9 June 2020 | mikeleach-1
sadly underrated mini-masterpieces
I was astounded to find this series rated as low as 7.4, and equally astounded to read in another review both of its declining viewing figures and the reviewer's opinion of the relative talents of Victoria Wood and Rik Mayall.
To my mind these playlets are possibly the best thing Victoria Wood ever did, and believe me I am aware that there is a LOT of competition. The characterisation is superb, the dialogue snappy and beautifully detailed (rather like Alan Bennett's, who has himself expressed admiration for this aspect of Victoria's writing), and the acting by Victoria's regular repertory company and a few perfectly cast guests (NB Patricia Hodge, Kay Adshead) spot-on.
One of the things I find most appealing is their depiction of female friendships, which was probably still a bit unusual in TV and film at the time. Maybe fans of The Sweeney and The Professionals found this off-putting.