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4.7 out of 5 stars18
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 11 November 2010
Fantastic to finally get a DVD release of these three original Granada productions from the late 70s/ early 80s from the genius that is Victoria Wood.

Production values are extremely good for the time, but, taken separately, the three teleplays here do vary somewhat in the writing quality:

Talent, VW's first play from 1979, is set backstage at a local talent show and features Wood and Walters as Maureen and Julie as they sit and smoke fags and quaff Babycham nervously anticipating Julie's star turn of 'Cabaret' that evening. Filled with some hilarious one-liners and great performances, this does however suffer from some average songs which don't sit too comfortably within the structure of the dialogue. As a first teleplay this is a superb achievement, but there is a little stiltedness to the writing and unsatisfactory exposition of the back story and its outcome in relation to Julie's character. This is the weakest effort of the three, but still manages to conjure some lovely nostalgia and a glimpse of the promise of VW's superb observations.

Nearly a Happy Ending is a sequel to Talent as we catch up with Julie and Maureen a year later to discover that Maureen has been a big success at Weight Watchers and Julie is coping with depression following her finace's death. Altogether a more solid effort than its predecesssor with better songs and a wickedly funny script, this evidences a massive development in VW's talent for writing and structure and succesfully combines laugh out loud crudities with some touching and poignant moments. The only criticism to level at it is that Julie's character comes across as ultimately very unsympathetic, which is the only jarring note of the story.

Happy Since I Met You is the star turn on offer here with SUPERB performances from Walters and Duncan Preston as the two lovers who meet at a horrendously boring dinner party and then progress to form a deep relationship over the coming year. Wood's writing is just spot-on and the combination of warm comedic intimacy and terrifying and ultimately violent claustrophobia between the two leads is perfectly rendered in this 52 minute drama. This must be one of the finest pieces of work that Wood ever wrote and is worth the price of the DVD alone. Repeated viewings are guranteed.

Overall, a fantastic opportunity to experience the amazing developing talent of the remarkable Wood in her early TV days - a real foretaste of what would come with the stunning 'Pat and Margaret' a decade later, and a reminder that Wood should concentrate on creating these kinds of wonderful dramas rather than the stodgy sketch pieces like Midlife Christmas she has been recently guilty of.
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on 18 December 2012
I bought this DVD as I am a fan of Victoria Wood and Julie Walters.
I was a little disapointed at first then it got much better as it progressed.
I have watched it a few times now and have come to appreciate the fine acting and writing of Victoria Wood and Julie Walters.
I can now highly recommend this DVD.
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on 6 March 2013
I wasn't sure of this DVD but being a big fan of Victoria Wood I thought I would give it a go, as had seen some of the screenplays on TV a few years before I didn't know if it would have the same impact but it did, it didn't disappoint it still had me laughing.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 23 October 2010
It's 31 years since 'Talent' was shown on T.V. and what a treat, not only this but also 'Wood & Walters' released within a few days of each other. Of the 3 plays here, I've only had time to watch 'Talent' so far but my memories of watching it those many years ago aren't diminished by seeing it again. For the last 20 odd years I've only had the script of the play to whet my appetite for the day we finally get to watch it again (we don't all live in London) and it's even better seeing it performed in your front room. 100% pure enjoyment. 'Happy Since I Met You', I recorded in 1981 and thanks to my trusty (wind-up) VHS, I've been able to re-visit this classic many times over the years and it just seems to get funnier each time I see it. 'Nearly A Happy Ending' is the one play that I have only a distant memory of seeing but I do remember it from first time around and unless my memory has been fiddled with, it is full of the usual pathos and 'spot on' observations of life that Victoria Wood excels at. I would recommend this to anyone who loves Victoria Wood and/or Julie Walters. It's an opportunitiy to see them both when they first started to make names for themselves. Personally, I'd pay good money to see them read from the Bunty so to see these 3 screenplays at such a low price....well, it's like Amazon were giving them away.
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on 7 February 2015
This DVD was a gem of a find. I was amazed to find these early Victoria Wood plays were available on DVD and this was a great present to myself. The plays look dated due to the age of Victoria and Julie, and due to the simplistic nature of filming, but still great to view.
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on 11 February 2015
Have watched them all but it was Talent I wanted most.Victoria Wood is so talented
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on 26 September 2009
Victoria Wood has got the play Talent running in London at the moment (at the Chocolate Factory, Bankside). We saw it on preview week and really enjoyed it. The play is still set when it was made (1979) and it brought back many memories from that time (the references to adverts, port & lemon, and babysham really adding to the nostalgia). We even had a chance to speak with her (and got told off for bringing an under 14 yr old). A definate for the Christmas list
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on 14 June 2015
Interesting. Amusing and thought provoking
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on 10 August 2013
Loved these. Think Victoria Wood is brilliant. Would recommend to any of her fans.

Dont have anymore words to write.
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on 14 August 2014
Great Woods is so talented
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