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4.7 out of 5 stars
32
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: DVD|Change
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This is, I'm afraid, something of a guilty pleasure, akin, in fact, to my affection for Carry On films and ropey old horror movies.

Unlike some sit-coms, "Are You Being Served?" rarely touched on real drama or tugged at the emotional heart-strings; the characters were all pretty well stereotypes who behaved in an entirely predictable manner, while the jokes were not only predictable, they were also repeated from one episode to the next. Outrageous costumes were a staple feature, as were musical numbers; it may have been set in a department store, but it was hardly grounded in reality.

What made it so successful (and the reason I like it so much) is the quality of the performances; there is some serious talent featured here. The star of the show is, I suppose, John Inman's flamboyantly camp Mr Humphries; it is a strangely lovable creation and anyone who ever saw Mr Inman in pantomime will testify to his considerable artistry. I used to love Mollie Sugden as Annie Walker's occasional sparring partner Nelly Harvey on "Coronation Street" and she is equally brilliant as Mrs Slocombe. Frank Thornton (Captain Peacock) was a very fine character actor and further viewing confirms that Trevor Bannister was more than just going through the motions as the archetypal "cheeky chappy", Mr Lucas; even Wendy Richard's Miss Brahms passes muster!

The supporting players are equally fine. From the original cast, Mr Grainger left at the end of Series 5 and he is here replaced by James Hayter as Mr Tebbs; Hayter is quite brilliant and it is a shame that he left after just one series. Apparently, his "other employer" felt that the outrageous goings-on at Grace Brothers sat uneasily with his image as the voice of Mr Kipling. Harold Bennett fumbles his lines delightfully as Young Mr Grace, while Arthur English is quite superb as Harriet Harman (Some mistake here, surely?). Nicholas Smith is perfect casting as Mr Rumbold; how sad it is to think that he is at the time of writing the only surviving member of the cast featured here.

Gosh, I've probably just devoted more words to a corny, 35 year old sitcom than I've done reviewing Shakespeare...that's showbiz, I guess! This may not be clever, but it certainly is funny!
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on 12 March 2009
This is my fave sitcom it is still funny and has a top class cast
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on 4 February 2009
Every time I watch this I just can't stop myself from laughing. Good old fashioned british comedy.
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on 4 March 2010
We can't wait for the rest of the series to be released! It's sad that it seems to be taking so long. We had forgotten just how funny these programs were - and still are!
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on 27 March 2013
What can anyone say about one of the funniest series ever made. Absorbing, hilarious, silly and great fun. Gentle humour showing a time gone for ever......the end of the department stores as they were.
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on 24 October 2011
love this dvd. never get tired of the characters, even in todays world of glossy and slick comedies this is good the years havent taken away its charm.
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on 25 February 2010
Are You Being Served ? - Brilliant As Always
What a great way to cheer up a gloomy wet evening crying with laughter over the staff of Grace Bros
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on 3 February 2013
EXTREMELY FUNNY AND VERY ENJOYABLE HAVING ALREADY WATCHED THE EARLIER SERIES'S. NEVER GET TIRED OF WATCHING THESE 70'S COMEDY SHOWS.
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on 21 June 2009
Still very funny even after all these years, watched them twice already, Nice to have something to laugh at, Very good price too
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on 12 April 2016
great item great service and a super fast service on delivery top marks for a top item well worth buying keep up the good work
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