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  • Form your own ideas about Mollie Sugden portraying "Ida Willis". Of course she does NOT act like Mrs. Slocombe because she isn't. If you give her a chance, you'll have a good chance at enjoying her portrayal. A 'real' Mollie Sugden fan will enjoy Ida too; whereas a Mrs. Slocombe fan might not. It's just like Patricia Routledge portraying Hyacinth Bucket [Bouquet] and Hetty Wainthropp. They are both interesting characters but Hyacinth is a funny snob whereas Hetty is a lady detective. They're different, as are Mrs. Slocombe & Ida. I really believe that you'll enjoy BOTH characters. Give them a chance; you'll be glad you did!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In 1977, two of the cast from 'Are You Being Served?' - John Inman and Mollie Sugden - were given their own shows. Inman's was a Vince Powell scripted show for Thames Television entitled 'Odd Man Out', which was about a man who inherits half ownership of a seaside rock factory from his father. Sugden's was a BBC sitcom entitled 'Come Back Mrs. Noah' which was written by Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft ( the same team behind 'Are You Being Served?' ) and focused on the story of a housewife who is accidentally blasted into space after visiting a space shuttle as a prize in a competition. Both shows were a disaster, each only running for one series. In 1981, the pair were given a second chance, Inman moved to Southern Television for 'Take A Letter, Mr. Jones' ( a big business sitcom by Ronald Wolfe & Ronald Chesney ) whilst Sugden was taken under the wing of Yorkshire Television to take on the leading role in Pam Valentine and Michael Ashton's 'That's My Boy'. Inman's second show fared no better than his first whereas Sudgen had more success this time round. 'That's My Boy' proved sufficiently popular to run to five series.

    Meet Ida Willis, a hard-as-nails housekeeper whose no-nonsense approach makes her unpopular with clients. One day, a young doctor by the name of Robert Price ( the late Christopher Blake ) and his sexy model wife Angie ( Jennifer Lonsdale ) apply for a housekeeper. Guess who should be sent out to their glamorous flat for the job? Whilst Angie seems to take to her, Robert dislikes her on sight. To make matters even worse he later discovers ( in one of those strange coincidences that only ever seems to happen in a sitcom ) that she is his long lost mother ( Ida gave him up for adoption when he was a baby ). As the series progresses, Robert and Ida both warm to each other, however Ida refuses to refer to him as anything other than Shane ( which was the name she gave him ), something that gets right up the hooter of Mrs. Price ( Clare Richards ), Robert's rather snooty adoptive mother.

    In the fourth series Robert has moved from his flat in Muswell Hill to a doctor's apartment in Little Birchmarch where he takes on the dithering Miss. Parfitt ( Deddie Davies ) as his secretary and in the final series, Angie becomes an actress for television commercials, much to Robert's dismay.

    Original? Definitely not! Contrived? Most certainly, but it was highly amusing and compared to Valentine and Ashton's previous sitcom 'You're Only Young Twice' ( set in a retirement home and starring Peggy Mount ) it is Noel Coward. Sugden may be best remembered for 'Are You Being Served?' but in my opinion 'That's My Boy' is vastly superior. Christopher Blake plays Robert much in the same way as he played Thomas Simpson in 'Mixed Blessings' while Jennifer Londsale does not get much to do than flutter her eyelashes and look pretty. Harold Goodwin was impressive in those episodes he did as Ida's scrounging brother Wilfred.

    It was pleasant, inoffensive stuff, never reaching any great heights but keeping one laughing throughout. Strangely enough, apart from a repeat on the now defunct Granada Plus about fifteen years ago, it has more or less disappeared. After 'That's My Boy' finished, Valentine and Ashton cast Sugden ( aside her husband William Moore ) in another Yorkshire Television sitcom - 'My Husband & I' - which ran for two series.

    'That's My Boy' was released on DVD a few years by Network. For Mollie Sugden fans, it is a must!
  • What a lovely show this is to watch, it's incredibly light hearted, it's funny, and it's terribly sweet. It's not the funniest comedy you will ever see, but it certainly has its moments, it is totally inoffensive, and just such an easy show to watch and giggle away too. Of course most of us will watch it because it's Molly Sugden, and of course she's brilliant, for those thinking it's an ITV show written for Mrs Slocombe, it isn't, she is so different, Ida is not Betty. Aside from Molly the regular cast are really enjoyable, especially Clare Richards and Harold Godwin, I love the pair of them. Funny episodes across all 4 series, but I think it's perhaps fair to say the earlier ones are the better ones.

    I think if you love Molly you can very much enjoy this overlooked little gem, 8/10
  • A strange premise for a sitcom but it sort of works chiefly because of Mollie Sugden's immensely likable performance. This show also has a terrific theme tune which suits the show really well. It is surprising that they made 5 series and maybe it did go on too long but some of the episodes are enjoyable, and in places, quite funny. I really like Jennifer Lonsdale as Angie, and Christopher Blake as Robert is also perfectly OK. I liked this show when first shown on TV without it being one of my favourites and the same applies now. Worth watching if you like something fairly gentle but with a few laughs and well worth seeing if you like Mollie Sugden.
  • Very funny but minor comedy series from the 80s that stars the terrific Mollie Sugden as a pushy, possessive, and very funny mother.

    Odd plot has Sugden as Ida Willis, a middle-aged woman who works as a domestic. When she shows up for a new job, she discovers that the doctor she's working for (Christopher Blake) is the baby she gave up for adoption 28 years before. While this seems like an odd starting point for a comedy, it injects some tension in the relationships between mother and son and adopted mother (Clare Richards).

    The snooty adoptive mother has raised the boy, named Robert, to be a proper prig. Down-to-earth Ida constantly needles the doctor, whom she named Shane after a soap opera character, to break through his pomposity, much to the delight of his sweet wife (Jennifer Lonsdale).

    Lurking in the corners is Ida's shiftless brother Wilfred (Harold Goodwin) who's a thorn in her side and an embarrassment to Robert.

    In the fourth season, Robert gets the chance at his own medical practice in the country, so the shows packs up and moves to a new locale. This season also brings in the marvelous Deddie Davies as the medical secretary Edith Parfitt.

    The series provided another great character for the wonderful Mollie Sugden, joining Mrs. Slocombe from "Are You Being Served?" in the pantheon of unforgettable British comedy characters.
  • Watching this show brought back fond memories of both Mollie Sugden and of British comedies of those years. There really are not any plots to speak of with their only purpose being to encourage a few moments of simplistic escapism. The humor mostly relies on the characterizations of Mollie and her co stars. They are two dimensional and laden with mugging to the camera, but for me, charming. I did laugh when someone commented how terrific the theme song is. It consists of "la la la, that's my boy" repeated over and over again ad nauseum until I decided to fast forward through it after viewing the first few episodes.

    I did find the series to improve as it went along. I would guess that you would really have to like Mollie in order to like the show, which I do. Of the two other lead characters, Jennifer Lonsdale, I can't find any other work she did after this series and Christopher Blake died fairly young. They do what they are supposed to do which is mainly to serve as backdrop for Mollie to bounce off of and are likable while doing it. Jennifer is very attractive and her wardrobe representing her character of a high fashion model is sometimes remarkable and sexy.

    I found it to be very pleasant spending some evenings with this show.
  • This Mollie Sugden vehicle is based on the less-than-hilarious premise of a woman coincidentally being sent to work as a domestic for the son she gave up for adoption 28 years before and lives up to its promise. Though Ms. Sugden continues her crusty broad persona that was used to riotous effect on "Are You Being Served," and Jennifer Lonsdale is an appealing presence as her newly discovered daughter-in-law, the show falls terribly flat. The character of her son, Robert, is quite badly realized, though Christopher Blake makes a game try with the little he's given. None of this character's reactions seem realistic in the least, regardless of which mother he's treating boorishly. I've seen the first three episodes and have no desire to see more. The 483rd viewing of any of the hijinks on the floor of Grace Brothers provides more laughs than this mirthless exercise.