- Six episodes on two discs
- 2006 Christmas Special
Clatterford: Season 1
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Clatterford: Season 1 (Dbl DVD)
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
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I don't know how to keep my superlatives under control - the writing is amazing for a start. Jennifer Saunders has outdone herself - she's managed to take on some serious subjects under the guise of humor, and she pulls it off spectacularly. These stories simply must be the result of intelligent observation of fellow human beings - warts and kindnesses, follies and wisdom - written by someone who knows how to write. Then these brilliant scripts are given to actors who can, follow me now, actually act! They create well rounded, fully realized human beings. We are with them all the way. We like them! We empathize with them. Most of us have known people like them, and if not, would very much like to do so. And we appreciate that they care for each other, and despite eccentricities, support each other through the tough times of life. In a believable way, mind you. The people are congruent all the way through and the scripts tell stories that flow naturally and easily from the characters. No problem handing over that "suspension of disbelief" in this case.
I can't leave out the amazing Joanna Lumley - honestly, I laughed every time she came on the screen. And there is a scene between James and his former headmistress involving a pap smear that is maybe the funniest thing ever performed on television. I can't even think about it without breaking into chuckles. The script is beyond wonderful and the actors do it justice with every word and facial expression. Thank you so much - the world doesn't always allow for a good belly laugh, and if I could, I'd anoint you with every award possible for this scene alone. And it isn't alone!
I can't recommend this DVD enough. I have told myriad friends and relatives and done everything I can to get it out and about and seen in the states. By the way, do you know how many times I've used the words "intelligent" and "television" in the same sentence? Maybe 5 times ever?! Okay, maybe 6 times, but that may be pushing it. See this series. Treat yourself. And thank you, Jennifer Saunders - for this you deserve to be remembered forever - this is way better than anything you've done previously - and that's going some!
Sort of like the Bible! That's how highly I regard Jennifer Saunders... And frankly I find myself quoting some lines in Ab Fab at so many points of transition in life that she might as well be one of the apostles... I've been a long time fan of Absolutely Fabulous - it has a Rocky Horror sort of perfection whereby you could watch each episode 20 times and only realize more and more how each word, each gesture, has sort of an integrated perfection that transcends the immediate meaning of the line or plot. I read the scripts for some of the AbFab episodes and they are such skeleton sketches that it
made me even more of an admirer of how much Jennifer Saunders holds in her head and brings to life in the actual performance.
Hungry for more, I purchased the first two seasons of Clatterford. I like many before me had to come to an understanding
that this is about the genius of Jennifer Saunders, which transcends Absolutely Fabulous - if you don't understand that then
you will be disappointed that everything else she does is not just sketch comedy that rises to that broad level. I watched
Season One last night, already aware that I had to watch it with no expectations, and I watched with a dawning revelation
that she can facilely transfer her abilities to other styles and genres. As an inhabitant of a large city, just the concept that people have to really live with each other in a small town was a revelation.... The way she actually fleshes that out and brings it to life was remarkable on many levels - I did find myself laughing out loud on several occasions - sometimes at the situation, sometimes at her brilliance in delivering it..and watched the rest with a sense of wonder at
It speaks to her genius that the other reviewers here have done such an intelligent job of reviewing Clatterford. Buyer beware that the more intelligent the viewer is the more refined and transcendent their experiences with Jennifer Saunders and crew will be. Enjoy.