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This show is set in the year 1927. Lord Meldrum is a wealthy widower and he owns a rubber factory. He lives with his brother Teddy, mother in law Lady Lavender and two daughters, Poppy and Cissy. Meldrum is having an affair with Lady Agatha, wife of his rival Sir Ralph. He is trying to persuade Teddy to marry a socialite Madge Cartwright, but Teddy fancies servant girls more than the upper class ladies so he's reluctant to marry Madge. Poppy is a flapper who often flirts with the servant James. She's very different from her sister Cissy - in appearance as well as in attitude. Cissy fancies women more than men, she wears male clothes and is a member of the workers movement and a workers political party. Lady Lavender is extravagant, she owns a parrot and likes to throw food at servants. The servants live downstairs and they consist of Mrs. Lipton, the cook; James, a stuck up and snobbish servant; Henry, the youngest servant who usually gets kicked behind the ear by James or Mrs. Lipton... Written by
I first saw You Rang, M'lord over 15 years ago. My motivation was in fact Miss Cissy's picture in the TV program - of course I wanted to see anything with a lesbian character! But while I wasn't disappointed in Cissy, I grew fond of the whole household, masters and servants alike. I have since seen it dozens of times on TV, video and DVD.
I truly think You Rang, M'lord is a masterpiece of English sitcom. Firstly, it's a nice parody of the rigid social boundaries in British society ("No, Henry, you don't open the door. Mr. Twelvetrees opens the door. If he is not here, Ivy opens the door. If Ivy is not here, I open the door", lectures Mrs. Lipton.) However, the characters are more than just representatives of their respective social classes. They all have a full-fledged personality, a whole life outside the confines of the series (think of reports about Mabel's husband or visits to the Kitkat Club). Even relatively minor characters, like Lady Agatha, are three-dimensional. Every character is extremely funny and yet likable. The moment one would start to hate Alf or Miss Poppy, they immediately do something (and it might just be a glance or a smile) to win our sympathy back. Psychologically the whole series is perfectly realistic and logical. No wonder there're no 'goofs' listed about this series on IMDb. There aren't any.
I have seen other sitcoms by Jimmy Perry and David Croft, but this one exceeds all of them. The excellent acting contributes to this, too. I couldn't point out one actor over the others; they all do a brilliant job.
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