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Tough, sexy, funny and heartbreaking, Lillies details the lives of Iris, May and Ruby Moss - Catholic sisters coming of age in a dockland terraced house. Familial love sustains them, and ... See full summary »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...  Dadda Moss 8 episodes, 2007
...  Iris Moss 8 episodes, 2007
...  Ruby Moss 8 episodes, 2007
...  May Moss 8 episodes, 2007
...  Father Melia 8 episodes, 2007
...  Mr. Brazendale 8 episodes, 2007
...  Billy Moss 7 episodes, 2007
...  Mrs. Brazendale 7 episodes, 2007
...  Frank Gadney 7 episodes, 2007
Ebe Sievwright ...  Joseph Hartman 3 episodes, 2007
John Axon ...  Abie Lee 3 episodes, 2007
Laura Wallace ...  Queenie Higgs 3 episodes, 2007
Denise Kennedy ...  Mrs. Quirke 3 episodes, 2007
...  Mrs. McBride 2 episodes, 2007
Rose Farley ...  Margaret McBride 2 episodes, 2007
Tim Beasley ...  Doctor Campbell 2 episodes, 2007
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Storyline

Tough, sexy, funny and heartbreaking, Lillies details the lives of Iris, May and Ruby Moss - Catholic sisters coming of age in a dockland terraced house. Familial love sustains them, and their fortunes are bound to those of their brother and their father. Set in the years immediately following the First World War, Lilies pulls no punches in its storytelling. It depicts a sensual, vivid and sometimes savage universe - where life is lived on a knife-edge of poverty, fuelled by various kinds of love. Dadda, the family's charismatic and mercurial father married very young, is now widowed, and his struggle to nurture his unruly children proves both moving and comic. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Liverpool, 1920. Three girls on the edge of womanhood, a world on the brink of change.

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Drama

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BBC [UK]

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Release Date:

12 January 2007 (USA)  »

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Goofs

The program is set in the year 1920. Mr. Moss sings "Wild Mountain Thyme" by Francis McPeak several times, but the song wasn't written until 1948. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Back to the North of England workhouse dramas.
2 October 2017 | by See all my reviews

In the 70's the film industry, BBC North and Granada TV regularly churned out gritty working class dramas of the struggling poor. Sam, A Raging Calm, Room at the Top, Saturday night and Sunday Morning, A Kind of Loving, and the one which satirized them all - Brass, in which Timothy West played a flint hearted millowner who begrudged his workers the cotton dust they took home in their lungs. The modern day characters worked in menial jobs and lived for the Saturday Football match and the night at the dance and the pub. The period characters were a pawn shop away from the workhouse. Parents died and the children were sent to the orphanage. Lovers could not afford to wed and pregnancy out of wedlock brought shame to the family.

All these old clichés return in 'Lilies' a period drama about three young women coping with life in a working class port city. I am no lover of Downton Abbey and its clones, as I am well aware that the lives of the young women in Lilies was the norm for the vast majority. Only a small percentage of the people had means. For the rest it was a daily grind and struggle for survival. Little touches brought back memories for me, the closeness of the neighbors helping with bereavement and hardship, and the front parlor kept for best and only used for laying out the dead and receptions after the funeral. Growing up in northern England in the forties, there were many people around who had lost someone in WWI and a staggering number of widows and single mothers.

Of the performances, two actors irritated me beyond words, the father who seemed to be overacting, and Ruby, his daughter who was a little too brassy and mouthy for my taste. The handsome priest, Father Melia was just a little too handsome for the job. I shuddered when Iris was combing the nits out of his hair. The series did portray the division between Catholics and Northern Irish Protestants very well. Unless you grew up in that environment, it is hard to understand today that neither could enter a church of the other faith without condemning their immortal soul to hell for ever more.


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