Anglophiles and Britcom aficionados will welcome the video of this delightful 1974 series based on the books by Charlotte Bingham. Happily, the sparkling dialogue and engaging characters wear much better than the actors' horribly dated '70s wardrobes. John Alderton and his real-life wife, Pauline Collins, star as C.D. and Clara, the George Burns and Gracie Allen of Hampstead, right down to the "Say goodnight, Clara" that closes each episode.
This boxed set contains the first seven episodes of the series. Episode 1 sets the stage as C.D. and Clara, who have been married, Clara notes, "nearly 10 years next Thursday a week on Monday," recall how they met at "Freddie's awful party." Framed by the couple's light banter, each of these episodes flashback chronologically to their often comically confused courtship and marriage. Oddly enough, we do not see them joined in (again, Clara's words) "holy deadlock," but instead join C.D. and Clara as they embark on their honeymoon and endeavor to keep their newly married status a secret (why they keep it a secret is a bit unclear) by pretending to be a boring, frustrated long-married couple.
"Life with Clara," C.D. observes at one point, "is not a bowl of cherries, it's a dish of blouse buttons." And in less expert hands, Clara could get tiresome quickly ("I tend to get things rather muddled," she confesses early on), but Pauline Collins (perhaps best known for her signature role as Shirley Valentine) plays her with a mischievous twinkle that make her leaps of illogic endearing. She particularly shines in episode 4, in which she resists C.D.'s efforts to make her dress more fashionably than like "the remnant of a disbanded folk group." --Donald Liebenson
From the Back Cover
"A lovely blend of wit and soft insight that rings true." - Los Angeles Times From the treasure trove of British comedy classics, comes this hilarious sitcom about the unlikely romance between Charles and Clara - a struggling young actor and a guileless debutante. Starring popular British acting duo Pauline Collins (Shirley Valentine, Upstairs, Downstairs) and John Alderton (Upstairs, Downstairs, My Wife Next Door), each riotous episode opens with the now married Charles and Clara looking back fondly on their early days through a series of hysterical flashbacks. From the moment the two meet, social worlds collide, football teams enter into the fray, high cuisine is put to the test and, oh yes, they fall madly in love.