The Great British Sitcom: "Two In Clover"

Discussion in 'TV Central' started by Mel O'Drama, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for that Daniel. It's good to get a picture of how these things work. I remember having a discussion around the ongoing appeal of Mrs Slocombe, Hyacinth and Dame Judi previously.

    I'm curious about which Australian series were shown at the time. Were they their soaps, like Neighbours, or something else?
     
  2. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I remember The Paul Hogan Show, which they ran two times (maybe three) and another sketch show I sampled but did not continue to watch (too many "in-jokes" that were probably only funny to Aussies). Hogan ran prior to his movie career making him a celebrity here, so I was surprised they didn't try to run it again. Probably became much too expensive to buy after that.

    PBS was not keen on running soaps...I guess they wanted to keep some of their 'high-brow' image. It was well into the 2000s before one or two PBS stations started airing EastEnders, and even then it was sporadic and in late-night slots. I don't think they'll ever jump into that area with much enthusiasm.

    Probably the most unique Australian import I saw in that time period aired not on PBS but on WGN Superstation (a cable channel) in the late 1980s/early 1990s. It was an Australian teen soap opera called Paradise Beach that was so awful that I couldn't help but watch--in much the same way you can't help but look at the aftermath of car accidents as you drive by. :fp: A very young Ingo Rademacher was on it (eye candy then and now) and Olivia Newton-John's ex-husband Matt Lattanzi...the very sort of 'teen soap' that promotes tooth decay and doesn't do much for your brain, either. It made Saved By The Bell look like Shakespeare.:D
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
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  3. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Ah yes. I remember reading that the powers that be have found it very difficult to launch British soaps like EastEnders and Coronation Street in the States during the Eighties and Nineties with any degree of success, partly because of the extensive histories and also because of the regional dialects and accents (I swear at one point I read that subtitles were being considered for one of them). But also because the overall style of production and presentation was very different to what Americans were used to.


    Oh dear. I have vague memories of this being launched here in the early to mid Nineties and being extremely badly received. Even as someone who thoroughly enjoyed Australian soaps of the Eighties, I just knew it was bad. I admire your bravery in taking a peek, Daniel.
     
  4. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Bravery, hell! Like I said, it was my introduction to the ample charms of Ingo Rademacher. But yes, it was quite...dire.
    I'd pin it on that, mostly. We were raised on the soap production process where there is a three-sided set with excessive lighting and scenes filmed by three or four cameras simultaneously...very little exterior work, but attempts at creating "the outside" in studio. But most of all, we're spoiled by having soap actors look impeccable, with nary a hair out of place and always dressed to the nines. British soaps have people look too 'real' and the sets are not lavishly detailed (unless the plot calls for it). I've heard people claim they didn't like the realism because they want the soaps to be visual fantasy as much as anything else. Guiding Light attempted that style of production in its final years and the fans whined and complained for years before the show ended up cancelled.
     
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  5. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

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    To an outside eye, the low-budget technical aspect on one hand and the excessive glamour on the other combine to give daytime soaps an air of porn, but it's the preambley bit before they start getting down to business stretched out ad infinitum. (That's not necessarily a criticism, by the way.)
     
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  6. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The Bounder came to an uneventful end last night.

    The Second Series, sans Rosalind Ayres, was perfectly fine. You would think the dynamics would feel a little off-kilter with the main link between the two men - one's wife, the other's sister - absent. But no.

    It was established at the beginning that Howard and Trevor were also old friends. I'm not even clear on who knew whom first. Did Howard meet Mary through his friend Trevor? Or did Howard establish a friendship with his girlfriend's brother to the point that the brother ended up being best man at the wedding? Or did they all grow up together?

    Nor do I know why Ayres didn't do the second series. It's immaterial, really, since things worked with Mary as an absent party. Indeed, the Series Two premise could easily have been used as the premise for the entire series by design. I enjoyed that it added a further threat to Howard's pursuit of Laura, with Trevor now an effective (if not eligible) bachelor. And without Mary as a buffer, there's a more blatant Odd Couple vibe to scenes between Howard and Trevor.

    The usual sitcom boxes were ticked in the situations (computer dating; mistaken identity during a spate of burglaries; new dog causes trouble, etc.). It's mostly meaningless, but also charmingly done and very watchable. I particularly appreciated the play-like feel, with people nipping between sets, entering via French doors. Faces like Frances de la Tour gave the series permission to have fun with the staginess, and there's a knowing two-dimensionality to it that feels right. It's there to be enjoyed and if one can see the guest stars having fun it helps that rapport.

    Greasy was recast for his second appearance. Which is a shame as it was great to see Ken Jones as a link to The Wackers.

    There was a little continuity. Importantly, the key plot of Mary having left Trevor appeared to be on the way to a resolution in the last couple of scenes. And while Howard and Laura weren't about to head down the aisle, there was a kind of understanding there.

    With The Bounder, most of the things that happen are inconsequential once the end credits roll. But the series itself isn't. It made an impression on me when it first aired and it's done so again this time round.
     
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  7. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, this is a novel little discovery. At only six episodes long I wasn't sure whether to mention it here or in the "Cancelled Too Soon" thread. But as I've only watched the first two episodes it's too soon to say for sure if it fits that category.

    [​IMG]

    One has to wonder how a prime time sitcom featuring Penelope Keith at the centre of the action could last for only half a dozen episodes. It would have to be pretty awful... wouldn't it? It's safe to say expectations were low going into this one.

    But in fact there's a lot to like. Keith not least, of course. Phillipa Troy feels like a fully-formed character and while part of Keith's appeal is that she's always recognisably Penelope Keith no matter what the setting, she's also believable as a barrister-cum-children's author.

    Tying the two worlds together, my favourite of Phillipa's quirks is her penchant for semantics and her tendency to correct others' improper use of English. Educating a judge, for example, about the difference between "continuous" and "continual" (a bugbear of mine) has happened twice now, and I think these moments set it apart. If not quite highbrow, they at least bring a flavour of public school snobbery (even though I wouldn't be surprised if Phillipa was state school educated and the judge a paid-up member of the old boys' network).

    The rest of the cast will probably become clearer to me just as the series comes to an end. The only one that's instantly recognisable to me is Simon Williams - one of those actors whose face I always recognise but who I don't associate with any particular series. He was in Agony, of course, but I only watched that for the first time a couple of years ago. I think I know him best from playing himself on panel games and quizzes. Didn't he do a load of Give Us A Clues in the Eighties?!

    The opening images of the title sequence really grabbed me as it featured Phillipa's beautiful car a then-new MG RV8. It was gorgeous in the Nineties and it's still stunning today. It's a very appropriate vehicle for Keith. A luxury model with a vintage heritage but a modern outlook. And terribly British, of course (Phillipa's is finished, naturally, in British Racing Green). There's also a symbolism there that couldn't have been seen at the time, with both the car and the series being shorter-lived than one would expect.
     
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  8. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

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    He'll always be Captain James in Upstairs, Downstairs to me. Or, at a push, Wilmott-Brown's evil dad on Enders.
     
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  9. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Turns out that six episodes does put Law And Disorder into the "cancelled too soon" category.

    The legal background added a unique angle and there were even some end of episode twists regarding the cases Phillipa took on (some could be seen coming from a little way off if you're inclined to get on board with the plot, but they were still fun). Watching it made me a little surprised that there aren't more legal sitcoms as it works well. I suppose in many ways it's a satire of series like Crown Court.

    Phillipa repeating verbatim the poor grammar of the people she cross-examined in her plummy accent remained a highlight for me. Pedants make ideal sitcom subjects.

    It's a shame it's such a short series as this felt like it had legs and could have continued for several more series. On trying to work out why it didn't continued, I've realised that Penelope Keith did Next Of Kin the following year and so have added another series to my Britcom bucket list.



    Ah yes - of course.


    I hadn't realised that. But it does have a "rightness" to it.
     
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  10. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Yesterday evening began another series that's new to me...


    [​IMG]


    It's actually two series, but we'll get to that later.

    During the first episode I wasn't sure if I was going to enjoy it. It's one thing to watch Wendy Craig being the ditzy mum to two older teens when supported by Geoffrey Palmer and Bruce Montague. It's quite another when she's the ditzy mum to two younger teens. I was concerned it may be too much. A little too saccharine. Especially with the two token posh kids from next door dropping by along with their terrible fake RP (incidentally, and apropos of nothing in particular it seems a couple of the actors playing the kids died in their forties and fifties).

    Fortunately, the news was better than I at first thought. Valerie Lush helps weight things down a little as Auntie. I wouldn't have realised, but IMDb tells me she went on to play Madame Remoleux in French Fields, where she stole the show. Having this alternative kind of family was perhaps a fairly bold move at the time.

    And speaking of the time, there's that very unique early Seventies vibe to the series. The Swinging Sixties still linger, as seen in some of the fashion and even the fonts used for the titles, and the hope of the new decade is in the air though far from being fully formed. Teddington looks very nice onscreen in location scenes (after looking on Google Maps and Street View, I decided I could quite happily live on Trowlock Avenue where the characters' home is shown to be. But it passed when I looked at a flood risk map).

    George Selway as Mr Campbell seems a fairly stock sitcom character. The authority figure with the heart of gold who appears just in time to get covered in engine oil or get his specs smashed.

    The best comic moments have come from the relationships and from those have even come a couple of touching little moments. Perhaps the second episode with Simon's birthday bike is the best example. Simon had saved to buy a bike, but only had half the money. Sally worked overtime to get the rest of the money and got a bike from the snooty salesman, handing over coins from piggy banks. There was the farcical fun of hiding it in the house, moving it from room to room. Then came the presentation (oh - Seventies birthday parties. What a blast of nostalgia). It wasn't the bike Simon wanted but he put on a brave face prompting Sally to burst into tears at her failure (the implication being that it's a reminder of the absence of her late husband). And so it's a return to the shop to change the racing bike for a Raleigh Chopper ("he wanted one with the handlebars up here and one of those funny sort of seats like sitting on the arm of a settee"). Only for Simon to change his mind and decide he wants the racing bike after all. It's fairly standard sitcom stuff, but with enough heart to give it wings. And it hurt not that Frank Thornton was the bicycle salesman. I can't think of anyone else, referencing the small accident Sally said she'd had with the first bike, who could deliver the line "How teeny weeny?" with such deadpan gravity.

    Sally, it seems, is in many ways a prototype for Ria. Both in their own ways in mourning the loss of a man they married. Both dealing with domestic mundanities they're ill-equipped for and trying to connect with the children they gave birth to - now growing into people whose world she struggles to understand. Both optimistic that things will get better. And both, for better or worse, somewhat ditzy.
     
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  11. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Series Three has seen something of a new look for ...And Mother Makes Three, albeit very low profile. In addition to a re-shot title sequence, the main differences are the apparent exit of George Selway's Mr Campbell and the arrival of new-employer-cum-neighbour-cum-love-interest David Redway, played by Richard Coleman. And so the path is cleared for the new direction and the sequel series - still some ten episodes or so away.

    I say apparent exit of Mr Campbell, because he's still been in the first two new-format episodes, so there's been a good deal of overlap between the old and the new. None of this throwaway line stuff to explain Mr Campbell's absence. There's been a good degree of interaction between the two men, and there's something about knowing that David has Mr Campbell's seal of approval that warms the cockles.

    I must confess I never fully warmed to Mr Campbell. His character was functional as a straight man, but very one-note and undeveloped and so never really essential viewing. All the same, Mr Campbell was a semi-reassuring sitcom presence, so time will tell if I miss him.

    Incidentally, Mr Campbell was shown to be something of what would then be described as a male chauvinist pig by slapping Sally's arse as she filled his car with petrol. Not that it's any excuse, but he hadn't realised it was her as she was wearing a mask to hide her face from him, what with him recently having sacked her and all. But this was 1971, and so Sally's shock quickly turned to apparent flattery. I think I even caught a glimmer of romantic hope on her face.

    David Redway is something more of a romantic prospect, however. He's got the suave, ruggedly handsome thing going on while staying on the right side of smooth. His hair may be perfectly coiffed and his tie fashionably wide, but he's still pretty much just a bloke who likes books. Square jawed but with the onset of a double chin. There was an edge to him in his second episode when he was accompanied by Imogen Hassall who, to Sally's chagrin, was overly familiar and produced David's favourite cigars from between her cleavage. Fortunately for Sally, David said she was simply a former employee who became an au pair to his daughter after the death of his wife and has become too clingy with him. The jury's out on whether he's telling the whole truth but either way ...And Virginia Makes Nice would have made an interesting counter series.

    Lest anyone think James's Versus threads have taught me nothing, I now know that Sally and David's first encounters could be described as a series of meet cutes. First there's the Doris and Rock type phone call, where she telephones the new occupant of the house at the bottom of her garden to give him a hard time about workmen flinging rubbish into her garden ("My next complaint will be to the police"). Then he interviews her on Mr Campbell's recommendation (he's an old friend) as his bookshop will be occupying the old vets. And in she goes not realising that he's the same person she'd spoken to earlier ("I don't know what Mr Campbell said to you of course, but I think I've always satisfied him") and Sally makes a botch of shorthand and typing. Despite this he pops to the house to offer her the job, only for her to confess that she'd just smashed her new neighbour's greenhouse by flinging a boulder back into the garden ("Should I deduct the greenhouse from your first week's wages?"). The romance shows promise and I'm hoping for some wobbles as they move towards the next phase. In fact this transitionary period could prove to be the most watchable.

    That said, I must show love for some of the Series Two episodes. The scenarios were standard sitcom ones, but done in a delightful way. A favourite of mine was Sally visiting Mr Campbell's sister's cottage. Said sister was precious about her furniture and Sally managed to unplug the fridge while looking for the ironing board. Not finding it, she used the floor and momentarily placed the iron flat on a coffee table, leaving a huge mark. The more she tried to right it, the worse it got: moving the iron to the grate took the tile away; the electric polisher got out of control and left the table scratched (the visual of Wendy Craig grappling with the rampant polisher is one of the series' funniest so far); the varnish covered the wall, the replacement iron was the wrong colour. Sally ended up confined to her room feigning a cold in order to hide the damage.

    It's not just the setup of the bereaved family that makes this sitcom unique. It's the juxtaposition of Sally appearing to be gracious, reserved and capable while frequently being none of them. Her cooking is on a par with Ria's (Sally's morning routine includes five minutes to scrape the burnt bits off her blackened toast), and her klutziness is legendary. She's out of her depth in pretty much every area of her life. It's partly through circumstance - she's stretched thin on every front. But she's a fascinating character. I get the sense that part of her wants to be a 1950s housewife while another part wants to burn her bra. But in either instance the fire brigade would probably end up being called.

    When I think of 1970s sitcoms, it's invariably the wife that's the gracious voice of reason while the husband creates the chaos. Hilarity ensues when he loses his job, or has DIY mishaps, or gets into a dispute with neighbours, or buys an old banger to renovate. This format means that Sally gets to play out a traditionally male role and lose her dignity with the best of them.

    Perhaps there's something progressive about Wendy Craig's Sally.
     
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  12. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

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    My work here is done! #proud
     
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  13. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The billing for the title sequence of ...And Mother Makes Three is quite intriguing.

    For the first three series, the first credit was "With Valerie Lush" (a curious choice of phrasing. I'd associate a "with" credit as belonging near the end). Then the two boys were credited and finally there's "and starring Wendy Craig".

    I can't help wondering why Wendy and Val's credits weren't the other way round. No doubt some kind of contractual thing I suppose. When watching the credits in full, it does suggest that Valerie and the two boys are all "with"s and therefore secondary to Wendy, which is perhaps as intended.

    A further anomaly has been thrown into the mix with the arrival of the David Redway character. For the third series, Richard Coleman's credit was shown after the main titles with a "Featuring..." credit underneath the episode title.

    For the final season, Richard has been added to the title sequence as the first credited "With Richard Coleman". Then come the two boys, followed by "Featuring Valerie Lush" before the final "and starring Wendy Craig". To be a fly on the wall when this was being planned out could have proved interesting.

    As well as paving the way for the sequel series, the credits reflect the ever-changing status that this series has come to be about. After a fairly static first two series, the latter two have seen things expand fairly organically with the gradual introduction of the new elements. It hasn't been rebooted, nor has it changed its outlook per se. It's simply embraced the new as something that happens in life. On that level, AMM3 feels more like a soap opera than a sitcom.

    The introduction of Sally's parents and David's mother has brought a nice new energy. So far they've only appeared in two Third Series episodes, but I hope to see more of them as the wedding approaches.

    David's daughter, Jane appeared in one episode and, in quite a brave move, Sally and Auntie were horrified by a photograph her. According to Auntie, "hasn't inherited her father's good looks", and we encountered a harshly critical and shallow side to familiar characters:

    AUNTIE: "It's quite a sweet face."
    SALLY: "Yes, it is quite sweet really, isn't it?"
    AUNTIE: "It's a tiny bit, um..."
    SALLY: "Bird-like."
    AUNTIE: "A bit like a chicken, yes."
    SALLY: "A very good looking chicken, though."
    AUNTIE: "...No, no, I'm wrong, Sally. I take that back."
    SALLY: "Not like a chicken?"
    AUNTIE: "No. More a turkey."

    I was expecting this to turn out to be a photo of someone else, but nope. The little girl the whole family had trashed and laughed over was the girl in the photo.

    The budding relationship has given the show opportunities to explore romance. And with one a widow, the other a divorcee with titled parents, and both having children there's plenty of scope for exploration. Proposals; engagement parties in-laws and wedding plans. In many ways it's quite a different series to the one I started watching. And yet not.

    There's even been a Dynasty-esque moment where Sally dressed up to meet David's ex-wife only to discover they're wearing the same dress.

    Attitudes of the times are quite fascinating and have highlighted Sally's conservatism in particular, with a dash of selfishness and hypocrisy thrown in. The boys are all for Sally and David living together ("why bother to get married?"). Sally is horrified by the prospect, but is more than happy to accept a proposal of marriage from a man she's known for little more than a month. She's horrified, too, when she finds out David is an atheist. Not out of concern for his mortal soul, mind you. She's worried because now it will be even more difficult for her to persuade the boys to go to church when they don't want to. But she's also selectively conservative. When David assumes they would have a Register Office wedding as he's divorced, it's the second marriage for them both, and they're both "of a certain age", she fights him all the way because she never got to have a church wedding the first time round. Sally is a mass of contradictions, changing on a whim as benefits her. And yet she also rings true as a very real person. If there's one thing guaranteed to bring out conservative traditionalists in people who claim to be liberal and vice versa, it's a wedding.

    One piece of (almost) foreshadowing in the final episode of Series Three had me way too excited. The timing of the symbolism was quite uncanny too. There's a scene where Sally wears her engagement ring for the first time for lunch with David after choosing it. Almost immediately she begins to have doubts about the relationship. On the bare brick wall of the restaurant behind Sally - framing her and surrounding her - are a number of wooden frames. Each contains mounted butterflies!
     
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  14. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    ...And Mother Makes Three has come to an end.

    Kind of.

    It's segued into...


    [​IMG]


    Really, though, it's hard to say where one ended and the other began. The AMM5 format was established in the last series of AMM3, in which Sally and David married. The soapiness of the continuing story was enjoyable. Now that the new status quo is established, the series has reverted to more workaday sitcom situations. All of which means the "new" series feels somewhat less fresh than it could.

    There have been a couple of recasts. One being David's mother in the final episode of AMM3. She was followed by David's daughter for the launch of the new series. Maxine Gordon now plays Jane. I do miss Miriam Mann who embodied the spoilt only child quite well, with her nose permanently in the air and an air of self-assured superiority that could have made life interesting in the household. Gordon's Jane is more compliant and less demanding which is nice for the characters she lives with, but also rather underwhelming.

    The cultural and social outlook of the time continues to fascinate when it crops up. Like David's expectation that Sally should stop working to become a full-time wife and mother. The fact that Sally did as requested has added to the series' more generic tone. The main purpose from the writers' point of view seemed to be to give Auntie somewhere to be, since Sally suggested Auntie to replace her at the bookshop, and Auntie seems perfectly efficient at her new job. Which seems like a losing situation to me. Sally's ditzy approach to her work paired with working alongside her husband would seem to have more comic potential to me. And having Auntie still keeping house could have kept at least a little of the unconventional family setup that made AMM3 so different.

    That's not to say AMM5 isn't enjoyable or funny. It's both. The first two episodes have seen a botched caravan holiday and a pregnancy scare, with misunderstandings abounding for both. It remains to be seen if the revamped series will hold my interest (and it may be worth noting that my viewing pace has slowed down considerably over the last couple of episodes).
     
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  15. James from London

    James from London Soap Chat Mega Star

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    It relates to one of your earlier sitcom choices, Mel, but when I got 16 min 30 seconds into this, I thought, "Oh Mel might find this interesting!"

     
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  16. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    How lovely of you to think of me, James. And yes, I found it very interesting.

    I'm familiar with Bob's name from the Summer Winos site which I stumbled upon during my LOTSW watch. It's good to see he's as geeky about some other great TV shows as he is about Summer Wine. I haven't listened to the whole thing yet but I'll be doing just that over the next couple of days.
     
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  17. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The billing has changed again with the second series of AMM5.

    Firstly, the bad news is that Valerie Lush is nowhere to be seen in the credits. And in the show it seems she's been downgraded to very occasional appearances. Of the first four episodes of Series Two Auntie Flo has appeared in just one. IMDb tells me there are three more appearances: one in the next episode and two in Series Three. And that's all. Whatever the reason, it's to the series' detriment, but since the decision was taken to move Auntie Flo out of the house it's been diminishing returns with her, so it's not surprising that this is the end result.

    The series has continued to tick the usual sitcom scenarios. The kids throwing a party. A court appearance for damaging a neighbour's property. Budgeting. Et cetera. But it does have a special little indefinable something that other sitcoms don't, and a good deal of that comes, I think, from having been on board since the start of the earlier series.

    Wendy Craig has a special something. There's something behind the eyes that tells me I shouldn't wish to be on her bad side.
     
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  18. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I thought the 'visit from Aunt Flo' was only supposed to occur once a month. Or so I've heard. :rolleyes:
     
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  19. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Series Two has now ended, so I'm halfway through AMM5, and three quarters of the way through the entire Motherworld saga.

    With this series being somewhat under the radar in British sitcom terms I doubt there's very much out there that will give an in-depth commentary about the making of it. And that's a pity, because I have more questions than answers about it. Why was Mr Campbell written out? What was the driving force behind the romance with David leading to the remarriage? Why was Jane recast for AMM5? Why did Auntie become a very infrequent cast member before being written off entirely? Why did Wendy Craig write every single episode in Series Two of AMM5 (was it a condition of her making another series? Or was the series not going to happen at all if she hadn't stepped up? Did the powers that be even know that she was, in fact, Jonathan Marr? And is it a coincidence that Auntie stopped being a series regular in the episodes written by her?)?

    Speaking of which, Craig's writing has been very good. The tone of the humour has felt perfectly congruent with what's come before and nothing has felt off at all. I'd already read that Craig had written all six episodes of Series Two and this was at the back of my mind when watching.

    The episodes have been classic sitcom themes: trying to have a peaceful Sunday despite numerous interruptions; forgotten anniversaries, and the like.

    The final episode of Series Two entered Butterflies territory to a degree, with Sally feeling taken for granted by the family who leave her a list of chores to do while they're at work and school. Rather than having an affair, though, she puts her arm in a sling to get some sympathy, leading to some genuinely funny scenes where the temptation to use both hands to open a well-packaged present is too much to resist. There was a nice bit of physical comedy through the episode, particularly a moment where David walked into the room and Sally, facing away from him first put her wrong arm back into the sling, then quickly changed to the correct arm but with the sling sling awry, before getting it sorted just in time. Moments like this perhaps showcased the advantage of the series being written by one of the performers, but it also reinforced just how good a writer Craig is. I'm sure there are numerous examples of something being funnier on the page than on screen.

    Patricia Routledge's episodes have now aired. She only had one fairly brief scene in each of her two episodes, but both were memorable. She was playing her usual bumptious kind of character, in many ways a prototype Kitty or Hyacinth. Indeed, it was Routledge's character who came up with the idea of Sally putting her arm into a sling to garner sympathy from people, and it's not a stretch to imagine Hyacinth bullying Richard into doing something similar to add reality to one of her tall stories.

    As we're mentioning familiar faces, Lesley Joseph appeared in one episode as a gypsy selling lucky heather. I don't think I've seen her in any other role than Dorien, apart from possibly appearing as herself on Blankety Blank or something. Kenneth Waller, most familiar from Bread and Are You Being Served? has also appeared as a doctor. Some of the faces have been more familiar than the names, as is so often the case with bit parts in sitcoms.



    Eeew! :eek:
     
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  20. TJames03

    TJames03 Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    I wonder if Mrs. Slocombe's 'p_ssy' was out all night again......?
     

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