The British Comedy Connosieurs
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Keeping Up Appearances

British sitcom starring Patricia Routledge

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Positively my favorite British sitcom of all time!!

  • Feb 11, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
I was first introduced to "Keeping Up Appearances" on my local PBS station about 10 years ago.  This fabulous British comedy series aired on the BBC between 1990 and 1995.  Evidently the series aired sporadically as only 45 episodes of the show were ever made.

"Keeping Up Appearances" stars Patricia Routledge as the consummate snob Hyacinth Bucket
(she insists it be pronounced "Bouquet").   She has been married to Richard (Clive Swift) for 30 excruciaing years.   Richard is just a regular Joe who does not share Hyacinth's exagerated opinion of their true station in life.   Hyancinth does not work and spends virtually all of her time trying to convince every single person she encounters that she is quite important indeed.  As a result everyone from the milkman to the Vicar at her church dreads every encounter with this highly annoying woman.  She is in a word "insufferable".   The cast of "Keeping Up Appearances" is first rate all around.   Josephine Tewson is perfectly cast as Hyacinth's nervous next door neighbor Elizabeth who seemingly cannot enter Hyancinth's home without breaking something.  David Griffin plays Elizabeth's recently divorced brother Emmet who has come to live with his sister in an attempt to get his life back together again.  Rest assured that Hyacinth will see to it that this is not about to happen.  Poor Emmet!   Other cast members include Geoffrey Hughes as Hyacinth's slovenly brother-in-law Onslow and Jeremy Gittins as the Vicar whose vocation is tested each and every time he runs into Hyacinth.

"Keeping Up Appearances" features some of the best writing and finest physical comedy I have ever seen on television.  Patricia Routledge's unique talent for physical comedy rivals if not exceeds that of Lucille Ball in "I Love Lucy".   "Keeping Up Appearances" still airs locally a couple of times a week on our PBS station.  Although I have seen each episode many times I never get tired of this show.   If you have never seen this one then I urge you to give it a look-see the next time you see it listed. Highly recommended! 
Positively my favorite British sitcom of all time!! Positively my favorite British sitcom of all time!! Positively my favorite British sitcom of all time!! Positively my favorite British sitcom of all time!!

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July 22, 2009
Better than Fawlty Towers?
 
March 10, 2009
drifter51, this review is wonderful! It brings back memories - my folks used to watch this, so I'd catch it every now and then. Do you also watch "As Time Goes By", with Judi Dench?
March 10, 2009
I have seen "As Time Goes By" and it's OK but to me nothing tops "Keeping Up Appearances". One of the all-time great shows!
 
February 11, 2009
I have to agree that this is hands-down my favorite British sitcom as well. My family and I watch it every Saturday when it airs on our local PBS station. Why do you like this one in particular? There's another British one that airs right after this, but we don't like it because it's simply too dull compared to everything they pack in those 30 minutes of Keeping Up Appearances. Riiicchaaaard!
 
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More Keeping Up Appearances reviews
Quick Tip by . August 17, 2010
It's dissapointing to see this listed in the 'British Comedy Connoisseurs' with a rating of less than 1.
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
One of my all time favorite shows. Even though the characters are predictable I still laugh so hard and can watch each show over and over.
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Paul Tognetti ()
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I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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Wiki

British sitcom has always been fascinated by snobs, but few were ever as monstrous as Hyacinth Bucket (who insists it's pronounced "Bouquet"), the central character in Roy Clarke's Keeping Up Appearances.

Played with aplomb by Patricia Routledge, Hyacinth is a character with few, if any, saving graces. Her pompous, self-serving attitude makes life miserable for all around her.

Patricia Routledge as Hyacinth Bucket

Long-suffering husband Richard (Clive Swift) gets the brunt of it, with Hyacinth quick to chastise if he steps out of line ("I don't like you making decisions unilaterally", she tells him).

But there are others in the firing line, including nervous neighbour Elizabeth (Josephine Tewson), her brother Emmett (David Griffin) and Michael the Vicar (Jeremy Gittins).

However, the real ire is reserved for the snob's council estate dwelling sisters: Rose (Shirley Stelfox/Mary Millar) and Daisy (Judy Cornwell).

While the former irks with her man-eating ways, the latter absolutely appalls thanks to her slobbish lifestyle and indolent, scruffy husband Onslow (Geoffrey Hughes).

Geoffrey Hughes and Judy Cornwell

Sofa-bound, unshaven and absolutely unbowed by his harridan of a sister-in-law, he remained Hyacinth's nemesis across the show's five series.

Deeply formulaic, most episodes involved a phone call from Hyacinth's unseen sister Violet (who turns up in the final series played by Anna Dawson), you know, "the one with the Mercedes, sauna, and room for a pony!" and, at some point, a telephone conversation with ...

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Details

Genre: Comedy
Studio: BBC TV
Original Air Date: 1990-1995
DVD Release Date: September 9, 2008
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