33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
If you like Cranford, you'll enjoy this series ~,
This review is from: Lark Rise to Candleford Season 1 (Amazon Instant Video)
I am not sure if there is anything cut out like one review stated. I am actually watching it on DVD, but wanted to add a positive review as to the show itself.
This is series based on three novels published in the 1940s about a young woman and the families in two particular towns. The stories are set in the late 1800s, just before the turn of the century. The novels are semi-autobiographical, so they have an honest appeal to them.
The events that occur are not the earth shattering and ground breaking instances that most major series are filled with. Instead the stories revolve around everyday life in these two hamlets. Lark Rise is conservative, smaller, and more remote. Candleford is a town on the rise with influences from near and far. We see these influences with such subtle hints as the unveiling of the latest Parisian fashions for example. Several of the stories deal with family issues, debts, and work. Troubles that still ring true even today.
There are some terrific actors and actresses that one might recognize from Cranford, Downton Abbey, and other top notch British drama series. The roles are played well with an emphasis on subtlety, instead of the more dramatic performances in series such as Downton. The acting and the sets remind me a lot more of Cranford, despite the 40 or 50 year gap in their time periods.
Though the series starts with young Laura as the apparent main character, she acts more as a foil to the other various characters. It is a slow paced series, and many of the supporting characters have episodes focused on them. It's all very well done and there is no sense to trying to fit too much in. Often the scenes and episodes can be rather sparse and quiet.
The show went on for four seasons (series as they are known in the UK) and was sadly not renewed for a fifth, despite impressive ratings. Whether you watch on instant streaming or on DVD, the show is very good and is a nice change of pace from some of the more dramatic pieces out there. Which is not to say there isn't drama! But it's definitely a more toned down series. If you get through episode three and aren't hooked, then you probably won't want to continue watching. But if you are like me, by episode three you start to see the real genius here and want to watch more.