321 of 324 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2011
Charmingly entertaining, this series is a wholesome delight to the vintage senses, from darling start to sudden finish. (The only true downside being that this series was just stopped short at essentially a half of season four - for some strange and unanswerable reason, having absolutely nothing to do with and seemingly ignoring the fact that the show has enjoyed very high ratings and passionate fans in the UK - to the US and beyond.)
I discovered this engaging series about a year ago and was entirely thrilled to have stumbled upon it. I couldn't watch every episode of the first three seasons fast enough and then promptly watched every show once more at a more leisurely and enjoyable pace. I couldn't wait for season four to arrive this year and have recently seen every episode once (and I'm about to watch them all again for the second satisfying time). I'm glad that many storyline threads were wrapped up quite nicely at the end, but still wish this series had continued through the few more seasons that it was meant to be in the first place. (Could fans bring this back in any way any time soon - either side of the pond - maybe a co-production?!)
Adorned with lovely late Victorian dresses and details, complete with wonderful actors and their perfect performances, abounding with cute and quirky characters running the gamut from silly to snarky to sweet: this series of episodes (in basically three and a half seasons) offers plenty of thought-provoking and interesting themes while it evokes smiles, laughter and even some tears (at least to the sensitive of heart).
The women I know who have seen it have loved it like I do, and even some men I know have watched and enjoyed it too. This series is certainly family fare. There is plenty to think about... Poverty contrasting against monetary ease. A poor hamlet sometimes in contest with a thriving town. Class structure. Old traditions versus new ideas. Neighborly and not always so very neighborly folks. Human nature and divine beliefs. Conservative thoughts opposing liberal views of that late nineteenth century day. Religion and politics, business and love. It's a cornucopia of fulfilling fun.
Miss Lane and young Laura each fall in love their several times throughout, as they both think on marriage: to be or not to be. Many families and individuals take their turns facing their financial troubles and personal challenges. Characters of many types come and go within the storylines. There are wise women, careless ones, loveable but flawed individuals, caring parents, good and bad fathers, and the list goes on. Many of the actors were gone too much or too soon for my tastes. One thing for sure: what I've seen has left me wanting more; but I will thank my blessings and enjoy what was done of this wonderful series.
Kerri Bennett Williamson, Author
172 of 174 people found the following review helpful
on April 25, 2011
If you've ever wanted to turn on the television and be thoroughly uplifted, entertained, touched, made to laugh, possibly even inspired, and, generally, just allowed to escape and be pulled in to a very good story...time and again, each and every episode, then don't look any further than the 'Lark Rise' series. My wife and I are in our late 20s/early 30s, and this is easily the best program we have ever watched. Hands down.
As the previous reviewer eloquently said, it is excellent family viewing, but ONLY because it's naturally wholesome, clever, fun, beautifully shot (the cinematography is truly breathtaking -- each frame looks like a painting from this period), handsomely scored, and all of those other attributes she mentioned -- it doesn't "try" too hard to fit into the family genre -- it just naturally fits. So much of "family entertainment" seems like it was put together by a committee who are very fickle and trendy, as if the committee's #1 goal and bottom line was to ensure to appeal to the "flavor of the month" themes in entertainment (Where's the originality in that?). THIS show, on the other hand, was clearly written by those who recognize the enduring and universal themes of family, friends, community, love, and basically, the things that make a memorable, good story -- the kind of story that brings you back for more.
The acting is superb. The Brits seem to have this natural ability encoded in their genome. You don't even feel like you're watching good actors -- you feel like you're a fly on the wall watching REAL people with real emotions, real interactions, real losses, real senses of humor, real relationships...oh, it's so refreshing. One of the only other television series that comes close to the superior quality of LRtoC are the "All Creatures Great and Small" series (All Creatures Great & Small: The Complete Collection (Repackage)) another family favorite which also happens to be a BBC production, starring Robert Hardy (of "Harry Potter" movies and Sense & Sensibility (Special Edition) fame).
Having the time to write a review for products you really appreciate, and to do it some justice, takes time I wish I had more of. As they say, you vote with your dollar, but you also vote with your time. So, I've cast in my vote!
I hope that many others will be introduced to this excellent program about the many charmingly told comings and goings of two Oxfordshire communities, and the individuals who lived there (in Flora Thompson's memoirs), set in the late 1800s. I only wish that more seasons were in the works, but I am indeed grateful for what they have made in these four seasons. Many of our home videos in our collection we grow tired of after a few viewings. However, I know that "Lark Rise to Candleford" will be a rare treasure in our household for years, if not decades.
114 of 117 people found the following review helpful
I've reviewed each of the 4 sets in detail. All excellent period drama. One of the best series ever produced, as a matter of fact. But the "collection" price is strange at $134.49 (today's price).
Sets 1,2 & 3 sell for 30.99 with 4 at 26.49 for a total of:
Why is the combined set worth more? Buy them separately on Amazon and SAVE $$$.
English country life could never have been as poetic, pictorial, and enchanting as this dramatization of the lives of those living in and around the two 1880's towns of Lark Rise and Candleford. Even the DVD's music puts a sanguine sugarcoating on the period. All of this is to the delight of the viewer of this masterfully done TV series sure to endear any North American who has a tender video heart toward Victorian Britain. Each episode has multiple plots so it is impossible to break down the episodes into short summaries. And with carryover from one episode to another, it's more like moving to Lark Rise or Candleford and living with the good people (and the bad). A delightful scenic experience even Disney has never matched. Every emotion you have ever felt in your past will be repeated sometime throughout this English town saga.
Subtitled. It is romance, nostalgia, saga, suspense, drama, well...it's a cornucopia of viewing that is not to be missed. It continues with a great and large nucleus cast, but the stories and depth of characters grow with the show's movement. Darling Laura Timmins (Olivia Hallinan), Lark Rise born, was sent to Candleford to learn the trade of postmistress. She is the spark caught between the two towns (sometimes world's different.) Her mentor is Dorcas (Julia Sawalha.)
The cast is an assortment of either the die-hard, disheveled, working class or the Candleford higher class, shy of nobility range. Cast individuals make this memorable. Also, be warned. Expect belly laughs too. Those Pratt sisters, Twister (OK tears too) and wife, Queenie, not to mention, Thomas the Bible-quoting, bike-riding, mail-deliverer, and his wife, Margaret could put together a comedy show every bit as good as this dramatic series has been--from day one. There is an abundance of fine British dramatic programming available, but this has to be one of my favorite.
Watch them in order. It's worth every wee farthing.
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2011
There are very few tv shows I cannot bear to miss, Lark Rise to Candleford is one. When PBS took a break from showing it to do their yearly telethon, it was like going into withdrawal. I love everything about this series. At first glance it reminded me of a minseries version of Cranford (a movie I absolutely loved). Every time I watch an episode I almost wished I could live in Candleford (if I don't think about things like disease, corsets, spinsterhood, and the sanitary conditions). Every story, every character, every emotion is vividly and well portrayed. Even some of the characters who are small-minded and annoying are still likable. I grieve for Dorcas and her lost loves and yet her goodness and strength are ever present.
Unfortunately, if I were to write down everything I loved about this series, I'd end up going on forever. Needless to say if you are a fan of period pieces and/or British dramedies you will love this series. If you can only enjoy a show if someone has to die or if something has to blow up in every episode, this is not for you. If you love well-timed, smart dialogues, well-rounded, three dimensional characters with tons of personality, and true to the times costumes and behaviors, then you'll love this series as much as I do.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2011
I am not one to turn on the television when company comes to visit, but if they stayed too late on Saturday night while Lark Rise was airing I was sorely tempted.
Lark Rise has been so enjoyable for me. I love period Dramas and I love wholesome entertainment with moral values. I love the thoughtful writing. And love it even more that I can watch it with my children whatever their age and enjoy the episodes as a family.
This series will be greatly missed and in my opinion the creators have BIG SHOES to fill when they create their next series.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2011
I had never heard of this BBC series until Netflix recommended it. I watched season one and was hooked! Unfortunately, they only had up to season 2 and when I saw the complete series on Amazon, I grabbed it. If you like period movies, this series is for you. All the characters are well-defined and believable. The scenery, costumes, and actors were well chosen. Even though it's set in 19th century England, the issues and problems are very relevant--human nature never really changes. Because they introduce new characters in most episodes, the series stays fresh while maintaining it's core set of actors. I'm just sorry it only goes to season 4. I've now got my adult daughter and her friend hooked on this as well. Like Pride and Prejudice, this is a series you can watch again and again.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2011
I highly praise LARKRISE TO CANDLEFORD, but I cannot do it better than the 5-Star reviewers have done before me. I must say that they have told you what I would have told you, if I had their writing ability. I had read, and reread Flora Thompson's trilogy of semi-autobiographical novels long before there was a series. I was skeptical that a television production could match the imagery held in my mind after reading the books. I, and my husband, have been so pleased with the BBC interpretation, which does not follow Ms. Thompson's stories exactly, but which certainly represents them in the spirit they were written. The cinematography is award-winning. As Dusty Rhoads says in his review, "every frame looks like a painting..."
For all who loved LARKRISE and will miss it, the DOCTOR FINDLAY series will delight you -- if you can find it. I put my 5-piece collection together over a period of time, and it has delighted and charmed my husband and me. Again, I will quote Dusty Rhoads, because it so perfectly fits the DOCTOR FINDLAY series, also: "...you feel like you're a fly on the wall watching REAL people with real emotions, real interactions, real losses, real senses of humor, real relationships..." You will come to love the characters in DOCTOR FINDLAY, and will miss them when the series ends. The DOCTOR FINDLAY series (that I own) are not numbered, but in order of production they are 1. WINNING THE PEACE; 2. A DELICATE BALANCE; 3. NO TIME FOR HEROES; 4. DAYS OF GRACE; 5. SNOWBLIND (a 1 hour special, ending the series). There are 27 episodes totaling 21 hours. Unfortunately, the episodes do not have subtitles; fortunately, we rarely needed them.
Now, I am off to watch ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL, season 2.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 26, 2011
Great stories. Had to control myself and not watch them all at once!I only wish there were more. This is also something I can watch with my granchildren and enjoy.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2011
We have fallen in love with Lark Rise to Candleford. It is the best series we have ever watched.That is why I purchased it. We want to watch it over and over.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2011
It is hard to accept the fact that the writers and producers of Lark Rise to Candleford ended the show at the peak of its success. It is such a wonderful, wonderful series. Although the fourth season was a little weak in its storylines, it still surpasses most of what is on TV these days. I don't watch TV anymore and I had the cable taken out because of the amount of filth and garbage on. I purchase DVDs so that I can watch only shows that I enjoy, and Lark Rise To Candleford is one of the best. I love all the characters because they can make you laugh and cry, and they have real life experiences that all families can identify with. Since I bought this collection, I have watched it nearly every day. I didn't want it to end so I purchased the Flora Thompson novels, too, and read them. If you want clean, fun, entertaining, family-oriented stories to watch, then you will love, love, love this series.