88 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I watched it all in one day...
...so addicted was I to the next turn of the plot!
"Lilies" follows the lives of the Moss family, led by Nelson "Dadda", comprised of son William (Billy) and daughters Iris, May, and Ruby. Mrs. Mary Moss has been dead approximately 15 years and Iris, the eldest, has become the lady of the house. Dadda works as an amateur veterinarian and herbalist. Iris...
Published on January 14, 2008 by N. Thomas
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Closed-caption as shown in Amazon's Product Details
I'm sure this is a great series, as reviewed by the majority, and we were eagerly looking forward to the same experience. However, the "closed-captioned" reference, as shown in Amazon's Product Details, is not available on the disks. Many of us are dependent on closed-captions, particularly in BBC series' where the dialog includes cockney and a host of other London...
Published on June 2, 2008 by R. H. P.
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88 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I watched it all in one day...,
...so addicted was I to the next turn of the plot!
"Lilies" follows the lives of the Moss family, led by Nelson "Dadda", comprised of son William (Billy) and daughters Iris, May, and Ruby. Mrs. Mary Moss has been dead approximately 15 years and Iris, the eldest, has become the lady of the house. Dadda works as an amateur veterinarian and herbalist. Iris creates confections and sells them to a local sweets store. May is in service to the nouveau-riche Mr. and Mrs. Brazendale. Ruby, William's twin and the youngest, just starts into peddling women's corsets at the beginning of the series.
The Mosses live in the early 1920s in Liverpool, and their lives are mirros of the times. The influx of jazz music and the popularity of the silent films persist throughout; the beginnings of social change through contraception and women's suffrage figure into it as well.
Religious differences and class distinction also play large roles. Dadda, an Ulsterman, is vigorously Protestant, and his sons were raised in his church--elder son Walter having perished in action in World War I.
The Moss daughters were raised in their mother's Roman Catholic faith (although their names would hardly have been given Baptismal approval for the era of their birth -- the 1890s -- by any Catholic priest, as none of them are saints names). On more than one occasion the division of churches causes issues within the family. Young Rev. Malachi Melia, the pastor of the girls' parish, plays a large role in many episodes.
The daughters are the central figures in this series, given its title from a toast made by Dadda that, while the bulbs he'd planted in the little garden on Portugal Street as a newly-married (and very young) man never prospered, he'd been blessed by "my girls, who are my lilies".
Iris is common-sensical but harbors a yearning for her own marriage and motherhood. The unlikely-named Domingo appears the perfect match--until a secret dismantles Iris' hopes and dreams. May, who initially seems as sensible as her elder sister, ends up in the midst of high drama with her employer, becoming pregnant by him. Ruby, the feistiest of the trio, becomes entranced by the social movements of women's liberation and embraces vegetarianism, even as her own dreams of swimming for the British Olympic team are dashed early on in the storyline.
Billy is a sad soul, having witnessed Naval action at the Battle of Jutland, only to be sent home, a victim of post-traumatic stress. Dadda is a man desperate to keep his family together, although his own violent temperment makes for some of the clan's worst problems. Toward the end of the series Dadda attempts to introduce his new romantic interest, Myrtle Bird, to his offspring, but she is soundly rejected--this was the only time I found Dadda sympathetic, as Miss Bird was more than appropriate for him and very clearly a good match for him.
"Lilies" truly offers it all--suicidal thoughts, adultery, bad marriages, sexual identity, class struggle, religious tension--except for a juicy murder, it covers a vast panorama of human conditions, struggles, tragedies, and, ultimately, victories.
76 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The BBC Needs to Make a Second Series!,
Having seen Lilies first on Amazon UK, I got it as soon as the American version came out, and I am so glad that I did!
Lilies is a wonderful BBC period drama about three working class sisters (Iris, May, and Ruby Moss) as they adjust to life after WWI in Liverpool, England. The oldest daughter, Iris takes over the role of the sisters' late mother, cleaning while cooking for both the family and a local bakery; May works as a maid for a rich household, but dreams of being a movie star; while Ruby spends her days selling corsets.
Lilies doesn't let viewers down in its entertainment value: The script is packed with secrets, family and class conflict, forbidden love, attempted suicide, hidden desires, and much more, all taking place at a time when society was beginning to move into a new mode that was both more free and liberal. Not to mention the acting is first-rate and the characters and storylines are extremely well-developed.
Don't waste a moment before you go out and get this series. It is addictive, and you will not be disppointed!
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent,
Lilies is an excellent show that follows the lives of 3 sisters in the 1920's in Liverpool. Along with their crusty cantankerous (and at times somewhat abusive) father, traumatized war vet brother Billy, and various other characters including a hot parish priest, these sisters struggle to survive and make ends meet in post war Ireland.
I was immediately entranced in the film, I loved the characters and the scenery and couldn't wait to find out more about them. My only complaint is that the BBC is not making a season 2.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping drama about three sisters in the post WWI period,
This review is from: Lilies (Amazon Instant Video)
Lilies is a stellar period drama- the story centers around a lower income family in post WW I England. There is Dadda, the patriarch of the Moss clan, who is a widower [his wife Mary having died 15 yrs earlier], his oldest daughter Iris, second daughter May, and twins Billy and Ruby. There was another son Walter who had died during the war. Together, the Moss family live through one crisis after another.
The center of the series is the lives of the three sisters - Iris is the oldest daughter who is selfless in her devotion to her family. She is the substitute mother for the Moss family, and apart from making sure the house is taken care of and meals cooked, she also works for the local bakery, making chocolates and other confectionery. But Iris secretly yearns to be a wife and mother, and have a family of her own, something that comes within her reach when she is courted by the conjurer Domingo, who appears to be the perfect suitor, but who harbors a secret that shatters Iris' dreams of domestic bliss. Iris also forms a close friendship with the parish priest who acts as confidante and friend to the Moss family, particularly Iris.
The second daughter May works as a maid for the rich Brazendales. Mrs. Brazendale yearns to be a mother, but suffers one miscarriage after another. Mr. Brazendale appears to be a charming gentleman, and May, who harbors dreams of making it into the pictures finds herself drawn to him, resulting in an affair that brings initial happiness, only to result in May's shattered dreams, and tarnished reputation when she finds herself in the family way.
The third daughter Ruby is feisty and fiercely opinionated. Ruby's dreams of becoming an Olympic swimmer are shattered when she suffers an injury and she then becomes a corset saleswoman. Along the way, Ruby becomes fascinated and drawn to an upper class woman whose ideas of modernization, vegetarianism, and notions on sex enthrall Ruby.
Ruby's twin brother Billy finds himself having a phobia of water after narrowly escaping death in the Battle of Jutland during the war. He also suffers from survivor's guilt and battles his confusion about his sexual identity.
The father Dadda Nelson is an intriguing character and played to perfection by the actor portraying him. He is at once a proud and loving dad, but can also become abusive and unyielding when his authority is challenged. Fiercely protective of his position as patriarch of the family, he detests any flaws in his children, failing to recognize the flaws in his own character.
This mini-series is truly engrossing. Each episode has a well-woven plot than transports you into the lives of the Moss family and their travails, and the attention to period details [the setting is post WW I] is authentic and wonderful. The score is beautiful as is the cinematography. The cast is simply excellent, there wasn't a performance I disliked, both main and fringe characters.
I have been a long-time fan of period dramas, and I have to say that Lilies truly is a gem that needs more exposure. I was very disappointed to find that there wasn't a Series 2 and hope they will come up with one soon for there are lots more stories to be told about the Moss family. Highly recommended!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lillies gets my highest rating,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Other reviews have outlined the story behind Lillies so I will not bore you by repeating it. Just to say of all the BBC and Masterpiece Theater Productions that I have watched with great relish and enjoyment over the years absolutley none have been of the calibre of Lillies. The casting is perfect - the acting excellent and the story unlike anything I have seen before. And it is not just a technical masterpiece - it is charming and filled with wit, humour and pathos. It is truly brilliant. I, too, await the sequel.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I LOVED IT !,
I just finished watching Lilies last night. It was very good and was very enjoyable. I wanted to give it 5 stars but had to give 4 because of the accents of the actors, I have to admit I had a hard time understanding some of the dialog, by the time it was over I was a little better at figuring out what was being said. I hope there is a second season just so dadda can get back with Miss Bird and tell his bratty children to grow up! I thought the acting was really wonderful, especially the actors who played Ruby and Billy. Anyway, if you love period pieces then "Lilies" is a MUST!!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series; CC does work if you use the TV remote,
I can't say enough good things about this series. The story lines are compelling and the acting is terrific. The series focuses on the lives of the Moss family and is set in post-WWI Liverpool. Living in the Moss household are the 3 daughters, the widowed father, and the surviving son, Billy. The father is of Irish descent (indeed, I think he's an Irish immigrant). He is hard-working, capable of great sentimentality, and wants to hide the extent of the family's financial difficulties. He is both loved and feared (with good reason) by his children. He is passionately Irish - marching in annual parades that are part commemoration of Irish/British battles and part implicit political protest. The youngest son, Walter, who lied about his age in order to go to war, died shortly after entering the war. Billy, the older son, served in the Navy during the war, but after a naval disaster, was released because he had a nervous breakdown. He has to cope with his fears, shame and the community's perception of him as a coward. (In the aftermath of the First World War, the psychological effects of battle were poorly understood.)
The Lilies are the 3 Moss daughters, Iris, May and Ruby. All 3 are intelligent and passionate young women who love their family. However, they demonstrate their passion in different ways: Ruby, Walter's twin, is hot-headed, impulsive and idealistic. Her outbursts are at times quite funny. May dreams of being a famous actress; her naivete and subsequent despair lead her into folly. Iris, who is the eldest daughter, seems buttoned-up much of the time, but she too has passion. She wants to find a purpose in life beyond taking care of the household and making chocolates on a piece rate. She has a strict sense of morals and is a devout Catholic whose strongest non-family friendship is with Father Melia.
Other recurring, important characters are Frank, Father Melia (the young priest of the parish), the Brazendales (May's employers) and the young Austrian butcher. Some characters who appear only in one or two episodes are pivotal; these include Dominic (episode 2) and Marianne Parks (episodes 6 & 7).
There are some very surprising story lines, but given the historical context and the particular characters involved, the story lines are believable. There are a couple of scenes that may be too realistic for some viewers, but you can easily fast-forward through them.
Finally, the closed captioning DOES work. It's just that you can't do it through your DVD remote. You have to set the closed captioning on your TV and use the TV remote. You also have to wait a couple of minutes for it to kick in. I didn't realize this and watched the whole series without captioning, but there were several lines of dialogue I had to listen to more than once. However, when I watched it again with my sister, she went through her TV remote & got the captioning to work. I just now tried it again on my TV. It didn't seem to work at first, but I played around with closed captioning on TV channels; once I got it to work there, I switched to the DVD and it worked just fine.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish there was more...,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Unfortunately, only 1 season of Lilies was made, but what a season it was. I loved this series and would highly recommend this to any lover of period drama. I couldn't wait to get home and watch more...and I even took the time to write this review...
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bloody absorbing,
Rented this 8-part mini-series and promptly became addicted to it. The film examines a neglected era, the aftershocks of WWI in England and the PTSS that abounded. As it centers around a working class middle-aged Britisher widower and his 4 young adult children, it offers a compelling story with wonderful actors including Stephen Moyer (True Blood: The Complete First Season (HBO Series)), top-notch set design and interesting character arcs. However, if one of the characters falls in love you can be sure it is not going anywhere as none of them are going to leave their dysfunctional family.
There is a plot twist in the second episode that I didn't see coming and found rather disturbing but it probably could happen. There are several very graphic scenes involving childbirth, miscarriage, suicide and the like. Severely wounded veterans feature prominently in a couple of episodes and that is pretty graphic as well. Beware the father's violent temper and after a while you start to be afraid for any domesticated animals that might be around while he is in full temper and has a meat cleaver handy.
My biggest complaint is none of the loose ends are really tied up at the end, so it has a television feel to it rather than the plot resolutions that have been set-up. Also, unless you are a native speaker of the King's English, parts of dialogue need subtitles and they are not available. This is the reason I gave it four stars instead of five. It is actually posted on Youtube but it will take forever to watch it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LouisefromLiverpool,
There is some confusion in the reviews published here about where Lilies is based, accents etc. Lilies is based in Liverpool and the accent is the Liverpool accent (apart from Dadda's). It is absolutely how people speak (yes even me!) so in this sense it is realistic.
My grandparents all grew up in the docklands of Liverpool and would have been teens-twenties in 1920s. Judging by what they told me, I would say that Lillies is very realistic for the times. Life was incredibly hard, there was lots of slum housing in the area and people were packed tightly together. That said, Liverpool people have always had the reputation of being able to stand up for themselves and the family in the series are even to this day, very typical.
If you want a romantic, pretty drama - forget it. If you want true life, where people were terrified of the scandals behind their frontdoors being tomorrow's gossip, you'll love it
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