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  • Butterflies - Series 1
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Butterflies - Series 1


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Product Details

  • Actors: Wendy Craig, Geoffrey Palmer, Andrew Hall, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Bruce Montague
  • Directors: Gareth Gwenlan
  • Writers: Carla Lane
  • Producers: Gareth Gwenlan
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: July 12, 2005
  • Run Time: 181 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0009KA7E0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,315 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Butterflies - Series 1" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Geoffrey Palmer (As Time Goes By, Mrs. Brown) and Wendy Craig (The Forsyte Saga) star in one of the most popular BBC sitcoms ever. She is an everyday housewife bored beyond endurance with her life. Married to a dour dentist who collects butterflies obsessively and the mother of two teenage sons whose chief occupation is bickering with their father, Ria Parkinson wants something more. Or is it someone more? When she meets a wealthy businessman who tries to woo her, she struggles to find out. As seen on public television.

Amazon.com

Carla Lane's piquant brand of whimsical comedy peaked in 1978 with the BBC sitcom Butterflies. Wendy Craig as Ria Parkinson, the wife and mother who can never quite put her finger on what's missing from her mundane life, is outstanding. She wrings every ounce of truth from a script that, if anything, has sharpened with the years. The concept of the housewife, "happily but not excitingly married," whose main function as perceived by those around her is to meet the needs of a reactionary husband (Geoffrey Palmer, baleful as ever) and a pair of layabout sons, might be dated. The fashions certainly are. But her plight is that of everybody who has ever thought, "there must be something better." And she is innocently subversive: a terrible cook, forever teetering on the brink of an affair with a lonely, smitten businessman she meets one lunchtime in a coffee shop, and always defying conventions. The passage of time exposes a real depth and darkness in Lane's writing: Ria's constant, dreamy philosophizing provokes raging outbursts of uncomprehending frustration from her husband that reveal him to be equally at odds with his own situation. This edgy streak saves Butterflies from mawkishness and keeps it fresh even today. --Piers Ford

Customer Reviews

This DVD is not up to the standards set up by the stars.
The Old Man "Steve", Nampa, Id.
My family and I love British sitcoms, but "Butterflies" was by far our favorite.
shelby
Between some very poignant moments, you'll find yourself laughing.
Frank P

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Movie Mania VINE VOICE on July 6, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Butterflies is the first British situation comedy to be a hit in the US. Most Britcoms were broad sketch comedies and not situation comedies. This show worked because the base story was something that the average American could relate to.

Twenty five years later, it still works. Actually, things have gone full circle and it is current again because of the revival of the stay at home moms.

Ria Parkinson was happily married but not ecstatically married woman in her late 30's. Her husband, Ben, is a dentist who just turned 48 and is trying to figure out his life. She has two grown sons that are still at home adding additional stress to her life.

While trying to work out her current problems, she meets Leonard. Leonard is a suave businessman who is divorced, his wife ran off with his best friend. He is 44 and is also going through his own life crisis. He is tired of his shallow existence of one young girl after another and would like a woman of substance, like Ria.

This is the basis of all 28 episodes. Series One is the first 6 episodes. The following is a summary of the episodes:

Episode 1 - We meet Ria and her family. Ria and Ben have been married for 19 years and he still cannot fathom her cooking. The current meal is potatoes, a chop, some green things and gravy. Ben and oldest son have not been speaking for a year. Ria meets Leonard in a restaurant. Ria realizes that she is still desirable and wants Ben to realize it. Again she runs into Leonard, or he almost runs over her with his car and he asks her out to lunch.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By J. Stoneking on May 29, 2005
Format: DVD
Growing up, this is one of the first Brit-Coms that really stuck out to me and greatly impressed me. This show, along with other greats such as Ever Decreasing Circles and The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin were shows that, even though I was quite young, gave me hope for great TV. Butterflies is a series that has interesting characters, is rarely boring, and keeps you wanting to watch from episode to episode. If you have fond memories of this show from airings on PBS, this is a great chance to get reaquainted with a show that has only become better over the years. If you hae never seen this show, you need to check this show out.

And if this DVD is anything like the Region 2 release, the bonus features may not be stellar, but the quality of this series is alone reason enough to give the DVD five stars.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Roy Anderson on August 13, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If sex, violence, and abomnible language, is your thing - this delightful comedy is not for you.

If, however, you like splendid acting; here provided by both Palmer and Craig, and a gently humorous view of married life, you will rave over this unusual (if not far from the truth) comedy series.

The series revolves around the happenings of a Mum, Dad and two son marriage. Marital harmony is always coming and going, while the sons do not make matters any easier.

The show is made even brighter, by the infrequent laconic laments of the couple's housekeeper.

This is, without doubt, a quality show - by all but the 'modern' thinkers.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Suzy J on July 5, 2005
Format: DVD
My favorite series of all time. I love Britcoms. I've hoped and waited and searched. Now we need the rest of the episodes!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Chloe on June 22, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was very pleased to see that Butterflies is getting a release on DVD over here. When it was out on VHS I hadn't been aware of it's availability & I found out after it'd been discontinued. I heard conflicting reports of the tape containing 1/3 episodes. BFS owned the distribution rights then. I'm delighted that after they fumbled the ball that Acorn had attained the licensing rights to release the show. I have pre-ordered & am hoping it sells well so subsequent seasons are available. I'm confident it will!

Wendy Craig, Geoffrey Palmer (As Time Goes By) & Nicholas Lyndhurst (Only Fools & Horses) are the stars of this sitcom.

If you're a fan of shows like As Time Goes By & Good Neighbors (Aka The Good Life (UK)), you'll love Butterflies, it's a sophisticated & refreshing comedy that you'll want in your collection.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jacquelyn Lechwar on January 23, 2008
Format: DVD
I had seen this series many years ago, early '80's. I loved it then. At that time I really identified with Ria. Now I'm passed that time in my life, with teenagers in the house and all the frustrations of that time, but I still love this series. I will be purchasing the second series. I highly recommend it. It's wonderful!
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Haymore on January 9, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This DVD is very professionally made and is certain to bring back memories of the original tv show. The trials and tribulations of Rea and Ben are fantastic entertainment. It has been a wonderful experience for us to revisit old friends and to relive their experiences.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Shann S. on August 28, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I first watched this series on PBS in the early 80's. Re-watching the first three episode today, I realized that there are layers in this series that I couldn't appreciate as a 20-year old. It's poignant and funny and I fell in love with it all over again.

The characters are believable and understated. It does appear dated, especially the clothing, but, the themes of aging and marriage and lost opportunities are timeless and I like the vintage look of the series, it adds to the slow, gentle, lyrical feel of the writing and understated acting.

Unfortunately series 3 and 4 are not available in NTSC Region 1, an oversight I hope BBC soon remedies.
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Butterflies - Seasons 3 & 4
The complete series of Butterflies is available from Amazon UK. If you don't have an all-region DVD player you should get one. Philips makes an excellent one for about $85.00
Sep 7, 2010 by Karen L. |  See all 6 posts
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