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  • I've been watching this British comedy for about 10 years now; first on PBS and then recently on BBS. I'm sure I've seen all 44 episodes; most of them more than once; some of them three times or more. And I've never gotten bored with a single one. It's true that some of the plots were pretty much repeated over and over. But, still, watching Hyacinth, Richard, Daisy, Onslow, and all the others always gave me a chuckle. I've seen them so many times now that I feel I know each character personally. I wish I could have attended one of Hyancith's candlelight suppers, or spent an afternoon watching TV with Onslow, or gone for an afternoon drive with Hyancith and Richard. It would have been a scream. Situation comedies, British or American, don't get much better than "Keeping Up Appearances".
  • Absolutely fabulous TV series. Great Actors are Patricia Routledge (Hyacinth), Clive Swift (Richard), Josephine Tewson (Elizabeth), and many more. I think it is a fabulous, interesting and very hilarious TV series. I saw Patrica at a Show she did at a venue in Sydney, Australia. Her acting skills are fantastic. She has the knowledge of a professional comedian. She is just one of the best actors (to me) in the world. I read and interview on her on the internet, and she has no need to retire. She says "Retirment, hmmmmmmm..........Rubbish it is. Can't even spell the word" quite frankly, with her skills, I am with her 100%. Clive Swift is another great actor, but also 7 years younger then her, still has a bit of acting skills to catch up on her. Josephine Tewson, another fabulous actor, plays the timid neighbor, Elizabeth. Every time she 'pops in' for a cup of tea or coffee, she ends up spilling something or breaking on of Hyacinths porcelain cups! All the actors on Keeping Up Appearances are great, and should start to think about making another series. WELL DONE!!!
  • My wife and I discovered "Keeping up appearances" several years ago on PBS and we've been hooked ever since. As many times as we watch it, we never tire of Hyacinth's relentless efforts to climb the social latter within the backdrop of her less-than-classy family. KUA is certainly funnier than any sitcom produced in America today. The humor is an excellent mixture of traditional brit, old-fashioned slapstick and numerous sight gags and with facial expressions that are often more telling than dialogue. Patricia Routledge is the greatest comedic actress since Lucille Ball and couldn't possibly be more realistic in this hilarious role. She and her supporting cast lend such an element of realism to the show, one is almost tempted to look outside to see if they may be lurking next door! kudos and cheers to the Brits for this classic.
  • The dry humour of the Brits has no problem mixing up the slapstick in Keeping Up Appearances, a delicious series poking fun at the social graces of upper crust English society in the eyes of a lowly middle-class British wife.

    Patricia Routledge can't be more perfect as Hyacinth Bucket, the charming and altogether frightening definition of an English lady, despite her mediocre financial status. The series follows her incessant efforts to make a name for herself as a social elite, inviting neighbors and important townsfolk over for "candlelight suppers," among other social events she so daftly names. Of course, the whole Hyacinth image wouldn't be nearly as funny unless the hysterical supporting cast weren't there to ground Mrs. Bucket (pronounced "Bouquet") in her place. Her working class sisters, the hussy Rose and the meek Daisy are perfect as Hyacinth's inescapable link to mediocrity. The image is complete with Daisy's slob of a husband Onslo, who dispenses his frank advice with racous results. Rounding up the innocent bystanders of Hyacinth's misadventures are her nervous neighbor Elizabeth and her brother Emmitt, but most of all Hyacinth's whipped yet sardonic husband, Richard, whom you can't help but pity and root for at the same time.

    This is a British comedy to end all comedies. The chances for conflict between Hyacinth's goal as a social mistress and her bourgeois reality are infinite, and the laugh track doesn't lie when Hyacinth is caught between a rock and a hard place - more often literally than figuratively. If you aren't a fan of Brit comedy, you may only be able to stomach a few episodes before the formula seems to wear. However, a true social connoiseur of such a series would scoff at the idea. :-)
  • All words fail to adequately describe our Hyacinth. To say she is a totally consumed, self important, myopic social climber is to be meek in one's definition. But our Hyacinth is also sweet in her own odd way. Hyacinth honestly wants to do good by and for all but she just wants to be seen be all the right people while in the midst of doing it. Her friends love her despite the fact that Hyacinth requires her friends to be long suffering and, selfless in their love of her. Hyacinth's son Sheridan who is suspected to be totally gay to everyone but her while off at University calls home constantly to his doting mommy and cash cow dad. She makes the post man, the power & light dude, tradesmen, heck all visitors to her home go through tons of changes like remove their shoes at the door. Hyacinth was just like my mother so I love her. Hyacinths family was awesome ranging from her one sister whose husband is a cross dressing turf accountant to Daisy whose husband is a Big bone idle man with a great heart and, a car thats s joke.

    This is a awesome show from the UK and, the best imported show we here in the US have ever been graced with. If you love laughing till your sides hurt this is the show you must have.
  • I have been watching Keeping Up Appearances for a number of years now, starting from when I was in middle school. My parents have always been fans of the show from day one and initially I didn't think the idea of a snobbish housewife driving her husband crazy being all that funny. Back then Mr. Bean was the only BritCom I liked, but when I saw my first episode of this classic comedy, I became hooked.

    Everyone is fantastic for their roles, especially Patricia Routledge as Hyacinth Bouquet. It is a shame that the show is no longer in production but nonetheless I enjoy watching the reruns over and over again and I am planning on purchasing KUA on DVD.
  • Keeping Up Appearances has got to be one of my favourite shows EVER!

    I remember watching it years ago when it was first on BBC1, and thinking it was SOOO funny! Now it's back on UK Gold, and I can't help but watch it every time it's on.

    Patrcia Routledge as Hyacinth is fantastic! The casting and acting are perfect. OK, as some people have pointed out, there are so many running jokes - but that is what is all part of what makes this show great!

    Hyacinth's candlelight suppers, her answering the phone "the Bucket residence, the lady of the house speaking!", Elizabth constantly spilling her coffee, always trying to resist her daily order from Hyacinth for morning coffee, Emmett and "she'll sing at me", Onslow "Oh Nice", Vilot - "It's MA Sister Violet, "Daddy!", the vicar, Rose and Mr. whoever, and throughout all this poor old Richard, lol.

    And one of the best and most famous Hyacinth lines - "Sauna, Swimming Pool and room for a pony!!!!"

    It is a true proper British comedy, and is up there with the likes of that other great 90's BBC sitcom - One Foot in the Grave. And also the likes of To The Manor Born, The Good Life, and Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em.

    Everybody you talk to always raises a smile when you mention "the Bucket woman"!

    Only the other day I watched an episode when Hyacinth wanted to test drive a new Rolls Royce so she could get one-up on another one of her posh local rivals - Lydia Hawsworth, whom had just overtaken them in her brand new Jag.

    She made Richard drive it out of the garage without the salesman's permission, and take it to this posh hotel deliberately, as she knew this was where this woman had afternoon tea. Of course Rose, Daisy and Onslow turn up as usual, so they have to get out of there before she bumps into them - how embarrassing! lol. When they get into her "getaway car" as she callas it to Richard, the police turn up and arrest them outside the hotel! And then just at that point who turns up but Lydia Hawksworth!

    This is just an example of how great this show is!

    Quite frankly, I really don't understand how anybody could NOT like it!

    If they don't, then I actually feel slightly sorry for them - as they are missing out on so much enjoyment!

    Oh...and contrary to what somebody has said - in my opinion it is just about the closest thing to perfection that a sitcom can get!
  • I watch this program on PBS all the time!! It is so funny!!! Many times it is much funnier than other American sitcoms on the networks. What makes it so funny is Hyacinth's character; she is both believeable and UNbelievable at the same time!! I recommend this show to everyone who wants a laugh!
  • serendipity23 October 2000
    This show is truly hilarious with its superb writing, excellent physical comedy and biting wit! Although Routledge lights up the screen with her portrayal of class-conscious Hyacinth, she is well supported by a varied and talented supporting cast. From Violet (the sister with a Mercedes and room for a pony) to library-book reading Daisy, the cast provides non-stop laughter and storylines that keep you watching to discover the next crazy twist. Hyacinth's flamboyant snobbery and utter self-absorption is an excellent contrast to her straight, resigned husband Richard. The running jokes 'Appearances' provides keep you laughing from the theme song to the closing credits. You will tune in for each episode to witness another round of Rose's declarations of love, Hyacinth's worries about whether the post will realize she is of a social standing that should only receive FIRST class mail, Sheridan's requests of money and avoidance of women (reportedly because Mummy asks - not because of his dubious interests!) and Elizabeth's inevitable break of china or spill of tea. Watch it! You won't regret it!
  • frncsbrennan9 September 2010
    This series is perhaps the funniest I have ever seen. Patricia Routledge (Hyacinth Bucket) is brilliant (to use a British phrase.) She is not only that-but darn hilarious. The supporting cast matches her along way. Geoffry Hughes is great as Onslow, who plays Hyacinth's slob brother-in-law who can care less about every and anything. And then there is Daisy, his desperate wife and Hyacinth's sister, who is desperate to get Onslow to show some interest in her. And then there is the man crazy sister Rose (Mary Millar) who will do anything to get a man and to swear off them of them as well (including donating her undies to Charity.) And, of course, there's Hyacinth's poor suffering husband Richard and her neighbor, Elizabeth, who is so nervous in Hyacinth's presence that she continually breaks Hyacinth's Periwinkle China every time she is asked (forced to)come to tea. This is a hilarious series, every episode is enjoyable.
  • when i first saw keeping up appearances i thought it was funny, nice and delight, but after a couple of episodes i was amazed by the great actors such as hyacinth, richard, onslow, rose and daisy. they are just funny and perfect for their characters....

    5 seasons 5 years of pure comedy the best of britain...
  • Definitely one of my favourite sitcoms, Keeping up appearances is funny because of it's characters rather than its jokes.

    Hyacinth Bucket (Pronounced Bou-kay) is a middle class snob who lives with her long suffering husband Richard. Patricia Routledge is perfectly cast as Hyacinth and really makes the part her own, her facial expressions are hilarious, especially when she blinks her eyes erratically when something catastrophic has happened (Mainly her brother in law Onslow in a dirty vest) and she loves to sing.

    The supporting cast are crucial to make Hyacinth appear even worse, she annoys them like mad but they can't tell her how they feel, she never listens. sister Daisy and bro in law Onslow are the opposite of Hyacinth, slobby and lazy and her sister Rose in her hotpants loves all the men in the area.

    Elizabeth and her brother Emmet are the terrified next door neighbours, Elizabeth can't be in Hyacinth's company without breaking the bone china and Emmet will do anything to avoid Mrs. Bou-kay.

    As he puts it:

    "She'll sing at me"

    I also like the local vicar (The one Hyacinth dies to impress) he calls her the bucket woman!

    This programme is a simple idea that works, it doesn't give us weeks of wonderful, trivial plot lines, it's pretty much the same; Hyacinth tries to impress someone important but her plans ate thwarted by her Daddy or Daisy or Onslow, but this is why it's funny. People are the same as they were last week and the more we watch the character's eccentricities the more we grow to love them. it's great to see how Hyacinth will react in the situations she's placed in.

    Overall it never lost its spark and even though it finished a while back it still brings a smile to my face.
  • Hyacinth Bucket was a first class snob and a great eccentric. She came from an eccentric family - lazy Daisy and her passion for philosophising layabout husband Onslow; rampant Rose - always seeking Mr Right, or Mr Anybody; Daddy - well past the height of his mental powers; and Violet - married to a cross-dressing turf accountant.

    Hyacinth's adored son, Sheridan, was never seen on screen, but it was established that the lad was very much his mother's son! Why did long-suffering husband Richard and neighbours Liz and Emmett put up with Hyacinth? Wherever she went, she caused chaos in her endless pursuit of a refined and elegant existence.

    This is the most English of comedies: on the island of Britain, no nation takes class more seriously than England - and this series also demonstrates the wonderful ability of the English to laugh at their own peculiarities.

    A wonderful series - and one of the last truly great English sitcoms.
  • I have been watching "KuA" faithfully for a few years now. I have to say that Great Britain has produced the two best actors in recorded history: Ricky Gervais,of "The Office," and this wonderful lady. I apologize ahead of time to all of Lucille Ball's fans,but in my opinion,for what it's worth,there is no comparison between the two women. "Hyacinth" wins hands down.I never tire of her voice,or her physical comedy.Just tonight I was watching an episode,and actually choked on my drink because I was laughing so hard. Thank you BBCA,for airing this show daily. I understand Ms. Routledge is a national treasure in England,as well she should be. I only wish she was appearing in new would have been interesting to see how Hyacinth changed,if at all.I simply adore her,and poor Richard,too. All of the regular actors who appear on the show are marvelous.I intend to buy every DVD set or single special episode of the series.
  • Chrissie5 October 2002
    Snobbish Hyacynth Bucket ("Bou-quet!" she insists) is the quintessential self-centered social climber oblivious of her own shortcomings. But what really makes the show shine are the supporting characters -- Slatternly Daisy, perpetually reading bodice-rippers, and her slobbish but good-natured husband Onslow; trashy Rose; pitiful Violet with her cross-dressing husband but "Mercedes, swimming pool, and room for a pony; Emmett the timorous neighbor who lives in terror that Hyacinth will "sing at me" (with a voice that shatters glass); the "dishy vicar" who tries to hide when "that Bucket woman" nears; and, of course, long-suffering henpecked Richard...

    Yes, it's the same jokes over and over again. But that's part of the magic that worked for the Marx Brothers.
  • I've watched it for years on PBS and then got tired of all pledge drives preempting my weekly dose of Hyacinth so I bought the entire set on DVD. I really enjoy the characters and Hyacinth's outfits are to die for. I have an aunt who is reminds me so much of Hyacinth it's uncanny. Every time I watch an episode, it feels like coming home. Yes, it's formulaic but it's still uproariously funny. Definitely one of the bests sit-coms I've ever seen. Patricia Rutledge's portrayal of Hyacinch Bucket (pronounced Bouquet) is hysterical and Clive Swift is terrific in his portrayal of her long suffering husband. The DVD sets have some nice extras and interviews. Keeping Up Appearances has broad appeal; from bikers to attorneys to my mother (who is reminded of her sister).
  • Never before has there been a middle class English housewife so determined to climb the social ladder (or at least appear to). Constantly on the look-out for opportunities to rub elbows with the "socially desirable" upper crust, Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced BOU-QUET) always manages to utterly embarrass herself in the process. This set of 4 DVDs features more of the hilarious adventures of Hyacinth and the family and "friends" who put up with her obnoxiously "uppity" demeanor. Whether pretending to plan a "very expensive" trip or entertaining eccentric millionaires (who could pass for vagabonds judging by their attire), Hyacinth never passes up a chance to show how superior she is to all of those "wanna-be's" out there.

    Supporting cast includes faithful (and long suffering) husband Richard, 3 sisters (of various social standings and emotional stability) and their husbands/gentleman-friends, ever-nervous next-door neighbors Elizabeth (whose husband is permanently on business trips) and her brother Emmett (who is happily divorced, now concentrating on his work as small-time music director at local functions). The sister's "Daddy" makes occasional appearances as dementia-ridden old man who is known for his flair to suddenly disappear. The oft-discussed and frequently telephoning "Sheridan" (Hyacinth's pride and joy son who is off at University studying needle-work and related arts and crafts and enjoys asking for regular hand-outs from his Mummy and Daddy) is actually never seen, assuring that any actual person would be a disappointment after hearing all of the colorful stories about "My Sheridan".

    This is Brit-Coms at their very best! The laughs never stop long enough to catch your breath completely. This is the "I Love Lucy" of BBC's sit-com vault! There is no chance that anyone would not be absolutely thrilled with this collection of humorous situations. A five-star DVD set - highly recommended!
  • Certainly one of the best ever sitcoms. No matter how many time one watches this show, there will always be that moment when you fall about in humorous agony. Laughs from the start - never stopping til end of closing credits. Definitely the greatest 90's tv comedy. All American shows pale in comparison. Dad's Army was the 60's top British comedy and KUA rightly holds the 90's crown. The cast is perfect, love or hate them.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Keeping Up Appearances has always been a personal favorite of mine. It has everything a good comedy needs: catch phrases, good stories, classic plots, extraordinary characters,... The actors are all first class and especially Patricia Routledge, who plays Hyacinth, is outstanding. I mean, has an actress ever been so good in playing her role? I don't think so.

    The series also have a 'happy atmosphere' around them. From the first minute, when you see Hyacinth appear dusting her books, it almost makes you laugh immediately. She can say 'The Bouquet Residence, Lady of the house speaking' 1000 times, it still makes you laugh. And apart from those many catch phrases and some predictable stories it feels so 'real'. They drink real coffee, when she cleans her thee pot it is actually filled with real hot water, ... I bet thousands of people have such a neighbor like Hyacinth.

    This is the only good comedy of the '90, absolutely. Brilliant television filled with all sorts of comedy: dry, subtle, physical,... They can make as many sitcoms as they want, not any will ever come near 'Keeping Up Appearances'. Congratulations to Roy Clarke, Patricia Routledge, Clive Swift and the rest of the cast & crew who made this a wonderful series.

    "This is not the Chinese restaurant. This is a residential number and you are speaking to the lady of the house on a white, slim line telephone with last number redial facility!" BRILLIANT! I LOVE KEEPING UP APPEARANCES!
  • Today I woke early and caught a section of the Bette Davis movie, Watch on the Rhine made in 1943. The segment I watched did not even have Bette Davis but what struck me profoundly and immediately was the character named Fanny Farrelly played by Lucille Watson (born 27 May 1879 Québec, Canada - died 24 June 1962, New York). I don't recall ever seeing her before in any film, but, in this one, it was apparent that her portrayal of Fanny was the inspiration Patricia Routledge took for the character Hyacinth. The behavior and expressions were so similar, I first thought that it must be Patricia in this role, but I knew that it was made in 1943, so it was impossible for it to be her. I would love to see the entire movie, but, will have to wait to find it on again. Anyone who is a fan of Keep Up Appearances would get a kick out of seeing this film just to see this woman! The only difference was that Fanny had no obsession with how things "appeared" to other people. But the facial expressions and even the voice are astonishingly similar to Patricia's portrayal of Hyacinth. I would love to know if anyone else has ever seen this film. Also would love to find out from Pat herself if this film inspired her, but don't know any way of contacting her.
  • Poor Richard Bucket. You know what he thinks of his home life right at the start of the series. Now old enough to retire, the long-suffering husband of the woman who makes such a show of her "Royal Doulton with the hand-painted periwinkles" would get on his knees and clean the carpets in his old workplace if it meant he could spend more time away from Hyacinth.

    Hyacinth Bucket ("that's Bouquet . . . B-U-C-K-E-T") is a woman possessed. She'll stop at nothing to propel herself up the social ladder. She'll spend the weekend in a country cottage that isn't big enough to turn around in if it makes her look a bit more upwardly mobile. What with the unseen Sheridan constantly on the phone for more money that his father can't afford to give him or bothering Elizabeth next door to join her for coffee in ten minutes, Hyacinth certainly has her life worked out. And everyone else's, for that matter.

    What I particularly like is everything that holds Hyacinth back. Her sister Violet has a swimming pool, sauna and room for a pony (I've seen Keeping Up Appearances so many times I can rattle that one off without thinking) and a cross-dressing husband named Bruce. Her other sister Rose is possibly two steps away from being a prostitute - she's always got at least three men on the go and doesn't know what to do with any of them - and lives in what Hyacinth would consider squalor with the fourth sister, Daisy, and Daisy's carefree slob of a husband Onslow. I always love it when Daisy tries to get a bit romantic with Onslow and he just thinks she's mad.

    At least Violet and Bruce, and Daisy and Rose and Onslow have the compensation of living far away from Hyacinth. Poor Elizabeth next door has had her nerves shattered by Hyacinth's glass-shattering voice (which has often led poor Liz to shatter several dozen pieces of Hyacinth's crockery) and her brother Emmet vents his frustration out on his piano. One wonderful scene when Hyacinth volunteers to help at the church hall sees Richard, Onslow, Emmet and Michael the Vicar hiding in the basement in the dark as they try to fix the electrics. Everyone needs a place to hide from Hyacinth.
  • I used to watch "Keeping Up Appearances" in England because the main character, Hyacinth Bucket (Patricia Routledge), actually reminded me of a British version of a relative of mine. (I'm not naming names!) The show isn't as well known in the States, although it does get some broadcast over the weekend on PBS.

    Essentially the show is about a woman named Hyacinth who is like Patrick Bateman from "American Psycho" on a less psychopathic scale - all she worries about are the material things: social status, clothing, items, upkeep of her home, etc.

    Her husband Richard (Clive Swift) puts up with all her belittlement. Swift is one of the great comedians of the 1990s for providing the performances he did in this show; he compliments it so nicely.

    Routledge, known to the UK public as a drama actress, managed to provide her audience with comedy in 1990 and the result was an instant classic. Her role, Hyacinth Bucket ("Bouquet!"), shall never be forgotten.

    It's also worth mentioning Jeoffrey Hughes as Hyacinth's brother-in-law, who plays a lovable slob whom Hyacinth hates.

    This show will make you laugh and care for the characters. Highly recommended.
  • Hyacinth Bucket, or should I say, "Bouqet", is one of TV's greatest ladies. Patricia Routledge plays the part extremely well, allowing us to enter middle-Britain every time we tune in.

    Keeping Up Appearances is truly delightfully written. With a talented cast; each episode unfolds into another problem for Hyacinth and her family. Her estranged son Sheriden, who never appears on screen is her true treasure. She is so proud of him and his achievements but is forever missing the signs that he is doing a drama and arts course and living with another man. Hilarious! Hyacinth's ever so hard efforts to climb the social ladder are so funny. Each and every episode she is trying to better herself and her long-loving and long-suffering husband, Richard.

    The essence of the programme is how different from Hyacinth her two sisters are. Rose and Daisy, from the nearby council estate give Hyacinth nothing but grief and embarrassment! From their old Ford Cortina parked on the driveway on bricks, with a dog on the back seat to Rose's new man, Hyacinth is forever worried about what the upper classes will think of her.

    Excellent script writing makes the on-screen chemistry between Hyacinth and her family truly remarkable. I love the true British style to this comedy drama. There's a Hyacinth in every village and that's what makes it so funny to watch.

    An outstanding programme, with good and very good acting throughout. Well done to all those associated with Keeping Up Appearance.
  • I think that Keeping Up Appearances was marvellous, i love it. It never fails to have me in stitches no matter what episode, however it makes you wonder why Richard puts up with it, why he didn't divorce Hyacinth or marry her in the first place.

    Patricia Routledge is a marvellous clown and was made for the role of Hyyacynth Bucket, Clive Swift was excellent as Richard and Daisy, Onslow and Rose well couldn't get better.

    Keeping up Appearances is one of the very best sitcoms of the 90's and should be on television every week without fail along with the fabulous Roy Clarke's Last of the summer Wine.
  • Keeping Up Appearances is quite simply my most favourite television program of all time. Bar none. Writer Roy Clarke has taken his enormous talent, which he exhibited throughout 'The Last of The Summer Wine' and amplified it 10-fold.

    It's the only show I've ever watched in it's entirety well over 20 times, and still I find it absolutely hilarious. I make a point of re-watching it at least once per year, and it has been a staple in my TV diet since I was an adolescent. (I'm 33 Now).

    Some people, particularly those not fond of British Class-based humour may find it dull and boring, but for those of us that love this style of comedy this is the epitome of entertainment.

    To say I love the show would be a severe understatement, and I don't make this claim lightly - if a show is bad, I say so - this isn't - it's brilliantly written and performed with perfect comic timing.

    The only downside is there just isn't enough episodes - because for me, even if there was 1000 I don't think I could ever grow tired of "The Bucket Woman's" antics.

    Patricia Routledge and Clive Swift are amazing actors and the supporting cast do more than provide justice for this ranking as absolute all-time number one.

    Now if you don't mind, I must go and answer my'll be my Sheridan of course...I can tell by the psychic pain between my shoulder blades :p
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