"As Time Goes By" stars Judi Dench & Geoffrey Palmer. Long ago Lionel, a dashing young British Army officer met Jean, a lovely student nurse and fell deeply in love. When Lionel was shipped off to fight in the Korean war t... more »he two lost touch. In the first episode of Series One they meet again and slowly begin to rekindle their romance. The wonderful series that ensues is simply a pleasure to watch.« less
As Time Goes By is a great series to sit back with after a long day and enjoy a few shows. It's not as over the top as many British comedy series end up being. I'd watched a handful of episodes on PBS over the years, but never in order from beginning to end. So, my wife and I made a concerted effort a while back to do just that.
The basic premise is: two true blue lovers find each other decades later, each thinking they were abandoned by the other, when in reality it was just Murphy's Law, for the most part. A lot of gentle chuckles each show, held up well by the script writers, as well as the good on-screen chemistry between Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer. Much of this is two people finding their lover's feet with each other again, later in life, with all the complications that brings. The other main bit is her daughter and the bumbling ideas of her yuppie boyfriend's positive thinking.
And, I really do have to hand it to the writers, as they find all kinds of ingenious ways to breathe life into the formula for nine seasons and three specials. 67 episodes total. I see that Time Goes By is ranked No. 29 in Britain's Best Sitcoms, and I think that's just about right.
They Still Say I Love You
Matthew Gladney | Champaign-Urbana, IL USA | 06/27/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Imagine my excitement when I found that the first two seasons of "As Time Goes By" are heading for the DVD format. It is simply a wonderful series, well-deserving of such good video treatment. The previous season to be released on DVD (season 4) looked absolutely stunning in the crystal clear format. The images just came alive. Very beautiful. I already own these episodes on VHS, but there is no question that I will more than happily re-buy them."As Time Goes By" begins here with Lionel Hardcastle (the sublime Geoffrey Palmer) needing a secretary to help type-up the manuscript to his new book "My Life In Kenya". The secretarial agency he hires is run by Jean Pargetter (the great Judi Dench). Lionel and Jean meet, and realize that they used to be sweethearts 38 years previous, in the few short months before Lionel was sent away to the Korean War. After they parted, they lost touch, got re-married, and moved on with their lives. Now Jean is widowed and Lionel is divorced, and the stage is set for a possibly warm reunion.Warm is not the word to describe the first season, however. The romance is very up and down, and there are actually other *possible* love interests that come into the fray. But the season does have its positively sweet moments -- pre-cursors of the enjoyable situations to come. And I found the up & down nature of the romance at first one of the more believable elements. Relationships aren't always easy, whether new or old, and to show that two people who are really meant for each other may hit some bumps along the way, almost makes the romance that much more satisfying when things start working out.I love "As Time Goes By". There are very few TV series that I can say that about - less than I can count on one hand - but this is one of them. The writing is always impeccable, the acting superb, and the stories warm and funny. And on DVD, it all looks great. I wish more shows were like it."
Where is my Lionel?
Mskitty | East Coast U.S.A. | 03/13/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Okay,I have never met a British TV series that I didn't like,so it comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I own Sets 1-V of As Time Goes By. It is a gentle, civilized comedy about two lovers separated by a undelivered letter forty years before the series opens in c. 1992. Judy Dench and Geoffrey Palmer, as Jean and Lionel, are the perfect middle age lovers: Jean has lines on her face, is not a stick in a size 0 dress, and Lionel has jowls and thinning hair. It matters not! They adore each other and we adore them! The supporting cast is excellent -- especially the young women who portray Judy and Sandy, Jean's daughter by her first marriage, and her assistant respectively. Nothing very profound can be resolved in 30 minutes, but what is is interesting is the process of rediscovery, falling in love, and learning to love and accept each other, "warts and all," that the viewer sees in episode after episode. It is refreshing to see that someone believes that love is just not for the under 30 set. Jean and Lionel are never treated as "cute," as in "how cute that people that age can be in love." Why they even have sex -- always implied and never seen -- and it is treated as a natural and normal state of being for a middle aged couple. Buy the series -- you won't be sorry!"
Movie Mania | Southern Calfornia | 10/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Lionel and Jean had a breif encounter at the beginning of the Korean war. But when Lionel's letter gets lost, they both assume that it was just one of those things.
Series 1 (they have series not seasons in the UK)
Flash forward 45 years later. Jean is a widow with a daughter. She runs a secretarial agency. Lionel has spent his time in Kenya. He had a coffee plantation but is escaping a bad marriage with no kids.
Lionel is writing his memiors and needs a secretary. Enter Judith, Jean's daughter. Eventually, Lionel and Jean meet up but neither is willing to make the first move. Therefore, Judith decides to date Lionel. While Lionel's publisher, Alister, takes a liking to Jean. The series ends up on a double date. When Judith and Alister poop out, Jean and Lionel finally connect.
Jean and Lionel start to see each other. But the main storyline is Lionel's book. It actually turns out that Alister is publishing the book because of a debt that his father owed Lionel's father. In this series, Lionel's free spirited father, Rocky, is introduced and Rocky's housekeeper Mrs. Bale.
This is a two disc set. Series 1 contains 6 episodes and Series 2 contains 7 episodes.
This is the beginning of a great series. (Seven more series to come)"
Visiting with Good Friends
Movie Mania | 02/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
""As Time Goes By" is warm and entertaining, having no need to resort to low comedy, sarcasm or smut to be funny. Real people
with real problems, good supporting friends and quirky relatives
complete the "day in the life" routine which most of us face.
Alistair Deacon (Phillip Bretherton) is my favourite character.
A little off-the-wall but always fun and a much needed safety
net for the Hardcastle household, Alistair is a full dimensioned
character brilliantly portrayed by Mr. Bretherton. You get the
feeling that things are going to "pop" when Alistair is around!
We are collecting all the series and we can hardly wait until the
remaining three are released. You won't find better at any price!"
A Fantastic Britcom !
Movie Mania | 07/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is one of the best and successful British Situation Comedies of all time. It mixes the excellent acting of Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer. It is an old fashioned comedy, that is completely harmless and brings back what comedy used to be like ! Easy and VERY Funny.If you like Series 1 & 2. I recommend getting the other series' as well.Buy Now !"