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Clatterford: Season 1

4.3 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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(May 08, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Clatterford: Season 1 (Dbl DVD)

Amazon.com

Fans of Calendar Girls and the many productions of French and Saunders (creators of Absolutely Fabulous) will enjoy Clatterford: The Complete Season One. Centered on the daily and social calendars of the village women, Clatterford features unique characters, comical by observation with the wonderful human traits we can all relate to. The women make jam and have meetings, but it's what goes on outside of those meetings where we really get to know the women. Leading a cast of familiar faces, including Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, is Dawn French, who portrays a mentally challenged woman, Rosie. The excellent writing in this series is apparent in an episode featuring Rosie and Margaret, her dueling personalities, fighting over the religious importance of a potato supposedly with the face of Jesus. Rosie is about as close as we get to the zaniness of Ab Fab, since the humor here is more subtle overall and weaved throughout, posing as normalcy. Also subtle are the dramatic moments and serious undertones, which elevate this series above being just another "Britcom."--Rachel Moss

Special Features

  • Six episodes on two discs
  • 2006 Christmas Special

Product Details

  • Actors: Joanna Lumley, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 8, 2007
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000N8UXYC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,817 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Gyurisin on June 9, 2007
If I could scream from the top of the tallest Virginia mountain and have others hear me, I would. I would scream my heart out if only those sitting in New York comfy chairs would acknowledge the fact that the BBC continually, at times without effort, creates amazing television series with what seems like the least amount of effort. With the new shows coming out on American television lately we either need to have big budgets coupled with big explosions or special effects, big names to topple the ratings, or convoluted plots that keep us guessing till the very ending and still give us nothing - alas, the BBC continues to prove that theory wrong. Using a small set, justified plots, and big names - but combined efforts, the group from across the pond continues to impress me. This time, it was with a small, probably unheard dramedy, entitled, "Clatterford".

Inspired by the same minds that brought us "Ab Fab" and the team of French and Saunders tone it down a bit and bring the country into your own living room. With a subdued beginning episode that may bring a tear to your eye, it also brings us closer to this small town residence - half "Vicar of Dibly" half "Northern Exposure" and part "Gilmore Girls" lifestyle. What drew me into this show were the individual stories, the powerfully exemplified characters, and the simplicity of each episode. You don't go into "Clatterford" expecting Jack Bauer to pop out behind these ladies, which is a whole new level of watching television. "Clatterford" uses lackluster technology, beautiful scenery, and female swagger to tell a story that can be relatable to anyone, even if you live in a big city surrounding. I should mention, that isn't a show for your average male.
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I saw the English broadcast of this series and thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a heartwarming view of small village life complete with all of the quirky types of characters you might expect. Think Calendar Girls, with its focus on the local Women's Institute (called the Women's Guild in Clatterford). I read one review that aptly compared it to Northern Exposure. The BBC has done the series as much harm as good by promoting it as "by the creator of Absolutely Fabulous," Jennifer Saunders. This is not AbFab and one shouldn't expect anything like that. But Jennifer Saunders continues to be a master at taking common events, situations, or conversations and embellishing them to the brink of absurdity. This series can provide plenty of smiles, but don't expect hilarity. It wasn't written that way.
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"Clatterford" is an intoxicating program with so much going on in the background, repeated viewings never bore. The characterizations are a tribute to the fine acting, but none of that would be possible without the brilliant writing of Jennifer Saunders.

"Clatterford" demonstrates the multi-tasking of women in the myriads of characters and their interactions, often all taking place at the same time. Beneath the eccentricity and idiosyncratic behaviour lurks a sweetness and kindness as well as a family born of their proximity and communal life.

A few favorites are Tip's efforts to force the doctor to rehire his mother as nurse for the surgery by confronting him with having to do a pelvic exam, or "smear" of his old head mistress who is quite a randy woman; Queenie, an elderly member of the Women's Guild and verger at the local vicarage as well as crossing guard, studiously trying to find traffic, even to the point of asking if anyone has seen traffic.

Characters such as Tash, Kate and the Vicar, who annoy almost to the point of screaming, inevitably redeem themselves as we see more of their depth of character.

It is slightly disappointing, and inconvenient, not to have the episode list identified on either disc or the case.

And, WE WANT MORE!!
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Jennifer Saunders is not only one of the finest comedy writers of our time, she is, as "Clatterford" proves yet again, a master of character and dialog. The women of Clatterford are complex and textured so you can't watch an episode just once to fully appreciate them. And you'll want to watch again just to be in their company. The humor is subtle and wonderful. The show warm and engaging. Somehow Saunders is able to make seemingly simple storylines as lush and colored as the countryside in which they have been filmed. You won't regret being in the company of this women's guild. The chemistry of this cast is a once-in-a-lifetime combination. And do give them some time to sink in. The characters are richly detailed and very human; worth taking the time to get to know. Hats off to Jennifer Saunders for another brilliant comedy, and a fabulously different piece of television.
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Well, I laughed just as hard as at Ab Fab. However, perhaps it's a bit closer to the Vicar of Dibley....certainly, for me, it feels closer to the Vicar, than it does to Calendar Girls.

It's a very warm, very caring kind of humor; the characters may very well remind you of people you know and love. I'm looking forward to more episodes.

If it's from French and/or Saunders, I know I'm in for a great time.
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