Up the Garden Path (TV Series 1990–1993) Poster


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Movie Buff9 May 2006
Without wishing to be Sexist, I would think that most women can relate to Imelda Staunton's portrayal of this ditsy, desperate-for-love teacher.

The episodes of Izzy's confusing and often stressful personal life, normally of her own making, could probably be found in many women's personal diaries!

Falling for handsome married men,ex-students, basically anyone considered as "off limits" or "dangerously exciting" whilst ignoring her caring and considerate flat-mate Dick should perhaps be viewed as negatives of her character,but the subtleties of the writing also shows she is only human.

Searching, like so many women do, for "Mr Right" and getting it oh-so wrong along the way! The Search for Happiness is never easy or straight forward and this series managed to get this across with humour and taste and without her looking cheap or devious.
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''Saving all my love for you!''
RaspberryLucozade9 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
'Up The Garden Path' was one of three BBC Radio 4 sitcoms ( the other two being 'After Henry' and 'Second Thoughts' ) that transferred from radio to television. It was written by Sue Limb and starred Imelda Staunton as Izzy Comyn, a schoolteacher who has a penchant for starting relationships with unsuitable men. Strangely enough, when it became a television series, the BBC failed to pick it up ( as was the case with the two other shows ), so instead it was commissioned by the newly established Carlton Television. Humprey Barclay, with years of comedy experience behind him, came in as producer and director.

In the first series, Izzy is smitten by Michael ( Nicolas Le Provest ), who in turn has a thing for Izzy, despite being married to the lovely Louise ( Susan Kyd ). In series two, she is in a relationship with Charles Armstrong ( David Robb ), an obnoxious upper-class type and by the third and final series, she has her sights set on scallywag Bill Bailey ( Neil McCaul , not the bearded comic from 'Black Books' ). All relationships end in disaster.

Izzy's friends include Maria ( Tessa Peake Jones ), who leads a troubled marriage with her Welsh, womanising husband Gwyn ( Tom Mannion ) and Dick ( Mike Grady ), a soft-hearted pottery teacher who has a soft spot for Izzy, however his passion for her is not reciprocated.

There are some funny moments scattered around but sadly there are too many long periods where you find it difficult to even raise a smile. To date, it appears to be Limb's only writing credit. The lovely Imelda Staunton is rather good in the role of Izzy, though she would be seen to better comic effect a few years later in Simon Nye's legal sitcom 'Is It Legal?'. Tessa Peake Jones was known previously for playing Raquel in 'Only Fools & Horses', while 'Citizen Smith' fans will remember Mike Grady as Wolfie's best mate Ken. Susan Kyd went on to star alongside Russ Abbot in the ill fated 'Married For Life', a British adaption of the US sitcom 'Married With Children'.

The show's theme tune is 'Ain't Misbehavin'', sung beautifully by Imelda. While no classic, it is worth watching for Imelda Staunton fans and compared to the dreadful 'Second Thoughts', it is a masterpiece.
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