Allen Eaton | Longmont, CO USA | 10/03/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This refers to the DVD version. This is my first exposure to this popular British series. I am used to "As Time Goes By" "Keeping up Appareances" "Waiting for God"- all shown on BBC America and PBS. None of these shows prepared for "The Darling Buds of May." The closest comparison I can make is to the 1959 film "The Mating Game" starring Debbie Reynolds and Tony Randall. Randall plays an up-tight (I don't have a life) tax man who comes to collect back taxes from a large family living a simple life on a farm. It turns out that the family has never filed an income tax return. Randall quickly falls for Reynolds, the comely, if a little too innocent, elder daughter (yet another incarnation of her popular "Tammy" character). He sees the life he's been missing and succomds to the family's simplicity and charm, later defending them against his bosses who come to find out why Randall hasn't submitted his report. Pretty standard, gentle and non-offensive fare. This is the same premise as "Darling Buds." Catherine Zeta-Jones plays the comely daughter, a virtual "wood nymph" who snares the gentle heart of the young tax man. Interestingly, in the pilot episode, we learn that she probably is (but maybe isn't) pregnant. When her father asks his wife who the father is, the wife responds that their daughter "hasn't decided yet." There are other, standard British "small village"" characters, most of them as up-tight as the young tax man, and also very class conscious. If only they could see the family the way the young tax man does, they would loose their stiff collars and live "the good life." That's basically it. Although I love British TV programes, and watch what comes to American television, I found it difficult to get with the somewhat leasurely pace of this show. I don't mean to dismiss it at all. It is definately just a matter of taste."