The staff have fun temporarily working in Grace Brothers' toy department. Mr. Humphries enjoys a giant dollhouse, Mrs. Slocombe sells peeing dollies and Mr. Grainger gets sentimental playing with a ...
This quintessentially British sitcom is about Grace Brothers, a department store in London which is owned and kept traditional, almost pre-war (e.g. precise dress code for ladies frills and gentlemen's hats according to rank), by two brothers who look old enough to have fought in the Boer war but rarely appear, as most scenes play on one floor where Mr. Cuthbert Rumbold is the executive (meaning he enjoys an endless parade of foxy but stupid secretaries) in charge of management while his dignified floor walker, Captain Stephen Peacock, has daily charge over two small sales teams. The bossy, implicitly man-hungry widow Mrs. Betty Slocombe supervises the attractive Miss Shirley Brahms (with a terribly common Cockney accent) -with first choice of customers, on commission- the sale of women's clothes and accessories; the sales star at the gentleman's side is Mr. Wilberforce Clayborne Humpries, an implied closet-gay true gentleman, whose successive superiors are first obviously nearly ...Written by
In 1972, the broadcasting of the live reports from the Munich Olympics had to be cancelled due to the Black September incident. Amongst the programmes hurriedly brought forward to fill the sudden gaps in BBC1's programming schedules was the as-yet untransmitted Comedy Playhouse (1961) edition "Are You Being Served?". It proved popular enough for a full series to be commissioned. See more »
The sex of Mrs. Slocombe's cat, Tiddles, frequently changes from him to her. See more »
Are You Being Served is a fantastic example of British humor at its finest. Granted, with almost 30 years since the telecast of the first episode, some of the humor has become dated. However, the cast and script-writers took the concept of double entendre to a whole new level with the jokes in the show (the best one I think being about Mrs. Slocum's cat, if you get my drift!). The thing that makes the show stand the test of time is that they did not have to resort to outright obscenity and crudity to get the humor across. It requires a little bit of thought to follow some of the jokes, which while base, are veiled in "false propriety". It is something that I would have no problem letting my children watch because they would not get the jokes until they were old enough to understand and deal with the humor. What comedy today can we say the same about? The show also has the ability to pull you in, make you privy to the "secret jokes" and make you feel part of the club. You become bound up in the inside jokes and personalities, and can identify with the characters (within reason: who can understand the concept of Mrs. Slocum's changing hair-colors?!). Overall, it is a great series and well worth watching, even 27 years later!
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