American Clare Pettengill, newly arrived in Glasgow, starts up a book group in order to make some new friends. The group consists of three unhappy European football wives, a pretentious ... See full summary »
American Clare Pettengill, newly arrived in Glasgow, starts up a book group in order to make some new friends. The group consists of three unhappy European football wives, a pretentious drug-addict student, a closet-homosexual football enthusiast, and a kind and gentle struggling author in a wheelchair. Each week they meet to read and discuss a new book, which always affects or influences each of the group's lives in some way. Written by
I don't usually start my contributions like that, honest - but it's entirely merited. I've just watched the whole of the first series on DVD and been perhaps even more impressed coming back to it after a long gap. One of the things I love about the programme is that although the books they're reading aren't that important, the book group setting itself *is* crucial to the programme.
There are several laugh-out-loud scenes in the first series, none of them revolving around standard gags or punchlines. One scene gets its laughs from repeated use of the "c" word, which is an extremely hard trick to pull off!
The characters are beautifully drawn, starting with the pivotal figure of Claire, who is at once hugely irritating and sympathetic. All the actors are fine, though I particularly liked the louche and laconic Rab. The minor parts are well done too, for example Ben Miller as the writer, the guys who play Fist's and Dirka's husbands, and the vicar, whom we see in one episode.
One other thing: it's really exquisitely filmed.
I can certainly imagine myself getting more than one viewing out of this DVD (I am intrigued to know what the audio commentary will be like), and will certainly look to get the second series eventually, if nothing else for the interplay between Claire and her sister.
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