Val comes in to find Roger in a bad mood. She has put some fish fingers and frozen peas in the conservatory fridge,which he uses to store his bonsai seeds. She counters by claiming that the kitchen ...
Weary after visiting his terminally ill father in hospital, Roger can do without the news that concerned cousin Cathy and her controlling husband Bob are coming to stay but he helps Val prepare the ...
It's 1782 and welcome to the fabulous Palace of Versailles, France. Outside the gates, the peasants are on the verge of revolting (already well past vile), whilst inside lives one of the ... See full summary »
An interweaving narrative chronicling the antics of such diverse characters as: a transsexual taxi driver, a family obsessed with hygiene and toads, a fiery reverend, a carnival owner who kidnaps women into marriage, and a xenophobic couple who run a local shop for local people.
Many good points, well produced, but not a classic...
This is a difficult review to write as I want to give this series glowing praise, and in some ways I can, but something is holding me back. I have a feeling that one day I may see repeats and my appreciation will grow, but for this review I can only say what I feel now. The acting is superb, the dialogue is top notch, and the atmosphere is somehow homely and moody all at the same time. Even the plot content is above average. So what's wrong? It's not the lack of the belly laugh factor, because it's not intended to be that kind of comedy...it's far more of a dry comedy drama. It doesn't even work as cringe TV, because it never reaches the depths of cringe that shows like 'The Office' or 'Extras' reaches, which conversely makes them immensely funny. It's a really weird angle, that somehow works without you realising why. There is most definitely a subtlety that means there is a good chance that a lot of people, especially those with more mainstream tastes in entertainment, will not get. If this were a movie, then I'd expect this to play in the 'Art House' venues more than the local multiplex, but, with the possibility of it gaining word of mouth and becoming a sleeper hit, because audiences just started getting it!
When looking at the characters, I saw much that went on between them, going on in my own relationships. This was both cringing and heart warming. I saw the characters self indulge themselves with a self importance contained within the cocoon of their seemingly solitary existence outside of work, preventing them from getting a balanced prospective on their viewpoints and activities...but then, isn't that the same for all of us, if we're honest? This is what I meant by the cringe factor, as subtle as it is, because I saw things in their relationship, that I've seen in my own...and that makes that cringing feeling, even more uncomfortable. Maybe that's what holds me back from making this extremely well produced work, from being a classic...it's just too real to stomach? One thing for sure...at a time when good, well written sitcom's are almost a thing of the past, it is good to see that the flag of intelligent writing is still being flown, but I hope that while this was an extremely interesting watch, that the effort put into the writing in this series, could be transferred into something more mainstream, entertaining, and, dare I say it, more palatable. I would dearly like to see the Beeb return to the days of 'One Foot In The Grave', 'Men Behaving Badly', 'Waiting For God', 'Vicar Of Dibley' 'Keeping Up Appearances', and even some of the older classics like 'The Good Life' and 'Butterflies'. This series proves that the quality of the writing is out there, but that is needs to be more universally accessible. When will the current powers that be at BBC1 remember that it is the 'situation' in sitcom, and not ironically unfunny one liners that so many of todays's new comedies resort to. When will they realise that a situation is funny because of a combination of good dialogue, good plot, and good acting. There is usually one or more of those things missing in nearly every new comedy that comes along.
As a conclusion I would like to say that I enjoyed 'Roger And Val...' and looked out for it in the following weeks schedules, but probably will not miss it if a follow up series doesn't happen. I do however, have great respect for what they achieved. As a footnote, I am extremely glad to see Dawn French in something that is a huge improvement on the awful 'Psychoville', which to date, is the only box set I have given up on after just 2 or 3 episodes.
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