Jeremy Brown is a put-upon language teacher who tries to make a living by teaching English to immigrants. With pupils from India, France, China, and many other countries, his lessons do not...
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Jeremy Brown is a put-upon language teacher who tries to make a living by teaching English to immigrants. With pupils from India, France, China, and many other countries, his lessons do not always go as planned.Written by
It confuses me to see that some folks see this show as being racist, I think they might have got the wrong end of the stick. The exact opposite is actually the case, whilst it played to the Brit mind set of stereotypes, it actually served a different purpose. This show in no small way eased the discomfiture common to all people when dealing with different and often strange cultures and customs. It breached the walls of fear through the expedient of comedy, it coerced an emotional response in viewers, because for the majority of viewers, the day to day reality of dealing with a large influx of new immigrants was the very real language barrier and the frustrations that this brought about. MYL, used this theme to illuminate problems and societal frustrations, by showing the efforts newcomers to the UK make to become accepted as "English", watching Sid teach Max and Giovanni cockney phrases is priceless; it underlines the entire theme of the show, that of striving for acceptance.
The characters were all sympathetically styled as to engender endearment rather than distrust, it showed that all were equal and worthy of respect. Watch this show a few times, get to know the characters, and you will soon see the warmth and deep interpersonal attachments that develop regardless of race, creed, religion or colour.
All of the characters in this show were on equal footing, Jeremy Brown as the teacher may come across as being superior, but his position in this regard was eminently challenged by all the characters and their individual sense of worth. From the aloofness of Taro, through the haughtiness of Danielle, who can say that these characters were demeaned or portrayed in a "racist" manner? In fact, their own national, political prejudices are brought out time and time again only to be set aside by the obvious familial love that is evident throughout the entire series.
This show did more than make people laugh, it helped create an understanding and appreciation of those portrayed. It highlighted even the subtlest of racism amongst those that thought themselves non-racist and exposed it for what it is; which is rotten. The school inspector episode (series 1 #2) sets the matter very straight and confirms the underlying story theme that racism is a curse. To view the characters as being created for ridicule and to be the object of the joke, is to have watched this show with only one brain cell operating.
The acting and the overall comedic timing were as good as any of the era or previous, and few comedies of the modern era capture the overall "zeitgeist" of their time as succinctly. One hopes that the current problems with releasing the remaining three episodes will soon be overcome, as they would be much appreciated by fans.
This is a delightful and charm filled show, the characters are wonderful and truly likable. Every character is a larger than life stereotype, including all of the English roles. Miss Courtney, Sid (the cockney) and Jeremy Brown (the teacher), play their respective societal types in amplified form; they are stereotypes in the true sense. These elements perhaps over the top on their own, succeed in reaching across the class spread of British society. This combined with the warm performances of the cast in total, produces a show of eminent quality and one worthy of watching many times.
19 of 23 people found this review helpful.
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