The subtle trick Showtime's "Penny Dreadful is that it is far less about the blood, gore and the specter of gruesome death than the sharp pain and exhilarating pleasure of living, and the terror of feeling alone even in close company. Read our review in the May Picks section.
Lovable, bumbling Harry Worth is barely remembered now, yet in the '60's and '70's he was one of British television's brightest comedy stars. With his trademark trilby and spectacles, he was a walking disaster area.
This Yorkshire T.V. sitcom cast him as Harry Matthews, a middle-aged widower struggling to raise two children - the good-looking Martin, and Shirley, a precocious schoolgirl. It was not easy. As Harry sang each week: "She's growing up so incredibly fast, he seems to think I live in the past'.
It was basically 'Father Dear Father' by another name, even the title was the same as a Michael Robbins I.T.V. sitcom from 1975. In the first episode, Harry is concerned at the prospect of Martin dating an older woman. A later ( and rather funny ) instalment saw Shirley announce her wedding to a drippy mummy's boy.
Fanny Carby played a nosey next-door neighbour ( as she seemed to do in most I.T.V. sitcoms of the period ).
Harry for the most part was in fine form, although a little unsteady in some scenes ( absentmindedly referring to Shirley as Debby in one episode ).
It was cosy domestic sitcom fare - the sets were cardboard, the plots contrived, the characters too nice to be credible - far removed from the awfulness of the real world. Maybe that was why it was so enjoyable.
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