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CHICAGO HOPE (1994-5)

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CHICAGO HOPE

SEASON ONE 1994-5

Mandy Patinkin / Adam Arkin / Hector Elizondo / Roxanne Hart / Peter MacNicol / Thomas Gibson / Diane Venora / Stephen Elliot / Robyn Lively / Kim Greist / Bert Rosario / McNally Sagan / Jamie Rose / Carlease Burke / Producers   John Heath & James C. Hart / Music Score by  Jeff Rona /  Cinematography by  Tim Suhrstedt / Written & Created by  David E. Kelley 

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Returning to Chicago Hope is a surprisingly rewarding experience, considering the plethora of  hospital dramas that regularly open up practice on our screens. All the familiar ingredients for an American medical soap-opera are there from the outset :  Hot-headed young doctor who flies too close to the sun; an ageing surgeon fearing being put out to pasture; morality arguments over charging for hospital care;  divorce played out in the workplace; a continual succession of patients running as sub-plots that neatly begin and end with each episode.. it all feels comfortably familiar, and yet we very quickly notice the style and maturity of the writing, and the subtle intelligence of the cast performances. Chicago Hope was unlucky in it’s timing, appearing on our screens just one night before fellow hospital rival ‘E.R.’ lurched into immediate 1st place in the viewing figures, with it’s break-neck speed and edgy camerawork, covering a war-zone of MASH style carnage. Viewed back to back the two shows were such polar opposites of pace that they scarcely felt the same genre at all.  E.R. captured an audience immersed in MTV rapid editing, and punchy news style reportage, but Chicago Hope took it’s time to draw breath, relying more on individual class performances, mood and the luxury of character development.

Creator and writer David E. Kelley certainly knows his stuff when it comes to weaving TV Hospital and Legal drama series into gold, with such iconic offerings as ‘LA.Law‘, ‘Ally McBeal‘, ‘Doogie Howser M.D.‘, and more recently ‘Boston Legal‘.  The mid-nineties Chicago Hope series is set in an Illinois charity hospital, and manages to combine both medical and legal matters, by installing  an in-house cut-throat lawyer played with aplomb by the excellent Peter MacNicol ( ‘Sophie’s Choice‘ and later to appear as the remarkable ‘Biscuit’, in Kelley’s Ally McBeal). So we have a difficult partnership of opposing natures, that of the caring (though affluent) professionals struggling to maintain idealism within the  cold, money-orientated system, whilst an instrument of that very system (MacNicol) fights fire with fire, ultimately making the doctors reliant upon the very backhanded tactics that represent everything they despise about the System. This unholy alliance characterizes much of Kelley’s work, with the legal dramas internalizing the battle between the desire to help, and the seductions of monetary reward, of what is best for the client, and what feeds the Firm that allows the Pro-bono work to exist in the first place.

Our struggling protagonist at the heart of Chicago Hope is Mandy Patinkin as Dr. Jeffrey Geiger, the hospital’s hotshot surgeon struggling with personal and emotional problems that put him into dangerous friction with both the Hospital board and close friends alike. At turns both charming and obnoxious, taking dangerous risks that generally pay off, but concern his colleagues and threaten to end in tragedy. If this character sounds all too familiar, then you’ve probably realized that ‘House’ borrowed more than a stethoscope from it’s predecessor.

Adam Arkin, Hector Elizondo and  Roxanne Hart (who you may recall from ‘Highlander‘) give good solid performances, and MacNicol shines brightly from the sidelines, but Patinkin steals the show. Up until the appearance of Chicago Hope, TV was still the testing ground for careers that would bridge into cinema, with Denzel Washington stepping out of his Doctor’s white coat in ‘St.Elsewhere’ and George Clooney jumping ship from ‘E.R.’ for a bigger slice of the pie.  By contrast Mandy Patinkin marked a change in tradition, with what would soon be an influx of big screen names moving ‘to’ television. The effect is very clear by the end of the second episode (no spoilers here!), when we finish on a moment of such emotional clout, that we quite forget we’re watching a weekly TV show. Along the way the use of an occasional expletive caused the censors to raise an eyebrow, but again helped make Chicago Hope an edgier and more surprising experience. 

When Chicago Hope first reached Britain’s shores in the mid 1990’s, it was viewed with a certain cultural distance, since at that time the Health Care Systems of the States and of Britain were quite different in nature. With the recent radical shifts in political ideology in regards to it’s National Health Service, England is rapidly approaching a time when hospitals will closer mirror the America model. Upon it’s release in the UK for 2012, Chicago Hope shows a prescient glimpse of a health system that all too soon will be part and parcel of British life. So then,with it’s release onto DVD  not only is this series a product of it’s time, it is also a show to be re-watched with a keener sense of  identification for British audiences.

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Season One of  CHICAGO HOPE is now available from

Revelation Films / kochmediain a nice 6 disc box set

-22 episodes – 1014 minutes-

http://www.revfilms.co.uk/drama-dvd/348-chicago-hope-season-1.html

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Poppy Shakespeare (2008)

Poppy Shakespeare

POPPY SHAKESPEARE


Anna Maxwell Martin / Naiomie Harris / Jonathan Cullan / Adrian Scarborough / Claire Benedict / Cathy Murphy / Nicholas Beveney / Marie Critchley /  Darrell D’Silva / Janine Birkett / Michelle Dockery / Based on the novel ‘Poppy Shakespeare’ by Clare Allan / Screenplay Sarah Williams / Art Direction Grant Armstrong / Cinematography Danny Cohen / Directed Benjamin Ross


‘Since prisons and madhouses exist, why somebody is bound to sit in them.’

ANTON CHEKHOV


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Channel 4’s pledge to make modern, bold programming is exemplified in it’s adaptation of Clare Allan’s lyrical novel ‘Poppy Shakespeare’. While the BBC single-handedly keeps the period drama alive, Channel 4 feeds vital blood into the modern British film industry, putting some of that reality show cash to good use. Anna Maxwell Martin (‘Bleak House’ and star of the West End hit ‘Caberet’) plays ‘N’, the nameless veteran of a lifetime in mental healthcare, outpatient from the Dorothy Fish hospital. One of a number of fellow patients battling with the realisation that cutbacks and privatisation will gradually see each of them one by one cut loose to the despair of their own recogniscence. Despite her sorrowful demeaner (looking remarkably like Kenny from South Park in her highly zipped red jacket) and tragic childhood, it becomes gradually clear that ‘N’ is by far the sanest ‘dribbler’ on the block, Institutionalised yet savvy to how the system works.

Enter Poppy Shakespeare, played by Naiomie Harris (you may remember her Jamaican accented harpy from Pirates of the Caribbean), admitted to the Dorothy Fish against her will.. aggressive, but seemingly quite sane. ‘N’ is given the job of showing Poppy the ropes, but the two quickly latch onto eachother in a rather intense relationship that sees a reversal of fortunes, personalities, and perceptions of reality.

Jonathan Cullen

Naomie Harris

Anna Maxwell Martin really is mezmerizing to watch (both here and in the achingly sad ‘Bleak House’), the only actor I can think of to compare her with is Timothy Spall, or perhaps Ralph Fiennes performance in the David Cronenberg film ‘Spider’..except Anna manages to exude far more natural charm. Although Anna dominates each and every scene, Naiome Harris does an admirable job, and there’s a wonderful collection of characters in the supporting cast. Adrian Scarborough (‘Gavin & Stacey’) heads up the ministry of madness in the guise of ‘Middle class Michael’, along with an assortment of notables including Cathy Murphy (‘Casualty 1906’) and a wonderfully sincere Claire Benedict (I seem to remember seeing her in ‘Grange Hill’ as one of the teachers?) amongst others. There’s a lovely little scene in a trapped lift with Nicholas Woodeson (Posca from ‘Rome’) delivering an eerie little speech, blurring the already smudged line between sanity & madness further. Darrell D’Silva’s state legitimized drug dealer dispenses his wares Trainspotting style with a dash of market salesmanship. There’s more than a hint of 60’s modernist nightmare ‘The Prisoner’ ( ‘but with N’ reversing No.6’s fight, in a bid to stay locked in) inmates reduced to the identity of their lettered chairs, and the shifting goalposts of control. ‘Along with Catch-22 twisted logic – ‘I know it sounds insane Poppy, but the reality is that you must be considered mad to be eligable for Mad-money, and you need the Mad-money to pay the legal fees involved in proving yourself sane.’  Edging into the territory of Terry Gilliam’s ‘surrealist nightmare ‘Brazil’.

Keeping yer head down

Catch-22

However good the acting in these pieces, there’s ever the danger that the depressive air surrounding issues of mental health will put most people off, but I really don’t think that’s the case here. There’s enough black comedy and stylish flourishes to the art direction to draw us in, and the charming way in which ‘N’ asides to the camera and looms close to the lens holds our fixed attention to the last. On top of this we’re charmed by the catchy theme music with it’s whistles & claps (‘The Turtle’ bonobo mix by Pilote, reminding me a little of ‘something from Luc Besson’s The Big Blue’ soundtrack) acting as an effective lure in adverts the week before Poppy aired in the UK. Hunting down a copy on DVD will involve finding the Australian edition, since Channel 4 don’t seem in much of a hurry to give Poppy a flag waving release in the UK. A shame really, since it’s a remarkable piece that well deserves a wider audience.

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Performance

Rejection

Mirror, Mirror

Reflection

‘I thought you were..a nurse..Look, that thing I just said about not being a nutter, well..I’m sorry, I didn’t realise. I ain’t got a problem with mental illness..it’s just there’s nothing the matter with me.’

Poppy

One of us

Taking the edge off

Christmas cheer

‘Just like that..I can’t believe it..she wasn’t normal last night. God knows she was high as the sky last night! How could she be normal all of a sudden?’

Ministry of madness

Hidden cinema

Expulsion

Despair

‘I wouldn’t worry about that. You must be mad, or else you wouldn’t be here.’

Rebirth

POPPY SHAKESPEARE AUTHOR CLARE ALLAN

Clare Allan used her 10-year stint in the mental health system as inspiration for her acclaimed novel Poppy Shakespeare, which is now a Channel 4 feature film. She speaks to Kate Weinberg about her journey from inpatient to feted writer.

“I think people often feel a bit short-changed when they meet me,” says novelist and former psychiatric patient Clare Allan. “That I’m not doing the shuffling, dribbling thing. Or wielding an axe.”
She recounts the story of her first ever interview with a publisher. “This woman was looking a bit cheated by the rather-too-sane conversation we were having. Then I leant back to emphasise a point and fell off my chair. That seemed to cheer her up enormously.” We’ve just ordered a Salad Nicoise in Cecconi’s, an Italian restaurant in the heart of Mayfair frequented by Saville Row businessmen and the I’m-so-big-in-media-I-wear-jeans-crowd. I tell her that the lack of axe is not a terrible let down and that the waiters are probably quite pleased about the dribbling. But she’s right. At six foot, with short, dark hair and black velvet trousers she is more Geena Davis in The Long Kiss Goodnight than Kathy Bates in Misery. Not being mad enough was what Clare remembers worrying about on the bus on the way to her first psychiatric hospital.

“I was terrified they wouldn’t let me in, because I knew how much I needed the help. Like a lot of people I relied on stereotypes. You know, straight-jacket, nervous tic, boiling rabbits….” She dispatches some anchovies onto her side plate and looks up, deadpan. “I did lose a rabbit when I was a kid. But I’m pretty sure he died of old age.” Hearing Clare talk about her experiences is a master class in trenches humour. She recalls one of her first days sitting in the common room of a psychiatric hospital in Archway, where they all chained smoked and drank endless cups of tea. “A patient was talking about the time she drove to Beachy Head to commit suicide. “Only she had to turn back because she couldn’t find anywhere to park the car.”

This marked the beginning of a ten-year stint in the mental health system. Shunted around various psychiatric hospitals in North London, Clare was variously diagnosed with paranoid psychosis, psychotic depression, developing schizophrenia, manic depression, major psychotic disorder and borderline personality – a list which she claims was “about as much use as covering a parcel with ‘fragile’ stickers.” So did they put her on medication? Clare gives me a look like an M & S employee who’s been asked whether they stock underpants. “Anti-psychotics, mood-stabilisers, sleeping tablets,” Clare checks the list off on her fingers. “Anti-depressants, tranquilisers… Oh, and did I mention, medication to counteract the effects of other medication.” Having spent five years in and out of “the system” Clare heard about the Creative Writing course at UEA, then taught by Poet Laureate Andrew Motion. She faxed an application through from the ward, making sure she blacked out the top of the headed paper so “no-one thought she was applying from the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

A few weeks later she was called up for interview. Glancing at her then rebelliously close-cropped hair, nose stud and eyebrow ring, Motion looked down at his notes (which she later surmised must have been headed “Allan, Clare”), before clearing his throat and venturing, “Alan?”

“A look of what I can only describe as pure panic shot across his face when he realised he’s got it wrong,” says Clare. “I could practically hear the sound of the Poet Laureate’s toes curling.” Allan, Clare got a place on the course. It was here she started writing Poppy Shakespeare, a novel that was highly critically acclaimed and has now been made into a Channel 4 feature film, which screened on Monday night. A take-no-patients satire of mental health treatment set on the fictional Dorothy Fish day hospital in North London, Poppy Shakespeare manages to evoke the stark realities of being mentally ill, while still being extremely funny. So how did she pull that one off?

“It was just a case of doing the patients justice. The longer I stayed there the more I realised how people use humour to cope with completely desperate situations,” says Clare, her face serious for once. Although Poppy Shakespeare has been a definite literary success, appearing on the short and long lists of major literary awards including the Orange prize, the subject matter has provoked some fierce debate. “Not surprisingly,” shrugs Clare. “It’s an issue people feel very strongly about.” In such emotive territory, it remains to be seen how people will react to rather more straight-faced approach of the Channel 4 film, in which Clare makes an appearance near the end as the grim-faced Dr. Clooty, wrestling the narrator, played by Anna Maxwell-Martin, to the floor.  So what if the film provokes further controversy? We have skipped desert and Clare is leaning back in the apple-green and black chairs, sipping a double espresso. “Winston Churchill, who suffered from severe depression had a maxim which I find helpful in most situations,” she says with a grin. “Keep buggering on.”

THE TELEGRAPH



ANNA MAXWELL MARTIN

-TELEVISUAL FEASTS RETURNS –

..Normal Service will be Resumed..

DEXTER

DEXTER

‘Takes life. Seriously.’

Ongoing Series –  Showtime U.S.  (2006-)

Michael C. Hall / Jennifer Carpenter / Julie Benz / Lauren Vélez / Erik King / David Zayas / James Remar / Based on the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay / Screenplay Jeff Lindsay & James Manos. Jr. / Cinematography Romeo Torone / Producer Daniel Cerone / Initial Director Michael Cuesta

‘Not another bloody Serial Killer’.. well, surprisingly this one’s pretty damned good. There’s been some interesting new creatures emerging from American TV in recent years, Hugh Laurie’s refreshing acerbically sarcastic Dr.House, James Gandolfini’sTony Soprano and now Michael C. Hall’s vigilante ‘serial killer who kills serial killers’ Dexter Morgan. It’s taken a long time to talk the viewing public (and more importantly, the network bosses) into entertaining such dark fare (well, dark for American Tv anyway). The last time we had a series with a villain for a hero was probably the short lived American Gothic, but there’s a clear line of descent down from Demme’s Silence of the Lambs, into Lynch’s Twin Peaks, spawning Mark Frost’s X-Files (sidestepping somewhat with Northern Exposure and Wild Palms) – before mutating into the CSI franchise and neatly coming full circle back to S of the Lambs territory with Dextor. Quite directly in fact.. at the close of S of the Lambs we see Hannibal blending into anonymity among the namless crowds of the murky Bahamas to ‘Have an old friend for dinner’.. cruising through a vice ridden Miami as the series opens, Dexter hardly misses a beat in comparison. The rather lovely twist on matters comes not only with Dexter’s profession as blood pattern analyst with the Miami Police Department, but more to the point with his targeting of other Serial Killers for his victims. Herein lies the secret of the shows success – as with the odd duality in our relationship with Lecter, this Dexter may be a vicious killer, but his victims all pretty much deserve their grim fates.. Dexter merely takes out the ‘garbage’.

‘My name is Dexter. Dexter Morgan. I don’t know what made me the way I am, but whatever it was, left a hollow place inside. People fake alot of human interactions, but I feel like I fake them all..and i fake them very well, and that’s my burden I guess. Well, I blame my foster parents for that. Harry & Doris Morgan did a wonderful job raising me..but they’re both dead now, I didn’t kill them..honest.’

‘Tonight’s the night, and it’s gonna happen again and again.. it has to happen. Nice night. Miami is a great town. I love the cuban food. Pork sandwiches, my favourite. But I’m hungry for something different now.’

The cinematography is a little slick and shiny, but then this is glossy American Tv, so to a certain extent that’s to be expected, but on the whole things work pretty well, and there’s enough grubbiness and distaste thrown into the blend to keep the viewers on their collective toes. The script too has it’s simplistic, almost trite moments.. but Michael C. Hall delivers his internal monologue with a beautiful air of calm plodding, that’s remarkably effective. Dexter’s eager for promotion Cop sister Debra (played by the very appealing Jennifer Carpenter) and recovering rape-victim girlfriend Rita Bennett (a surprisingly demure Julie Benz, who surfaces in the new Rambo) both test and confound his humanity & inhumanity in equal measure, and suspicious cop Sergeant Doakes (Erik King) keeps a dangerous eye on our anti-hero.  We get flashback’s to Dexter’s childhood with his loving and accepting stepfather, but the trauma that is hinted at remains ellusive. But as we all know with these matters, the less we know the better, and the day Dexter’s past is explored, marks the death knell of the series. Till then, enjoy the ride.

STILLS & PROMOS

Nightingales

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NIGHTINGALES

Two Series – Channel 4 (UK)

(1990-93)

Robert Lindsay / David Threlfall / James Ellis / Ian Sears / Edward Burnham / Written by Paul Makin / Soundtrack by – Clever Music / Edited by David Holloway / Produced by Laurie Greenwood / Directed by Tony Dow

 

Nightingales hit late night screens as part of Channel 4’s alternative comedy experiments at the tail end of the 1980’s. To be honest most people didn’t even know it was there, and next to no one seems to remember it.. maybe the odd ‘Nobody here but us chickens’ may ring a bell. Which is a shame really, because there was some lovely material in there written by Paul Makin (who went on to write Goodnight Sweetheart strangely enough), and some splendid oddball performances from Robert Lindsay & David Threlfall especially.

It’s the sort of concept that would baffle the hell out of any US Tv executive, but is the meat and potatoes of British comedy : ‘Three nightwatchmen pound the beat during a nightshift.’ That’s it. Oh, they argue alot and discuss the futility of existence. Any other characters? Well..one or two visit from time to time, but they generally end up dead. Do we see them at home or on their way into work? No, just in the one room really..and a corridor or two on occasion.

In a sense Carter (Lindsay) and Bell (Threlfall) are the two bickering kids, kept in line by the gentle -though at times deadly- guldance of the Sarge (Ellis). James Ellis is best known for his iconic role as Bert Lynch in Z Cars, and the Sarge is indeed a parody of the friendly old-school Bobby – the one element of organised society in an otherwise fractured reality. Something to fight against. A fight that gives some semblance of meaning to existance.

 

‘Button up your jacket son..we must have some sort of order here.’

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Nightingales’ late-night air time infused the show with a wee’ small hours atmosphere which mirrored and intensified the bleak isolation of it’s characters. From the opening titles bathed in the washed out milky neon of a concrete night scape (an opening not disimilar to that used later in Ricky Gervais’ Office) played out to the hauntingly sad ‘Nightingale in Berkley Square’, we felt an empathy with Robert Lindsay and his motley crew of nightwatchmen slowly driving themselves and eachother insane. This is of course back when Lindsay was better known as one of the dangerous set of actors famous more for the likes of Citizen Smith & GBH rather than for the lighter sit-com work (My Family..clocking in at a scary 82 episodes so far..shudder) for which he is now associated. Actually, we could see his character here as an older, demoralised incarnation of Citizen Smith, bitterly entering the souless 90’s. Familiar echoes of Tony Hancock & Harold Steptoe once more.. the angry young man struggling with growing older.

 

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‘How could you say that. What could you possibly teach me. What do you know about art? Literature? Architecture? The classical line of the Greeks? Father figure? Five minutes in the New York Metroploitan Museum of modern arts and you’d be bored out of your tiny, little mind. Father figure?! Do me a favoure for chrissake!’

 

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Carter: I used to be a student once. I loved bein’ a student. Best time of my life it was. I used to have loads of books..and sometimes someone would have a party, it was brilliant.

Swan: What did you study?

Carter: Look at this..look at it..do you know what this is? Corporate art. It’s tax deductable, honest..what’s wrong with a nice Anaglypta, that’s what I wanna know? Do you know how much the bloke who made this would charge for it? It’s like that other bloke..that blonde poof. He pisses off to California, does loads of paintings of blokes showing their arses climbing out of swimming pools and people fall over themselves to buy the things..and I bet there are painters just as good as ‘im. Blokes who can’t sell their stuff. Blokes who have to do all sorts of crap jobs just to make ends meet. It makes yer sick doesn’t it? It makes yer wanna throw up doesn’t it? Makes you wanna throw up all over their tax deductable Wilton shagpile..Christ!

Swan: What did you study?

Carter: What?

Swan: When you were a student, what did you study?

Carter: I forget.

 

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Carter: Right, ‘ere we are. What’s your name?

Swan: Erik.

Collectively: ERIK?! ERIK?!

Carter: We don’t go on first name terms here! Strictly surnames if you don’t mind! This is like Eton this is..well, sort of, we don’t bunk up with eachother if you get my meaning. None of that intermacy in the shower business ‘ere. Well, I don’t know about old Ding-dong (motions to Bell), he puts on this front y’see..but I’m sure he’s familiar with the collective works of Christopher Ishlewood, am I not right Dong?

Bell: Do you want to get on the end of this? (Makes a drunken fist)

Carter: Manliness. You can’t beat it. God I love workin’ ere. There’s something so pre-raphaelite about it. Would you not agree Erik..SWAN SWAN..sorry..calling you by your Christian name, that is punishable by death that is..I mean, Jesus..

Collectively: CHRIST! CHRIST!

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Black Books

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BLACK BOOKS

3 Series – Channel 4 (UK)

(2000-2004)

Dylan Moran / Bill Bailey / Tamsin Grieg / Written & Created by Dylan Moran / Produced by Karen Beever, William Burdett-Coutts & Nira Park / Soundtrack by Jonathan Whitehead / Cinematography by Andy Hollis & John Rosenberg / Directed by Martin Dennis, Graham Lineham & Nick Wood

Dylan Moran’s brainchild Black Books is a true successor to the British comedic traditions once personified by the creations of Galton & Simpson, but subverted by the anarchic aftershocks of 80’s contemporary comedy. Hancock and Steptoe & Son collide with the surrealist yarns of Dylan Moran’s stand-up, producing beautiful drunken poetry, with touches of Withnail & I and the sardonic wit of Father Ted.

Bernard Black (Dylan Moran) runs a dillapidated secondhand bookshop through a haze of booze and world loathing, of the type that all city dwellers are cozily familiar..mine’s next to Balham tube station. His only companionship as he slurs and sneers through life are in the humble and kind shape of his employee Manny (Bill Bailey) and Fran Katzenjammer (played by the extraordinary Tamsin Grieg), the owner of neighbouring tat shop ‘Nifty Gifts’. These three lost characters in search of a life, hide away from the cruel world sniping at and mistreating eachother, but fundamentally caring deeply for one another as kindred souls.

 

 

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Thankfully BB only ran for three series, with the third to be honest losing some of it’s spontineity and sophistication. Two series seems to be the magic number with most British situation comedies, and with the average show clocking in at six episodes per series they are governed by a far different structure than their American cousins. Fawlty Towers and The Office both called it a day after a second series, keeping their status as classics before the show’s concept stretched too thin. The American multiple writer system allows for a greater pool of ideas, but does seem to limit the individuality of the shows, leaving the actors to stamp their personality on the material to make it distinctive. Situations & jokes in a Will & Grace script aren’t that markedly different to those in a Friends script.

Where British shows differ is in the lone responsibility of one or perhaps two writers, who (if they’re worth any salt at all) wouldn’t dream of letting anyone else take over writing their show when they decide it’s time to stop. Not that I’m meaning to run down American comedy shows, only to indicate the different ways of working. No one can after all belittle the incredible success and quality of shows like MASH, Cheers and Frasier. Horses for courses.

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‘I’m a quitter. I come from a long line of quitters. It’s amazing I’m here at all.’

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Manny: There’s a girl.
Bernard: A what? You know I don’t approve of you seeing other girls- people. Who is she?
Manny: Roweena, a friend of Anne’s. I met her once and was hoping to meet her again.
Bernard: Oh, I see.
Bernard: Roweena! Roweeeeena! And what am I supposed to do while you’re doing the underpants charleston with this insane, blind tart?
Manny: Why are you getting so angry?
Bernard: I can’t help being angry when I’m furious! So, before you go off to raise your bearded freak circus, what’s she like?
Manny: She’s nice.
Bernard: She’s nice, she- dont make me sick into my own scorn. What are her prospects? Does she play the viola? Does she embroider? Is she kind to the servants?

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Customer: I bought this for a friend, and they didn’t want it, I was wondering if I could exchange it, preferably for the money..
Bernard: (flicking through it rapidly then stops) Aha! sand!
(collects some onto his finger)
Bernard: Manny!
[sprinkles it into Manny’s mouth]
Manny: (tasting the sand) Sardinia… South… Porto Scuzo… The little beach by the monastery.
Bernard: (to customer) Get out!
(shoves his book back into his hands)
Customer: Damn!

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