Friday, 13 April 2012
K Is For Keeping Up Appearances
It's British, it's funny and it's on PBS.
It has become sort of a ritual of mine to sit with my friends and, if I'm home, family to watch Keeping Up Appearances. I found this vintage gem five years ago while I was flipping through channels and I've been hooked ever since.
Keeping Up Appearances is a British sitcom created and written by Roy Clarke for the BBC. Centred on the life of eccentric, social-climbing snob Hyacinth Bucket (who insists that her surname is pronounced Bouquet), the sitcom portrays a social hierarchy-ruled British society. It jokes about a small obsessive world where a determined snobbish middle class woman desperately and continually looks for opportunities to climb the social ladder, despite being wedged between a working class background and upper class aspirations.
The show stars Patricia Routledge as Hyacinth Bucket, the pompous and self-serving central woman obsessed by perfection, image and etiquette, and also includes performances from Clive Swift as her calm, tolerant and long-suffering husband, Richard Bucket, and Josephine Tewson as a friendly pushover neighbour who lives with her brother, played by David Griffin, who is continually fearful of Hyacinth's presence. Judy Cornwell, Geoffrey Hughes and Mary Millar play Hyacinth's relatives, Daisy, Onslow her husband, and Rose, whose working-class presence she is continually fearful of. Her dotty father lives with Daisy, and appears to be Hyacinth's sole reason for visiting such a declasse neighbourhood. On the other hand, she loses no opportunity to brag about her sister, Violet ("It's my sister, Violet! The one with the Mercedes, sauna and room for a pony!"), who has lots of money and a shaky marriage. There is also her never-seen son, Sheridan, a perpetual student at University, about whom Hyacinth constantly brags. Everyone except Hyacinth realizes that Sheridan is gay.
Now you see why I'm addicted. This is an absolute riot to watch and, coupled with Are You Being Served, a downright fantastic Saturday night to spend at home if you have nothing to do. I must be clear, though, I'm not a fan of old comedies (or PBS for that matter), but this one is just incredible. Hyacinth reminds of me Mrs. Dursley from Harry Potter, so if you liked her antics then you'll definitely like this show.