs, the creator of Reginald Perrin and Henry Pratt. Each episode took place at a different social function (a "do") and followed the changing lives of two families, the working-class Simcocks and the middle-class Rodenhursts, together with their respective friends, Rodney and Betty Sillitoe, and Neville Badger. Written by
Martin Underwood <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I have just caught up with this and it is as brilliant as people said it was at the time. But nearly 20 years have passed, and some things now jar. Nothing is as distant as the recent past. Paul and Jenny as the right-on, ideologically sound, politically correct couple are great, especially the way Jenny is boring and humourless and manipulates everybody by constantly bursting into tears and rushing from the room. People like that certainly were around back in those days. But they were hard to send up possibly because they were so earnest and smug they could never see a joke, let alone one against themselves. I like the way Liz begs Jenny to stop the "progressive preaching". But there's something wrong about Jenny. Her clothes and hairdo are too conservative (though they're dull and unsexy because fashion is a capitalist plot, and being sexy is pandering to patriarchy...). Maybe they thought the audience wouldn't get it if she spoke like that, or wore the kind of clothes a feminist eco-protester would have worn. Her constant sermons seem to be a way of explicating her far-out ideas to an audience who may never have heard them before. Another false note is struck by Rita's conversion from downtrodden, shy, unconfident wife and mother to liberated single woman (with big, big hair and a ghastly shiny outfit) just by having her husband leave her for another woman. She too starts spouting political sermons and reveals that she met her new boyfriend at a CND rally. She is a heroine for the late 80s and we're not meant to laugh at her as we laugh at Paul and Jenny.
I'd forgotten that way back then ideas that are now being embraced by the Conservative Party genuinely divided people. Conventional people had conservative ideas; if you wanted to go vegetarian or campaign against nuclear weapons you became a weirdo, a lefty, an unconventional person. Your original social group would look at you askance or possibly eject you. You might have to join another.
These are flaws that time has revealed. The rest stands up as great drama, acting and observation. Looking forward to catching up with the second series.
14 of 17 people found this review helpful.
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