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35 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic series * * * * * * * * * *

10/10
Author: jamn6 from Australia
8 November 2006

Came upon this series by accident. I purchase many British TV DVDs from Amazon.co.UK and this complete series was going cheap and being a great fan of men behaving badly, i thought lets give it a go.

We sat down one rainy afternoon and nine episodes later, said we must go to bed. This is a brilliant series, certainly not a comedy as some might think, there are many heart rendering moments. William (Martin Clunes) is an undertaker by default and Mary (Julie Graham) is a midwife so you can imagine death is around them but there is also so much joy. What a premise to a series, one partner brings new life in to the world and the other gently takes it away.

The writer and directors from the very first episode have built a tight and wonderful story based on the characters rather than the plot. Each character and there are many in each episode are acted perfectly. There are many twists and funny/sad moments especially in episode four.

I'm glad this show did not get under the radar, do yourself a favour and buy the entire series and then pass it on, but make sure you get it back , you will watch it again.

Thank goodness for British television - from Australia, we thank you.

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20 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful Series

Author: mgrant-3 from United States
17 July 2005

I am in the middle of this series now and am already dreading it's end. If anyone can tell me where I can buy this entire series on DVD, I would love to do so. The characters are engaging, everyday people with everyday problems and you find yourself inwardly cheering them on and feeling as if you've known them forever. Each episode is directly relative to some portion of your own life - everything about the series is completely believable from the individual characters to the continuity and story lines of each episode. What one of us cannot find a character to relate to, believe in or dislike has not lived life at all, from the deadbeat ex to the interfering mother to the rude stepchildren. But what wins us over every time is the way William absolutely champions his love for Mary with a single twinkle in his beautiful eyes. When Mary finally told William she was in love with him, I was in tears. I, myself, am totally in love with Martin Clunes and will wait for him forever!

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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful first series, but THEN what happened?

Author: MEFoley from United Kingdom
23 May 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the first series, the ups and downs of William, the undertaker, and Mary, the midwife, were fascinating viewing. Each episode involved a death and a birth; I was so involved, I cried at least once each episode. It was satisfying drama, that left you each week with the feeling that the story had wrapped up and balanced, yet you wanted another one, right then, right there, because it was so good.

Then in the second series, the characters were replaced by aliens from a parallel universe, where women throw diamond rings away in hospital corridors, and men throw diamond rings away out the window into the garden. All the women went haywire in some way or another (except the forgotten middle daughter who never gets a look in), with Mary becoming so hateful, illogical, cruel and unreasoning that she almost became unwatchable, while William metamorphosed into a saint, who tolerated all. The female partner in William's business behaved like a spoiled teenager, and a sex-crazed female solicitor won't take 'no' for an answer.

The problems piled on and on, and while some made sense (Mary's fellow-midwife becoming pregnant and finding her boyfriend is married), some didn't (Mary's mother getting cancer and going, in the space of 5 or 6 episodes, from diagnosis to chemo (oops! didn't work) to radiation (oops! didn't work) to stem cell treatment (does that even exist yet?) to cure (with predictable scene of weeping where the viewing is padded as the main characters ask whether the news is good or bad)).

There seems to be a TV maxim that good relationships don't make good viewing, but that is rubbish. William and Mary's good relationship was a delight in the first series; the dramatic tension came from the external world, and it was wonderful to see the safe haven they had with each other. That made it make sense that William could surf the problems the way he did.

I tried to hang in there, but I'm sorry, they lost me with the rings. The only people who throw valuable diamond rings away are spoiled impossibly-rich kids under the age of 25. Why do they think we want to watch William behave that way?

I'm just so disappointed. Did they change writers or something? Can we have the old William and Mary back?

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Intriguing

7/10
Author: Martin Pollard from Caerphilly, Wales
5 May 2003

Very well acted and moving at times, William And Mary is one of those TV mini-series that ITV1 is so good at turning out these days. Martin Clunes as a dissatisfied undertaker is particularly good, acting his way through so many emotional troughs and peaks that you're surprised his character doesn't end up in an asylum. The only let-down is the ending, which is rather too neat and unrealistic for my taste.

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7 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Loved William and Mary

Author: sllmilehi from United States
28 June 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was living in New Zealand last year, and got hooked on William and Mary. Can it be seen in the United States at all? Last episode had Mary pregnant, William moving to a new location, and the kids on the edge of trouble.

It was well written for the most part, and the characters were diverse and entertaining. Interesting with her bringing babies into the world, and him helping usher people out!

I especially enjoyed Mary's mother, and the relationship between Mary and her mother. The intermingling of the kids was of interest, and I'd love to see how the plot continued with respect to that.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Brothers under the Skin

Author: Jayashrii from United States
26 October 2011

Public television in my area is showing 3 series starring Martin Clunes. I've watched 3 episodes each of William and Mary and The Fall and Rise of Reggie Perrin and all of the first two seasons of Doc Martin. Although my opinion may change when I've finished watching all the episodes, at this point I am struck by the way all three have characteristics in common which make them both endearing and in some way admirable and override their obnoxious aspects.

(1) They need to value what they do for a living in order for them to be happy. William's ability to be empathetic makes him, in a real sense, a "community worker." Doc Martin lacks the ability to pick up on the feelings and viewpoints of others, as would someone with Asperger's Syndrome, but he is unshakably dedicated to serving the health needs of his community and responds to situations with alacrity and persistence, undeterred by distressing and inconvenient elements. The feckless but lucky Reggie Perrin has been rendered punchy because of his inability to either reconcile himself to or escape a job he despises.

(2) They may flirt with infidelity but are generally restrained by their monogamous dispositions.

(3) They are emotionally vulnerable.

(4) Reggie and Doc Martin do not suffer fools gladly. The latter insults the good as well as the foolish. Reggie says the things we would like to be able to say to people we wouldn't like either and generally defies people in authority, breaks stupid regulations, and largely ignores assignments from which he can't escape. He's a bit like an out-of- control and luckier. Dilbert. In this regard William so far has only maintained benevolent parental authority over his disrespectful teenage daughters.

All this is validated by the people in their environment who respond to them with affection, often partly due to their own tolerance as well as their appreciation of their good qualities. The love Mary's sons openly show towards her is especially endearing.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Sweet William.Fiery Mary.

10/10
Author: ianlouisiana from United Kingdom
10 February 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Don't be deceived by the presence of that fine comic actor Mr M.Clunes in "William and Mary",this is not a comedy series although it does have its wry moments. Mr Clunes plays Wm. Shawcross,a widowed undertaker with two teenage daughters.A sweet - natured and perhaps slightly ingenuous man who meets Mary,a midwife,through an internet dating agency.Mary has two teenage sons and a clinging mother living with her. So,in fact,the series has all the ingredients of a typical British TV sitcom,but manages to confound and exceed such expectations by some distance. This is due not only to the performances by Mr Clunes and Miss J.Graham as the eponymous pair,but the refusal of the writers to don rose - coloured spectacles and present the path of true love as running so smoothly. Mary is a proudly independent woman,and,although she may love William,she does not envisage a future of cosy domesticity with both families blending into one happy unit. She is as brilliant and unorthodox at her job as William is at his. Bringing new life into the world with the same care and compassion as he deals with the other end of the spectrum. It may be a case of opposites attracting,but compromise does not seem to be in Mary's lexicon.Frankly if I were her I'd jump at the chance of a new life with such a really nice,loving guy - but what do I know? Whatever happens,I am involved enough in "William and Mary" to care about what happens to both of them,and that is something that doesn't happen to often in my experience.

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Mary is impossible.

5/10
Author: obird-6-668003 from Canada
20 May 2014

The series is interesting and entertaining with many wonderful characters, but unfortunately Mary is an impossible b---ch. She's rude, and vulgar. She wants another child but never spends any time with her little boy. At a rare dinner with her husband she spends the whole time on her cellphone. She is more respectful of the panting women she attends than all the rest of her family. (And such a fuss over childbirth. Thank God I did not have these women pawing and patting me while I was giving birth.) She is riddled with class hatred. She thinks she knows better than anyone.

I find these kind of women are taking over television. Always ranting at others. I stopped watching Coronation St. because the women were all know-it-alls and always shouting at the men. Who is writing these characters and why?

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The first season of William and Mary is quite good, however seasons 2 and 3 fall short

5/10
Author: leschwend from Midwest US
6 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The series William and Mary starts out quite promising. An undertaker and mid-wife find love and merge their families, in a pleasing and interesting combination, which crosses socioeconomic and racial borders. Both individually and as a couple, our two main characters are thrown into a variety of situations that highlight these differences while showing the connections between them. Julie Graham and Martin Clunes are both wonderful actors and a pleasure to watch and the writing is often touching. However, right from the start of the second season, things go terribly awry in the writing and without giving anything away, I can say that the series becomes more of a soap opera than a modern, smart drama. By the end of the series, one of our two protagonists has become such a loathsome character, that one is left with a sense of dismay at the consistency of the unkindness, which is heaped on the other character. The only rational reason in the real word for such behavior is mental illness, yet in this artificial world, nearly all is forgiven because of love. This is only cursorily referenced in two or three truncated conversations, each one cut off before friends and family are able to say to the offending character "you are acting like a jerk, wake up or you will lose the love of your life!" This viewer enjoyed Martin Clunes far more in the Reggie Perren and Doc Martin. At least in Doc Martin there is a sense from the other characters in the series that Martin's behavior is irrational and perhaps borderline Asperger's. However, I'm afraid this viewer found most of the last two seasons of William and Mary infuriatingly busy, overwrought and frustrating.

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One of the best shows we've ever seen

10/10
Author: melissa_bizz from United States
10 March 2014

My husband and I have always enjoyed British shows. From the funny to the more serious, they have a quality lacking in many popular US shows. After watching Martin Clunes in "Doc Martin," we were curious about his other work. We also knew a bit about Julie Graham, from last years "Bletchley Circle."

We had subscribed to Acorn TV last fall so we wouldn't have to wait for the new season of Doc. While checking out other programs, we saw W&M. Oh my, what a gem of a show. Their chemistry was so amazing! Martin Clunes is a fabulous actor, so subtle, so real. Everything about this show is top shelf. The writing, the characters, a terrific supporting cast, just so so good. Julie Graham is so good, the younger cast members so talented. We really enjoyed the growth of the characters also, especially "Rick." Rarely have I seen any actor have the ability to move me without saying a word. MC's is just so good, on this show, as Doc also. More, more Martin!

One thing we noticed was the way music is used in this show. The folks putting that all together have a real talent for the editing, the camera work, the music choices, just everything. The one episode that featured "Travis" possibly the best single episode ever.

Our single complaint was that there are only 18 episodes. While understanding the good closing point, we would have loved more. Which is really the sign of a good show/movie/book. Do watch this series if you can.

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