Saturday, January 1, 2011

DVD reviews

Martin Clunes plays a brilliant socially inept surgeon who has developed a minor phobia about blood so he leaves his successful surgery career behind in order to become the GP of a tiny town in Cornwall. It's a classic 'fish out of water' premise that's done incredibly well. Clunes is fine in his role as Doc Martin and Caroline Catz is not only easy on the eyes, she's super great in her role as the teacher who is also Clunes reluctant love interest.

Caroline Catz, my new imaginary British celebrity girlfriend. Hubba hubba!

The thing I love about this show is that it makes no attempts to make Clunes's character lovable. He is what he is, and what he is is an irascible cranky doctor who has been thrust into a small town full of oddballs and eccentrics. I just finished watching the first series and I can't wait to see it over again. I'm also looking forward to seeing the rest of the series of this fine comedy.

Oh by the way, if you're watching this show on a local PBS station, you're missing part of it because most PBS stations cut this show down to fit in a 30 minute time slot.

Years ago, in the dark ages before I had cable, I saw part of an episode of The Flame Trees of Thika on PBS. I didn't see any of the other episodes but that one part of the one I saw stayed with me. I was mesmerized by it and when I finally this that it was out on DVD I wanted to buy it but I didn't want to pay$30 for it. Then the other day before Giftmas I saw that my local super corporate book mega store had it in sale for half off so I bought it for Sparky. And I have to say that after finally watching the whole thing, I loved it.

It's based on the Elspeth Huxley book of the same name and it's about a Edwardian family's life in Kenya right before World War 1 breaks out. Yes, it's racist at times, the British were horrid racists and classist, but it's a good story full of fine performances by everyone involved. Holly Aird, who plays young Elspeth, is one of the most expressive actors I have ever seen and it doesn't hurt that was as cute as a button when they made this series. Hayley Mills is adorable in this production as well.

I recommend this series because it's a good look at what life was like in colonial Kenya under the British. And it's a good look at the cost of empire to a world super power.

I haven't finished watching the third and final series of Clatterford (if one more person tells me that the name of this show when it airs in Britain is Jam and Jerusalem, I'm going to punch them in the face) but I've seen enough to tell you that I love it and it's possibly the best one yet, with the exception of Maggie Steed's hair do.

Nobody does 'small towns full of eccentrics' shows better than the British and this one if one of the best. Jennifer Saunders is brilliant in this edition of this series, as are Sue Johnston, Dawn French, Pauline McLynn, Suzy Aitchinson, Salima Saxton, and David Mitchell. I'm sad to see that this is the final series of this show because I like these characters so much and because this is the type of show you'd never ever see on youth and tit obsessed American television. Oh well, at least we can watch it over and over since we have all three DVDs.


Kulkuri said...

We like Clatterford also. In fact I recorded some of the episodes when they were shown on BBC America some years back.

Mnmom said...

Doesn't Dawn French play a schizophrenic in that one? Or someone with a dissociative disorder? I've heard it's funny - need to order on Netflix.