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on 11 March 2007
Cruelly under-rated, this is easily as good as anything produce by French & Saunders, either collectively or individually. Set in the Palace of Versailles in 1782, the basic premise is similar to that of Blackadder 3. But instead of Rowan Atkinson as Edmund Blackadder braving the idiocy of Hugh Laurie as the Prince Regent, here we have Dawn French as the bored but wily servant who has to suffer fat, rich and stupid member of the French aristocracy Colombine, Comtesse de Vache (Jennifer Saunders).

In supporting roles are Adrian Scarborough as Bouffant, Colombine's dress-maker, Alison Steadman as Colombine's nemesis Madame de Plonge as well as Lucy Punch playing Eveline, her sexed-up but (supposedly) virginal daughter. Appearing in individual episodes are Richard E. Grant as the Marquis de Sade, Julian Rhind-Tutt as Madame de Plonge's camp acid-tongued advisor, Cathy Burke as Colombine's poor and duplicitous sister and Maggie Steed stealing every scene she's in as Madame Vigee-Lebrun, artist to the aristocracy.

With everyone involved playing to the gallery, the humour comes fast and funny helped along by an abundance of silly costumes, wigs and situations. The performers are encouraged to adopt several ridiculous (and historically inappropriate) accents ranging from Dawn French's distinct west country twang and Adrian Scarborough's broad Yorkshire to a quite ridiculously over-the-top Bavarian accent afforded to Marie Antoinette (Elizabeth Berrington).

Stand-out situations include Colombine's absolute refusal to open doors for herself, Lisette's regular references to the 'the old Comte' and the superb moment when Bouffant staggers in with hair and make-up everywhere having been subjected to the amorous attentions of Eveline declaring angrily 'do I LOOK like I'm heterosexual?'.

TV comedy is littered with shows that were unappreciated during first runs and only became favourites upon being repeated extensively and maybe 'Let Them East Cake' would have benefited from such repetition on TV. Or perhaps Dawn and Jennifer were less committed to the show as it was a rare example of them performing in something they did not write (Peter Learmouth gets the credit here). Whatever the reasons, the show was not a huge success and was not re-commissioned so, alas, we only have these 6 episodes to treasure. We must therefore be grateful for the issuing of this DVD and, if you are a fan of French & Saunders, Absolutely Fabulous or Blackadder all you really need to do is just press the 'Add To Shopping Basket' button above. Honestly, you'll thank me.
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on 25 May 2009
This is French and Saunders at their best - lots of in-jokes and the oneliners come thick and fast and they harpoon the French revalution.

The costume's are amazingly detailed, although the sets are abit 'charity shop'-chic but the characterisation is fabulous, especially Dawn French (as servant 'lizette') with her wonderfully broad West Country accent, which is so out of keep with the setting and yet fits so splendidly.

Each episode is self-contained, although certain jokes are kept running throughout (such as the Comtesse DeVache - JS - inability to open to doors).

I loved this - thank goodness they finally brought it back on DVD - and would highly recommend to any F&S fan!
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on 16 September 2010
I've watched this series of Let Them Eat Cake so often now, I can join in with the dialogue, and still it seems fresh and hugely funny. The three main characters are performed beautifully by Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders and Adrian Scarborough (as the effeminate Bouffant), but every character, down to the most minor ones like Julian Rhind-Tutt's wonderfully sarcastic and bored translator, or the delightfully potty pair of old ladies, are performed perfectly, making the whole thing a brilliant ensemble piece, with no-one fighting to take the limelight.

The visual gags are as funny as the dialogue, without it all descending into farce (well okay, SOMETIMES), and the jokes range from VERY adult humour to gags so childish you can't believe you laugh at them - but you do. I will admit, I steal from this series unashamedly, looking for social situations where I can drop in a Let Them Eat Cake joke into the conversation... and when I do, it always gets a chuckle.

Each of the six episodes has its own plot, so you don't need to have seen one to enjoy another, but they string together to portray a life in the Palace of Versailles which is witty, corny, clever and stupid in the best way, all six episodes leading to the very last line of the last episode, a joke which alone makes the series worth it.
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on 13 April 2009
Why, oh why wasn't this a success? Well written, well acted, a great cast, even the theme tune is brilliant! This series easily matches any comedy on tv at present and probably betters them. When i got the dvd i couldn't believe it had been almost TEN years since this was first shown on the BBC. French & Saunders at their brilliant best!
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on 1 April 2011
Remembered the series from TV and wasn't disappointed. My God Dawn French is so funny as Lisette and although the Countess is a "stupide" as they get, Jennifer Saunders is simply brilliant. Was thinking for days but after some time I remembered that Madame was Mrs Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. The character is very different but has some of the same hysterical features.

Only thing I personaly would have appreciated would have been subtitles in other languages. It is very difficult for lovers of this kind of comedy to find these kinds of dvds in their own language.
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on 8 March 2013
I laughed my tits off through all six episodes. It is obvious that yer man who wrote this has extensive knowledge of France of that era, but it is his mixture of well written gags and the perfectly cast performances that bring this to (head tipped back roaring) life.

At times, I would love to have the confidence of Dawn French's character (although with more though and fairness).

Even though this did not do so well when it was on TV, le sigh, it is still one of my favourite comedies of all time. X.
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on 20 April 2009
I had missed all of these episodes on the TV and it was a delight to watch them all in one go. This is French & Saunders at their usual best. Love the costumes.
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on 3 August 2012
Jennifer Saunders is delightful as the villain. She plays it much like Edina from Absolutley Fabulous if Eddie lived in the 18th Century. Dawn French is also entertaining as the bawdy maid. My favorite episode is the second, Murder. the sight gags had me howling.
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on 22 July 2010
With risque lines like the one in my title and both Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French being tied up by a serial rapist in 1700's France it's a wonder this ever got aired.

Thankfully somebody at the BBC had a sense of humour.

I came across this at a reasonable price so snapped it up. I vaguely remembered it from the original broadcast and recalled liking it. But would I still like it 11 years later?

The simple answer is yes. It has held up very well, probably due to it being a costume sitcom rather than in the present day.

The whole cast are brilliant, the jokes are on top form and the sets and costumes make it even more enjoyable to sit through.

I put this on not expecting to still like it, but I was even surprised that I could remember certain scenes from it after so long.

Set in The Palace of Versailles in 1700's France it stars Jennifer Saunders as Comtesse De Vache and Dawn French as her maid Lisette. Both bounce of each other perfectly and it makes you wonder why they've never done a full sitcom together before, or since, come to think of it.

Alison Steadman is amoung the supporting cast as Madame la Plonge, the Comtesse's arch rival. She is just as good in the role as French and Saunders.

Whilst watching Saunders I feel like I'm watching a 1700's, parody version of Eddie Monsoon, which is no bad thing.

The situations, characters and the like are all vastly over the top, but it all works.

The worst thing about this sitcom is that it wasn't given a second series. A forgotten gem and one that deserves repeat showings.

"The Peasants are starving!"

"Let Them Eat Cake! Let Them All Eat Cake!"

"You Might Just Regret Saying That!"
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on 17 August 2014
A forgotten gem, this pre-Revolutionary sitcom has almost enough steam to see it through its six episodes. Saunders' character is too simialr to Edina Monsoon, while Dawn French's scottosh accent is distictly pit of place. Alison Steadman's trademark hysteria is put to good use as are Adrian Scarborough's camp outrage and outragious camp. I can't help wondering if Richard E Grant's cameo may have inspired his later casting as the Scarlet Pimpernel. It has the subtlety, wit and grace of "Carry on don't lose you head" and is not for the the easily offended. I found it tremendous and silly fun.
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