The great British sitcom

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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    Yes, and it got soaking wet. That's why she's holding it in front of the fire.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. TJames03

    TJames03 Soap Chat Addict

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    If you bend over and drop a sardine through the letter box, it'll gobble it up....
     
  3. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    ...And Mother Makes Five is now at the latter part of the penultimate series.

    There's a new cutesy title sequence, now part-animated which brings to mind the later Thames comedy Keep It In The Family. I prefer the earlier versions, and I miss the final scene continuing to play out over the end credits, but I always admire a little experimentation. With the font change for the credits, the last hints of the Sixties have gone, to be replaced with a font that looks decidedly Eighties to my eyes. With the new version I particularly enjoy the caricatures of Wendy Craig which are quite funny. They're all huge eyes, snub nose, thin lips, bowl hairdo and skinny body with her backside jutting out. All of which makes them sound a little offensive, but in fact they're rather cute. Each episode gets a different caricature of Wendy at the end which relates to a scene within the episode which makes them feel kind of collectable.

    New additions to the cast this series with Joss and Monica Spencer. Tony Britton is always very watchable so it's a treat to see him as Joss. I know him best from Don't Wait Up and Robin's Nest. More recently he was in Father, Dear Father. As I remember, he's played a similar type of character in them all. His presence has allowed us to see a different side to David as they have talk over whiskey and the conversation veers towards the laddish and they both get a bit of a twinkle in the eye. Charlotte Mitchell is fairly unfamiliar to me, though IMDb tells me I've seen her in small roles here and there. She's likeable enough, though Monica's presence in the house has served as a reminder that Auntie is absent since she performs the same functions at times.
     
  4. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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    With Series Four of ...And Mother Makes Five they wisely returned to form by losing the animated sequences from the title and going for the classic opening sketch (this one being Sally and David dressed for cocktails and leaving the house while the children chortle on seeing Sally's dress completely unzipped at the back).

    I was reflecting last night how the series really has no USP at this point. In terms of premise it's become very generic. A viewer tuning in to one of the latter episodes would simply see a stay a ditzy stay at home Mum with a husband and three children. She gets into a scrape each week, frequently accompanied by the wacky next door neighbour. The family are patient and when it's resolved everyone laughs about it.

    The last series, as far as I noticed, had no mention at all of Auntie - such a vital piece of the picture in the earlier series. And the bookshop is now gone. David seems to spend most of his time at home. There was a reference to him selling antique books, but this time he brought a client home to show him the book (just in time for Sally to embarrass him, naturally).

    I find it interesting that this is the fate of a sitcom that started out focussing on a non-traditional family unit. We first met Sally as an independent working mother. Over the years she journeyed to become a housewife who had dinner on the table when her husband came in from work. She's become more conformist and dependent as the series have gone by. It's almost a backwards journey. But still a very interesting one.

    The writing remained sharp and the series was making me laugh until the end. Now that it's ended, there'll be a Sally shaped gap in my daily schedule and I'd certainly be up for a revisit in a decade or so.
     
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  5. Mel O'Drama

    Mel O'Drama Super Moderator Staff Member

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