If you've ever wanted to turn on the television and be thoroughly uplifted, entertained, touched, made to laugh, possibly even inspired, and, generally, just allowed to escape and be pulled in to a very good story...time and again, each and every episode, then don't look any further than the 'Lark Rise' series. My wife and I are in our late 20s/early 30s, and this is easily the best program we have ever watched. Hands down.
As the previous reviewer eloquently said, it is excellent family viewing, but ONLY because it's naturally wholesome, clever, fun, beautifully shot (the cinematography is truly breathtaking -- each frame looks like a painting from this period), handsomely scored, and all of those other attributes she mentioned -- it doesn't "try" too hard to fit into the family genre -- it just naturally fits. So much of "family entertainment" seems like it was put together by a committee who are very fickle and trendy, as if the committee's #1 goal and bottom line was to ensure to appeal to the "flavor of the month" themes in entertainment (Where's the originality in that?). THIS show, on the other hand, was clearly written by those who recognize the enduring and universal themes of family, friends, community, love, and basically, the things that make a memorable, good story -- the kind of story that brings you back for more.
The acting is superb. The Brits seem to have this natural ability encoded in their genome. You don't even feel like you're watching good actors -- you feel like you're a fly on the wall watching REAL people with real emotions, real interactions, real losses, real senses of humor, real relationships...oh, it's so refreshing. One of the only other television series that comes close to the superior quality of LRtoC are the "All Creatures Great and Small" series (All Creatures Great & Small: The Complete Collection (Repackage)) another family favorite which also happens to be a BBC production, starring Robert Hardy (of "Harry Potter" movies and Sense & Sensibility (Special Edition) fame).
Having the time to write a review for products you really appreciate, and to do it some justice, takes time I wish I had more of. As they say, you vote with your dollar, but you also vote with your time. So, I've cast in my vote!
I hope that many others will be introduced to this excellent program about the many charmingly told comings and goings of two Oxfordshire communities, and the individuals who lived there (in Flora Thompson's memoirs), set in the late 1800s. I only wish that more seasons were in the works, but I am indeed grateful for what they have made in these four seasons. Many of our home videos in our collection we grow tired of after a few viewings. However, I know that "Lark Rise to Candleford" will be a rare treasure in our household for years, if not decades.