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I love reviews of things that give away more about the reviewer than the thing they're reviewing. Such is the case with this DVD review of Series 1 of George and Mildred.

George And Mildred and why it is not as gently effective a sitcom as its opposite number on the BBC. Where the Medfords were satisfied with their place in life - both Terry and June looked content to see out their days until retirement with only Terry’s meddling in the affairs of others causing much wringing of hands - the Ropers worry with the very best of those much, much younger than them, fretting about their middle-class neighbours, about a new job, about an unruly new pet and about Mildred feeling broody. That last one alone should hint at the main flaw in George And Mildred, in that, far too often, it appears to have been written for a much younger couple. The writers, Johnnie Mortimer and Brian Cooke, had just finished Man About The House when it was decided to spinoff a sitcom about that show’s landlord and his wife. On the evidence of this first season, Mortimer and Cooke don’t appear to have quite realised that they are no longer writing for the youthful Chrissy, Jo or Robin. Mildred, for example, looks to have already seen off the menopause some years before moving into the suburban house that she occupies in this season so I’m baffled as to why she should be feeling broody. Similarly, her efforts to improve her social standing would be understandable in someone twenty years younger than she and George but with the latter looking as though retirement, and not a promotion, is beckoning, you can’t help but feel that she’s left it all a little too late.”

Yes, because older people don’t want to change their lives, do they? They just sit there in their armchairs, sipping tea and watching telly.

“George is, I expect, the type of man who can’t quite close his dressing gown tightly enough on the morning after a long night spent in his local boozer so the aspirations of his wife, who uses her telephone voice much more than she ought to, are quite odd, as though, much too late, she has realised that she’s married the wrong man.”

Erm… this is the entire point of the show. It’s not odd at all - it’s the very essence of Mildred’s character.

Clearly, only younger people are allowed to want to change their lives, or have regrets. As soon as you get to middle age, you should just curl up and accept your lot. You - apparently - cease to become a person.


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I really don't know how this person managed to completely misinterpret Yootha Joyce's fine performance in either MATH or G&M. It's completely clear that Mildred is full of regret, and it's obvious that she realised that her marriage was possibly a mistake some years ago. But what is also obvious is that she really loves George deep down, and that he also loves her, despite his stubborn and stupid nature.

And, yes, you don't stop having dreams and aspirations after 50, even more so nowadays, as life expectancies are longer than those G&M had to look forward to. God, I HATE it when someone completely misses two fine comic performances like that. Clearly they can only cope with the far more straightforward Terry and June, who are great in their own way, but don't really have the subtely that G&M have.

By Tanya Jones
January 02, 2008 @ 11:43 am

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It's very true. In sharp constast to what most people expect from an ITV sitcom, G&M is by FAR the more layered and interesting show.

By John Hoare
January 02, 2008 @ 2:01 pm

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Shall we just continue this debate at home, darling? ;)

By Tanya Jones
January 02, 2008 @ 2:04 pm

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By John Hoare
January 02, 2008 @ 2:25 pm

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