Author Topic: Keeping Up Appearances  (Read 8600 times)

Fambo Number Mive

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Keeping Up Appearances
« on: January 02, 2021, 05:40:01 PM »
This is on Britbox. Been watching a few episodes from it this afternoon. It's been a long time since I watched it.

The main focus is of course the sending up of Hyacinth - I think the message of the show so far seems to be "Be yourself". Hyacinth would get on much better with those around her if she was herself - her family and her neighbours seem much more likable than the upper middle class types she is desperately trying to convince that she is one of them. Routledge clearly loves portraying Hyacinth and it's amusing watching Hyacinth's mishaps (I suppose one does have to feel sorry for Hyacinth as she is a victim of having to live in such a snobby society, but I feel more sorry for everyone else).

I do feel that Hyacinth's family are pretty one dimensional and almost come across as cliched stereotypes of the working class - the slob, the person who goes round shagging everyone, etc. Their scenes are pretty tedious except when Hyacinth and Richard are there. The interactions between Onslow, Rose and Daisy are very repetitive.

Do you enjoy the show?

Poirots BigGarlickyCorpse

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Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2021, 05:45:25 PM »
God I haven't watched it in so long. I enjoyed it first time round when I was a teenager.

Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2021, 06:04:38 PM »
I feel like this show is the ultimate "show with screaming grannies in the laughter track". Usually when something slightly rude (but not too rude) happens.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2021, 06:20:14 PM »
I feel like this show is the ultimate "show with screaming grannies in the laughter track". Usually when something slightly rude (but not too rude) happens.

I'd argue that Mrs Brown's Boys has stolen that glittering crown.

Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2021, 06:23:18 PM »
It's the most typical of Roy Clarke's sitcoms, in that he manged to write enough gags for one series, then set it on rinse and repeat, with all the performances getting broader as time went on.

the science eel

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Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2021, 06:24:41 PM »
Agree with most said so far, but Patricia Routledge is fabulous in the role.

neveragain

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Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2021, 06:46:28 PM »
Yes, I was going to say that. She's the only reason to watch. The writing is often dire.

Malcy

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Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2021, 10:24:47 PM »
Watching through them on Britbox as well. It's a long time since I've seen it and I've been enjoying it. Scenes set in Onslow's house get annoying after a while because the telly is usually blaring and everyone's shouting.

Shaky

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Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2021, 10:38:54 PM »
Have to give Roy Clarke some props for being a mighty 90 years old and still churning out sitcoms (even if they only have a handful of jokes).

I know couples like Richard and Hyacinth exist to a degree but their relationship was so broad in the show I never could work out why he stayed with her. Absolute living hell. He had no mates apart from, occasionally, Onslow and I think he retired early on so was stuck with the bitch all day. He was quiet but not a total shrinking violet yet he put up with it. Maybe she was amazing in the sack. Always bothered me, that, along with the terrifying mute spectre of "Daddy". Oh, and how attractive the Vicar's wife was.

The "bucket/bouquet" joke is a timeless classic, though.

Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2021, 10:42:35 PM »
I was subjected to it by my mother (who herself rose from working-class origins to ultra-Guardian/Lib Dem middle classness). As people have said, it's the epitome of a sitcom with very few jokes, repeated endlessly. I guess it pokes fun both at the social climbers and the bottom-of-society scum, but the former was better-acted, less broad, and less generally hellish. Routledge was the star, and an excellent actor, but Clive Swift as Mr Bucket gave a nice portrayal of silent despair too (reading what Shaky said, it's a horrid marriage but there definitely were/are couples like that, for whom death is the only release).

Gurke and Hare

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Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2021, 10:56:21 PM »
Sheridan is a great unseen character.

Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2021, 11:06:41 PM »
I do quite like the running gag of Elizabeth constantly spilling or dropping things in Hyacinth's house. It's a neat observation about being constantly on edge as a guest to someone who's particularly house-proud, and it does change the dynamic by switching the embarrassment from Hyacinth to someone else.

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Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2021, 11:14:00 PM »
I'm 90% certain I saw an episode of that where Richard is trying to get her to stay still whilst she's going around in a tizzy preparing for one of her Candle-Lit Suppers so he can tell her that Sheridan is gay. Can't remember the resolution.

Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2021, 11:18:35 PM »
I’ve never seen a second of this, but always just assumed it’s years of half hour episodes of Routledge saying “It’s pronounced bouquet” and falling over every few seconds. I suppose it’s the equivalent of anyone who hasn’t seen Fawlty Towers thinking it’s endless shots of some mad bloke doing a silly German walk while hitting cars with branches.

Shaky

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Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2021, 11:21:56 PM »
I’ve never seen a second of this, but always just assumed it’s years of half hour episodes of Routledge saying “It’s pronounced bouquet” and falling over every few seconds. I suppose it’s the equivalent of anyone who hasn’t seen Fawlty Towers thinking it’s endless shots of some mad bloke doing a silly German walk while hitting cars with branches.

Well, you're definitely part of the way there with Keeping Up Appearances... only another four jokes to go!

non capisco

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Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2021, 12:32:35 AM »
Standard mention of the fact that Snoop Dogg is an unlikely fan of Keeping Up Appearances.

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Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2021, 08:24:19 AM »
I've seen it once in my life, when I was in the waiting room for a hospital appointment and it was on the telly in there. So I'm no expert. I've never seen Allo Allo though. I'm quite proud of that.

Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2021, 08:59:12 AM »
Watched this with my mum as a kid and, looking back, it feels like a kind of introduction to comedy. I'd watch this and other gentle sitcoms and there's some amusing moments and basic jokes. That's enough for some people but, like other art forms, if you have more than a basic interest you move on to the better, more inventive stuff.

timebug

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Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2021, 09:08:49 AM »
Very repetetive as regards 'plot'. Roy Clarke seemed to write two or three variations on one theme, and then set to repeat endlessly. Good harmless fun, of its kind, but not I.M.O any kind of classic. Patricia Routledge was brilliant in it of course, as she tended to be in pretty well anyhing I have see her in. And nice to see Geoffery Hughes trying to lay the ghost of 'Eddie Yates' to rest!

PlanktonSideburns

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Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2021, 09:16:28 AM »
I've seen it once in my life, when I was in the waiting room for a hospital appointment and it was on the telly in there. So I'm no expert. I've never seen Allo Allo though. I'm quite proud of that.
Allo allo is miles ahead of this, mega gag rate (ooh er)

icehaven

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Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2021, 09:21:14 AM »
Saw it years ago when I was a teenager but I've never seen it since, it's not had many repeats afaik. I suppose I liked it at the time but as others have said it was very formulaic, I'd probably watch a few episodes for nostalgia value but I don't think I'd sit through much.

Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2021, 09:24:05 AM »
Standard mention of the fact that Snoop Dogg is an unlikely fan of Keeping Up Appearances.

It's one of those shows that Americans really love*, in my experience.

*or dismiss as exemplifying British comedy in a nutshell

Magnum Valentino

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Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2021, 09:28:56 AM »
I saw in the Victoria Wood clip show the BBC had on over Christmas that Routledge played a very similar character on As Seen on TV called Kitty, who would deliver monologues to camera in similar garb, identical voice and with similar themes.
Could this be one of those things like the Mr Kahn character breaking out of Down the Line to his own series but with none of the original creators?

kalowski

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Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2021, 09:34:36 AM »
I saw in the Victoria Wood clip show the BBC had on over Christmas that Routledge played a very similar character on As Seen on TV called Kitty, who would deliver monologues to camera in similar garb, identical voice and with similar themes.
Could this be one of those things like the Mr Kahn character breaking out of Down the Line to his own series but with none of the original creators?
There's no comparison. Wood's sketch is just sublime.
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Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2021, 09:44:00 AM »
I saw in the Victoria Wood clip show the BBC had on over Christmas that Routledge played a very similar character on As Seen on TV called Kitty, who would deliver monologues to camera in similar garb, identical voice and with similar themes.
Could this be one of those things like the Mr Kahn character breaking out of Down the Line to his own series but with none of the original creators?

This really.

Roy Clarke saw the Victoria Wood Kitty monologues and ran with the character.

- snobbishness ✓
- hypocrisy ✓
- pettiness ✓
- mania ✓
- lack of self-awareness ✓
- self-importance ✓

Clarke added a put upon husband, extended vulgar family and some standard farce plots... Not my cup of tea, but Patricia Routledge gave an amazing performance. Remember, she had been a Broadway star (won a Tony Award in the 1960s) but Bucket made her famous around the world - the show has been sold and syndicated everywhere and is a big money spinner for the BBC.

Absorb the anus burn

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Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #25 on: January 03, 2021, 09:45:47 AM »
There's no comparison. Wood's sketch is just sublime.

Agree... The handful of Kitty monologues are 100x better than KUA.

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Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2021, 11:04:12 AM »
We used to watch it a lot when I was a kid. I tried a rewatch about six or seven years ago when I could access US Netflix. Again, I had to stop after a little while as it felt like essentially watching the same episode on repeat. Like he had a list of beats to hit, and then just sprinkled the regular jokes throughout. Copy-and-paste.

I watched the Christmas special this Christmas, and I was intrigued to see that all the characters used mistletoe to fully make out with each other's wives and husbands. Richard and the panicked neighbour can't wait to get stuck in to each other.

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Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2021, 11:08:46 AM »
Tradesman saying 'Bucket?' and having the door slammed in his face was funny every week as far as I'm concerned. At least, it was when I was twelve.

Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2021, 11:31:45 AM »
This is on Britbox. Been watching a few episodes from it this afternoon. It's been a long time since I watched it.

The main focus is of course the sending up of Hyacinth - I think the message of the show so far seems to be "Be yourself". Hyacinth would get on much better with those around her if she was herself - her family and her neighbours seem much more likable than the upper middle class types she is desperately trying to convince that she is one of them. Routledge clearly loves portraying Hyacinth and it's amusing watching Hyacinth's mishaps (I suppose one does have to feel sorry for Hyacinth as she is a victim of having to live in such a snobby society, but I feel more sorry for everyone else).

I do feel that Hyacinth's family are pretty one dimensional and almost come across as cliched stereotypes of the working class - the slob, the person who goes round shagging everyone, etc. Their scenes are pretty tedious except when Hyacinth and Richard are there. The interactions between Onslow, Rose and Daisy are very repetitive.

Do you enjoy the show?

My OH enjoyed this when it first went out so we bought the DVDs of the first few seasons cheap a while ago. It doesn't take long for it to lose its lustre, simply because it's so repetitive. As others have said, it's the same conversations, the same comic beats, quite often exactly the same jokes.

The cast do their best to elevate it, and sometimes succeed - and Patricia Routledge is brilliant - but the weak link is the famously warm and witty Clive Swift, who simply doesn't have the comedy chops that his co-stars have. He's unable to present Richard as anything other than a figure so passive he might as well be mute, so we get a layer-free cardboard cutout who shares Hyacinth's space, rather than being her foil.

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: Keeping Up Appearances
« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2021, 11:44:20 AM »
In the credits, Hyacinth rubs a stamp on what appears to be mash potato before sticking it on - is this to improve how it sticks or something? Never heard of this.

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