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This review is from: Dinnerladies - Series 1 & 2 Complete [DVD] (DVD)
A classic TV series centred around the daily running of a factory canteen, co produced and superbly written by comedy genius Victoria Wood. Below is my brief synopsis of each episode, as a reminder or to give insight if unfamiliar with Dinnerladies. Cast of Characters includes amongst others:~
Victoria Wood ~ Senior Dinnerlady Brenda (Bren)
Andrew Dunn ~ Catering Manager Tony
Anne Reid ~ Dinnerlady Jean
Thelma Barlow ~ Dinnerlady Dolly
Shobna Gulati ~ Dinnerlady Anita
Maxine Peake ~ Dinnerlady Twinkle
Celia Imrie ~ Human Resources Philippa
Duncan Preston ~ Maintenance Stan
Julie Walters ~ Bren's Mother Petula
Dame Thora Hird ~ Enid
Eric Sykes ~ Jim
Dora Bryan ~ Connie
Kate Robbins ~ Babs
COMPLETE FIRST SERIES (all included on the first disc):~
1. Monday ~ During the general Monday morning catering organisation in the kitchen, you are gradually introduced to the characters. Plenty is continually happening which carries right through each episode. Something seemingly insignificant occurs, which gives rise to an unexpected outcome in the last episode.
2. Royals ~ The staff prepare for a Royal visit. This has a profound impact on Stan. Beautifully written and brought a tear to my eye.
3. Scandal ~ Bren's mother and her new 'boy' friend cause a stir...nothing to do with cooking!
4. Moods ~ Emotions are rather fraught; November blues intermingled with a variety of other factors like bad hair and a possible pregnancy. Mother's are invited to 'bring your mother to work day' Eric Sykes attends. Thora Hird makes an appearance which adds a level of gravitas as only she could give... and Bren's mother...
5. Party ~ The works Christmas Party; relationship issues, intrigue, suppressed miss-timed romance, miss communication and... Bren's mother....
6. Nightshift ~ Tony is off recovering from treatment and his replacement leads to profound consequences. The sinking ship is rapidly deserted and the warmth of the ending is writing perfection.
SERIES TWO Disc One:~
1. Catering ~ The decorators attempt to do their job; miss communication, broodiness, Segourney the trainee and pre op difficulties involving a rather long ladder.
2. Trouble ~ A relationship is on the rocks so everyone suffers, Marbella beckons Tony and Bren, spilt orange juice does have consequences and... how do you do placenta on a Baby Belling?!
3. Holidays ~ Bereavement, pregnancy, Bren becomes brave, emotional blackmail and heart strings pulled.
4. Fog ~ Stale relationship, miss understanding, blood donor, an escaped prisoner, 'don't go mad...get mad' and new romance's.
5. Gamble ~ The bet is on, tree delivery and where are those decorations? tongues wag, pills, coffee and romance, a ghost from the past but worst of all...tangled tree lights without their original packaging!
6. Christmas ~ Misunderstandings, repercussions and the inevitable monumental jumping to conclusions, staff Christmas dinner, a birthday to remember and Bren's mother...
SERIES TWO Disc Two:~
7. Minnellium ~ Millennium catering intermingled with inevitable bad weather and resulting stress, six pack or catering pack? combustible human resources and a mystery baby.
8. Christine ~ A new dinnerlady arrives causing home truths to surface, Viagra, a social worker visit, new romance and of course...Bren's mother...
9. Gravy ~ Fresh start and new ways, only three weeks, Totally Trivial show and yes... Bren's mother...
10. Toast ~ New uniforms, the wrong kind of help, a missed opportunity and a goodbye with an unexpected ending.
Picture and sound quality are superb and this was played on equipment so naff, WE were paid to take it away! One plastic DVD case has all three DVD's fitted inside, including a delicate hinged middle section. There are no extras, no casting leaflet and the running order is on the back cover. This was pure self indulgence for me, so all this mattered not one jot!
Casting is perfection, with the actors bringing their characters to life with down to earth realism. Each believable and I'm sure we have all met most of them in our own lives. Words flow effortlessly with impeccable timing. I enjoyed watching this recently as much as I did when first broadcast, worth every penny. Timeless perfection!