A Delightful, Entertaining British Period Comedy!
Tiggah | Calgary, Alberta Canada | 12/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Fans of the hilarious Britcom Only Fools and Horses will be familiar with both writer John Sullivan and leading actor David Jason (who's also starred in The Darling Buds of May, Open All Hours, and A Touch of Frost). Though I must confess to a preference for Only Fools and Horses (which is one of my favourite series of all time), I nonetheless really enjoyed this delightful, light-hearted and entertaining period comedy-drama (with the emphasis on comedy!). The title character is based on the character Micawber from Charles Dickens' David Copperfield, with the series taking place before Micawber met Copperfield. Though I've not read David Copperfield, I have read a number of Dickens' other works. My feeling is that Dickens' fans (of which I am one) ought not to take this production too seriously. Of course, I cannot comment on the accuracy of Sullivan's Micawber compared with the original; nevertheless, the series as a whole (at least in my opinion) bears a closer resemblance to John Sullivan's work than to that of Charles Dickens. Indeed, it is for fans of John Sullivan and/or David Jason that I would particularly recommend this series, for they are sure to be delighted. There is plenty of humour, and it's humour that bears all the hallmarks of Sullivan's distinctive, witty style. My favourite line, for example, has Micawber musing: "I've often called upon Lady Luck; but so far, I've only met her daughter--Miss Fortune." This four-video collection contains four 50-minute episodes. Briefly, Wilkins Micawber is a good-hearted, kindly old soul with a wife and five children, but with scarcely a penny to his name; indeed, his many creditors are positively nipping at his heels. He has, however, the gift of the gab and for all his misfortune, he does have a knack for getting one over on occasion, and he always seems to manage to come out of situations alive and unscathed (though perhaps a little shaken!). Throughout the series we witness Micawber's varied attempts at employment. He's taken on as a stage manager in one episode, a butler in another, and a guide for a couple of rich and debauched but very important American businessmen in yet another. For those wondering about the appropriateness of this series for family viewing, I ought to mention that there is one brief scene of a topless woman (which occurs when Micawber rather reluctantly takes the licentious Americans to a Victorian strip club). Actually, it's very tame, but I thought worth a mention so one knows what to expect. In conclusion, David Jason is absolutely splendid as Micawber, and this was a series that I really enjoyed. I find myself wondering whether or not there were (or will be) more episodes made, for it's the sort of series that could certainly go on. I have no hesitation in recommending this cute and thoroughly enjoyable series to anyone who enjoys British comedy in general, and particularly to those who enjoy the writing of John Sullivan and/or the acting and roles of David Jason. If I've any comlaints, it's that there weren't more episodes!"