The title, "Jam and Jerusalem," specifically refers to the hymn "Jerusalem", which is a hallmark of women's clubs in the UK and is traditionally sung during each meeting. The title also refers to the idea that these women's groups have discussions about domestic topics, such jam-making. As these references are largely unknown in the U.S., the title was changed to "Clatterford" to make the series more relevant to American audiences. See more »
When this appears on U.S. TV, it will be compared to "The Golden Girls." It is my fondest wish that NO ONE take such a comparison seriously. J&J is NOT a sitcom, thank Jennifer Saunders.
It is a sweet, charming, funny slice of life in a West Country village filled with eccentric, idiosyncratic folks. There is no one there I don't like and many I would love to know.
It has so far been a complete delight, filled with Jennifer's trademark wit, a delicious cast, beautiful locations and wonderful music. No laugh tracks, no dumbed-down humor here. It has an almost Robert Altman-like quality with overlapping dialogue and wonderful set pieces (episode five has several, my favorite being the pony trials). U.S. viewers might not get some of the references but for those of us who grew up in large towns and now live big cities, it is a temptation to chuck it all and move in with these people.
British TV is noteworthy for not padding episodes with exposition and back story which is a refreshing change. You'll pick everything up, trust me.
While Jennifer plays a small role as perpetually nettled Caroline Martin, it is Sue Johnston's show. I loved her work in "Waking the Dead" and am delighted that she gets to show off her comic side. The rest of the cast is really solid, particularly Sally Phillips as Tash, (you haven't lived until you've seen her UK Valley-girl/hippie/stoner routine), and Dawn French's Rosie takes turns making me laugh and breaking my heart. Pauline McLynn plays Sue's best mate and has totally won me over.
The only weak spot might be Joanna Lumley's Delilah Stagg. It's pretty clear that Delilah is a somewhat re-worked version of the aged Patsy Stone from "Ab Fab." She seems to turn up, do a bit of business each episode and disappear. Not sure where Jennifer's going with Delilah, but who knows maybe that's the point.
Really first class TV. Can't wait for Series 2. Get busy ladies.
(Each episode runs a full 30 minutes.)
16 of 21 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?