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DR. WILLOUGHBY

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

It's not surprising that this 1999 British "comedy" lasted only six episodes. Incredibly unfunny and occasionally tasteless, the series revolves around a fictional soap opera whose star is the compassionate and saintly Dr. Willoughby ("Ab Fab"'s Joanna Lumley). The "joke" is that her soap persona is the exact opposite of her real personality, which is selfish and mean-spirited. Her costar "doctor" (played by Brian Protheroe) is equally obnoxious when off the air. Even the show's producer begs to be reassigned--dealing with these two plus the talentless writers who churn out ridiculous plots would push anyone over the edge! VERDICT "Dr. Willoughby" is apparently meant to satirize daytime soaps, but everything about it, including the acting, is exaggerated, and the characters are totally unlikable. Not recommended.--Joan Greenberg, Warminster, PA Copyright 2012 Reed Business Information.

Review

Wonderfully witty --Manchester Evening News

Sharp, literate...a memorable British sitcom --Sunday Herald

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Brian Protheroe
  • Directors: David Skynner
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: ACORN MEDIA
  • DVD Release Date: January 3, 2012
  • Run Time: 144 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005VB618I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,570 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on November 15, 2011
Format: DVD
You get a series chocked full of one-liners, sight gags, and ridiculous miscommunication among characters who are supposedly professionals putting on a hit television soap opera show. If anything can go wrong, it does. The soap's stars are aging, the director/producer is out of her mind with desire (to quit this lame soap), Joanna Lumley always good at playing the bad girl, does it again as Donna (Dr. Willoughby on the soap). Brits can make the "behind the scenes relationships" look even more ridiculous and pathetic than the "soap opera plots". That is the intent, and it seems to work, almost to a hindrance. You'll groan as much as audibly laugh. The episodes somewhat build on you as you become accustomed to the quirkiness and outright insane characters. ODD is too simple a word to use for this TV cast and production crew that proves forevermore that a soap `family' CAN exist with a severe case of dysfunctional.

Other Brit stars are Brian Protheroe playing Ralph, the soap #2 star, wanting to be #1. Sexy Paula Bacon plays Crystal who is the soap's Sister Nurse Virginia who actually adds some sanity to the series. Emma (Isabelle Middleton) is the prod/dir of the soap from the sewer who'd rather have an operation by the soap cast without anesthetic than continue to be in charge of trying to make the show worthwhile. It is somewhat on the comedy plane as Jeeves & Wooster. "Can they really be that dumb? Apparently so!

1 Fan Mail--Ralph & Crystal gets abundant mail & attractions. Donna's jealously tries to sabotage her cast colleagues.
2 Young Pretender--Ralph's convinced he's being replaced as Donna wants new YOUNG MALE blood in the show.
3 Family Wedding--Everyone on the show, cast/crew, decides the heavy drama soap needs comedy to lighten the plots.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD
James A. Stewart, DVD Verdict --Dr. Willoughby opens on the set of Dr. Willoughby, quickly establishing that, while Dr. Willoughby is a crack surgeon, you'd probably rather do your own bypass than let Donna Sinclair anywhere near you, even if she's not bearing a scalpel. She drops an f-bomb at co-star Ralph, angry at his ad-lib. As the show goes on, Donna turns out to barely know her son and brother, constantly sabotages naive younger actress Crystal with some really bad advice (and even suggests to the writers a storyline in which Crystal's character gets acid in the face), and has to look up Finland when she learns her soap is now on the air there.

To play an actress playing a surgeon, Joanna Lumley apparently had to study making funny faces. Fortunately, she did her job well and you might even laugh as soon as you see her previously cold visage start to twist. "Scandal" makes her gradually shabbier appearance as she becomes more haggard the main gag, and perhaps the series' funniest.

The secondary plots are usually left to Brian Protheroe as Ralph, a neurotic actor who tends to blow up a lot; he's usually dreaming of filling a gap left by a departing Donna, at least when he's not fearing his own abrupt departure. The strongest supporting character is Emma, a producer who begs to get out of her contract--and away from the difficult cast.

Dr. Willoughby generally has a realistic look to it; it appears to be filmed on an actual soundstage and backlot. The backdrop actually makes the silly, (hopefully) exaggerated gags on the show seem a tad more realistic, which adds to the humor. It's interesting to note that several of the actors, including Lumley (a veteran of General Hospital and Coronation Street), have experience with TV suds.

-Full review at dvdverdict.com
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By Jelsy on April 24, 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I should have purchased "Sensitive Skin" instead but I hadn't seen this series and had seen the other. So so. "Sensitive Skin" and "Absolutely Fabulous" are much better if you are a Joanna Lumly fan like me.
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