DVD Reviews

Wodehouse Playhouse: Complete Collection – DVD Review

By June L. Feb 8, 2013, 7:28 GMT

Wodehouse Playhouse: Complete Collection – DVD Review

Based on the stories by P.G. Wodehouse "Delightful? -Daily Mail (U.K.) Starring John Alderton and Pauline Collins "An engaging tribute to the master of polished, joyous foolishness? -The Guardian (U.K.) A deft writer of daft protagonists, P.G. Wodehouse has delighted fans with his razor-sharp wit and marvelously madcap plots for over a century. This sparkling BBC series brings 20 of his hilarious tales to life with Oscar® nominee Pauline Collins ...more

Acting partners and husband and wife Pauline Collins and John Alderton star in these comedic short stories by author P. G. Wodehouse.  The flavor and fun is just as fresh now as when these were first broadcast in 1975-1978 and series one of the set has the bonus of the late author’s introductions to each story.  This is a must have set for fans of British comedy.

I had my introduction to the zany comedy of P. G. Wodehouse years ago when an uncle gave me “Uncle Fred in Springtime” to read.  I was hooked and read everything Wodehouse I could find.  It was delightful when PBS began having Wodehouse stories as Wodehouse Playhouse where we could see these daft and what we would call today “flakey” characters brought to life. 

Audiences were already familiar with Pauline Collins and John Alderton from their excellent work on the original Upstairs Downstairs, and were pleased to see that the strenuous comedy of a Wodehouse plot and the foibles and eccentricities of charactesr were well within their skillful abilities.  While watching these episodes again I was laughing out loud. 

This enticed the resident scientist to venture in and watch a few stories with me.  He likes P. G. Wodehouse’s witty introductions to the series one installments, the author’s sense of humor sparkles even at ninety, and sets the stage for the fun to follow.

Wodehouse Playhouse:  The Complete Collection is presented in a nicely boxed set of three series.  There are 20 episodes on six discs.  A wonderful bonus feature is an included brochure that breaks the series into the three story divisions The Mulliner Stories, The Golf Stories, and The Drones Club Stories, with publication information and principle character listing for each episode.  There is also background information on the author and the story divisions.

For those new to Wodehouse’s fun, this is invaluable.  For those of us who have loved this prolific and hilarious writer for years, it is a great memory aid!  P. G. Wodehouse wrote in a 70 year career 70 novels and 300 short stories, all with memorable scenarios and main characters.  One has to expect great things from a writer whose first novel was titled LOVE  AMONG THE CHICKENS, with a character named Stanley Featherstone Ukridge making his first appearance.
Thank you to Acorn Media for bringing British comedy fans this wonderful set of Wodehouse Playhouse: The Complete Collection.  Do yourself a favor and get this and laugh!  If you have not already seen, or would like more Wodehouse (I bet you will after seeing this series) check out the collected Jeeves and Wooster set, again available from Acorn. 

All Wodgehouse’s works are stories of a different age and a society that has disappeared but the human elements of wackiness or misguided well-meaning actions, of love and all its crazy effects and so much more are timeless.  Who hasn’t done something outlandish in the name of love, or has encountered more trouble for himself when trying to help out a friend?  It is good fun!

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