Wednesday, February 8, 2012

TV reviews

This series is an update/reinventing of the 1970's BBC series The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin. In this one Martin Clunes plays a middle aged man who's hating his job but can't leave it because of all his financial obligations. He loves his wife, played by Fay Ripley, but he's as bored with their marriage as he is with is job. He indulges in Walter Mitty-esque flights of fancy and fantasy as he tries to cope with the stultifying life he's trapped in.

This series is okay, it's not great but it's not bad either. They made it seem too much like an American sitcom and it suffers because of that. Some of the characters are just caricatures and never rise above two dimensionality. Clunes has done better work elsewhere, as has Ripley. I'm glad I saw this one but I doubt I'll see the second series. But if I do it's because of one thing, Lucy Liemann.

Ms. Liemann plays a woman who works with Perrin. He develops an instant crush on her and they have a fling at having a fling until Perrin calls it off. The idiot.
Liemann is super cute and sexy in this series and in fact I've developed an instant crush on her as well. And I'm glad to say that she's now my imaginary British comedy girlfriend. Is that okay with you Lucy? Being my imaginary British comedy girlfriend? Say nothing, just smile if you're cool with that bit of news:
Hells yes.

In this series Stephen Fry plays an asexual small town attorney who handles all sorts of cases while dealing with all sorts of odd small town people, some of whom he's purported to be related to. He takes all cases, no matter how small or trivial, and he somehow manages to win them all while placating his nutty neighbors.

I found this series a bit twee for my tastes but I can see how others might love it, it's chocked full of the usual eccentric loveable British characters we've come to know over the years. My main problem with the show is Fry himself. He's almost sleep walking through this thing by playing a version of himself. There's no stretch to anything he does or says in this show. He's essentially a straight man who is there to react to all the 'oddballs' in his town of Market Shipborough.

My other problem with this show is that some of the oddball characters are not really odd at all, they're just annoying or worse yet, bland. Hermione Norris as Fry's half sister is super annoying and the guy who plays his brother Simon is perhaps the most boring actor I have ever seen. I wanted both of them to go away and never be seen or heard from again, and that's saying something because I usually love the work Norris turns in.

The bright spots, performance wise, in this show belong to Karl Davies, Phyllidia Law (Emma Thompson's mother), Tony Slattery, and Celia Imrie. I'll admit to having an inappropriate crush on Ms. Law, she's a silver fox.

This show is okay, it's a fun time waster but don't expect great acting, plot lines, or stories.


Anonymous said...

I felt the same way about Kingdom. Subtle to the point of being sleep inducing.

Kim Hambric said...

Right now, I'm watching Martin Clunes in William and Mary -- good but not great, but pretty much better than anything on television in the states. I'll check into this one.

We are slowly watching Kingdom. The hubby keeps falling asleep and it takes 3 days just to get through one episode. But it has Stephen Fry in it. I could just sit and watch him eat ants. So I'll keep watching.