In 1939, young Oliver, Calypso, Polly and Walter visit friends and family in Cornwall. Spanish Civil War is over and WW2 has begun, so they enjoy their love life while they can. Decades later, they gather again, this time for a funereal.
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Presents the lives and loves of a family of cousins from 1939 to the present. Follows very closely the Mary Wesley novel. Begins with a funeral and uses the reminiscences of those gathered to fill in details in the lives of Richard and Helena and their nieces and nephews. Written by
With a strong cast headed by two of the stars of the Britcom classic "Good Neighbors" and a rash of complaints from Netflix members about nudity, "smut" and depravity, this '92 UK series seemed like a sureshot. Based on a novel by the renegade daughter of an old-school military family, it's a brisk, gossipy account of the martial, marital and extramarital adventures of an extended family of cousins in the early years of WW II. The Martha Stuarty title might be misleading; the lawn in question adjoins a cliffside house in Cornwall that belongs to most of the other characters' Aunt Helena (Felicity Kendal!), the exasperated wife of Uncle Richard (Paul Eddington!), a cranky, appeasement-minded, one-legged veteran of "the last show" (WW I). Also in residence is Sophy (an amazing debut performance by 11-year-old Rebecca Hall), a sensitive younger cousin who's being raised, haphazardly, by Richard and Helena. It's true that some of the characters, in their youthful self-involvement, can be a bit much (notably flashy, posh-voiced Calypso, a nice juicy part for Jennifer Ehle), but the series is consistently involving and occasionally quite moving. Paul Eddington totally nails a scene in which Richard, portrayed as a squawking grotesque till then, discusses sex and marriage with Calypso in a sweetly unguarded way; the last episode, set in the 1970sby which time adorable Sophy has grown up to be a cranky Claire Bloomis watchable but disappointing.
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