On her 40th birthday, Alison Braithwaite gets the surprise of her life when she wins 38 million in the first Euro Lottery. She decides to keep the news of her win from her family so as not to encourage the baser instincts ... more »of her three squabbling daughters and banker husband. But she's not the only one living a double life. As her family lurches from one crisis to another, Alison tries to use her windfall responsibly, resisting the pressure to let her family in on her secret. Eventually, though, all the Braithwaite secrets come tumbling out in one big pile of dirty linen. A smash hit in the U.K., this cutting-edge dramatic comedy stars acclaimed actress Amanda Redman (Sexy Beast) with Peter Davison (Campion, Dr. Who), Lynda Bellingham (My Uncle Silas), and Sylvia Syms (The Jury).« less
"If you ever thought you have had one of those days, picture this. A mother of three named Alison Braithwaite (Amanda Redman) is given a winning lottery ticket for her birthday by younger daughter Charlotte (Keeley Fawcett) and winds up with 38,000,000 pounds. Knowing what her family is like, she tells no one except two women (played by Lynda Bellingham and Sylvia Syms) who help her form a charitable trust to give the money away to needy people. In the meanwhile, her not too brainy husband David (Peter Davison) is trying to wriggle out of a hot affair with his secretary Elaine (Judy Holt), her older daughter Virginia (Sarah Smart) has a lesbian crush on their neighbor Megan (Julie Graham), who is having an affair with a young window washer, all the while her middle daughter Sarah (Sarah Churm) lets her drama teacher know how she feels about him but later gets pregnant by her boyfriend, at the same time the Press is sniffing around closer and closer to the true identity of the lottery winner!!! And that is only the surface problems Alison is facing in the opening season of the smash television hit in England, "At Home With the Braithwaites." Played for shock, tears and laughs, the first season of this series is now available in a boxed set from Acorn Media (AMP 7184). My wife and I watched the two DVDs (6 episodes) on three consecutive nights and thoroughly enjoyed them. Of course, the plot was exaggerated beyond credibility-but the wish fantasy of winning a huge lottery makes it too strong to resist the story of someone who actually did win, even if that person is fictional. Davison has the acting skill to give you a really believable idiot whose face you would love to punch; while Smart's pouting and feeling sorry for herself because of all the trouble she herself has caused makes her at the same time sympathetic (she never could get her parents to listen) and repugnant (nothing can excuse her actions, only explain them). Don't you agree that the British actors are good at creating such characters that are at the same time typical and yet completely individual? This is the kind of series you invite friends over to see and have a game of predicting what new problems will arise in the next episode. And believe me, it takes great acting to make all of this palatable. And if you any of you recognize your own problems in all this, it is because keeping big secrets to yourself can be dangerous to your health. The only bonus features are some selective film biographies of the main characters. Also, although the original telecasts are in 16:9 ratio, the company that supplies Acorn Media has told them only the full-screen version of the Season 1 is available. That accounts for some awkward compositions in some shot."
A First-Rate British Comedy-Drama!
Tiggah | Calgary, Alberta Canada | 06/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This boxed set contains the complete first series (six 50-minute episodes from 2000) of what is a fast-paced, hilarious, mildly suspenseful comedy-drama. The series centres around Alison Braithwaite (Amanda Redman--New Tricks, Hope and Glory), a middle-aged housewife who wins 38 million pounds on the lottery. The problems begin when she decides not to tell her family, who (save for Charlotte, her youngest daughter) are a materialistic, petty, and less-than-responsible lot. Though somewhat deceitful, her decision is understandable. What we quickly discover, however, is that this is not the only deception or secret kept by a member of this family. Alison's husband (Peter Davison--All Creatures Great and Small, The Last Detective, Campion)--unbeknownst to her or anyone else--has been having an affair with his secretary, whilst eldest daughter Virginia is a flighty, closet homosexual besotted with the next-door neighbour (an attractive but vain, self-centred actress). All this is revealed in the first episode, and as I don't want to give too much away, I will only say that as the series progresses, the deceptions and secrets multiply and the tension builds tremendously.
The pace of this series reminds me of a rollercoaster ride. There are times when we coast (and have a chance to catch our breath), but for the most part it feels like we're careening downhill as everything seems to be spiralling out of control. We watched one episode of this series every Friday night, and never have I found it so hard to wait a week to watch the next episode. I have no idea what to expect with the second series, as the first one was so good, but I'm definitely looking forward to seeing it. And to think, I'd never even heard of this series prior to getting it and almost didn't get it!
In conclusion, like Cold Feet (another excellent series), this is a modern comedy-drama and not appropriate for family viewing; but though for mature audiences, it's not a dirty show (like so many of the modern comedies put out by BBC nowadays). I highly, highly recommend At Home With The Braithwaites to anyone looking for a really entertaining, fast-paced, well-acted, funny, suspensy comedy-drama. The accents are not heavy, and whether one is a fan of British television in particular or not, it's certainly worth checking out. There are not many shows that are this entertaining, and I personally am very glad I took a chance on it.
Very highly recommended! "
Great show -- a must see!
S. Martinez | California | 10/29/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was a fan of this show while it was on BBC America, and I loved the great acting and fun, witty storylines. Many friends also watched the show and agreed that the show was one of the most enjoyable of all the BBC America shows. After the end of the second season BBC America put the show on hiatus and has not bothered to bring it back, instead opting to give us shows like Trailer Park Boys (which, last time I checked, was a show from Canada, not GB!) At Home is good, campy fun; full of scandal but not dramatic or "soapy" like an American serial would be. Buy it now, and enjoy it and wait for the other seasons to (hopefully) be released, because the second season only gets better!"
One of my favorites
John Porter | Mobile, Alabama | 09/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of my favorite series from the UK. It's well acted, interestingly written and enjoyable all around. It's a drama but it's nothing like I've seen before. I won't get much into the plot except that the mother of a family wins the lottery and doesn't tell anyone except her two friends.
I hope they put out the entire series because I hear it got even better towards the end."