Complete second series of the British sitcom based on the stories by P.G. Wodehouse and starring Timothy Spall and Jennifer Saunders. Set in 1929, the series follows Clarence Threepwood (Spall), the Ninth Earl of Emsworth and head of Blandings Castle, who would like nothing more than to be left alone, along with his cherished pet pig The Empress. Unfortunately, in such a chaotic household his wish rarely comes true and he is forced to face up to familial responsibilities by his formidable sister Connie (Saunders). The cast also includes Tim Vine, Jack Farthing, Robert Bathurst and Harry Enfield. The episodes are: 'Throwing Eggs', 'Dirty Work at the Crossroads', 'Hallo to All This', 'Lord Emsworth Acts for the Best', 'Sticky Wicket at Blandings', 'Necessary Rhino' and 'The Custody of the Pumpkin'.
I know some people don't like this BBC production of Blandings, feeling it is not true to the Wodehouse's stories. In my experience, tv or film – or even radio plays – too true to written stories seldom make a good production, so I'll let that go.
What the BBC has ended up with is a very well-produced series that had me laughing out loud on several occasions. The characters are farcical caricatures that are interesting and charmingly predictable once you get to know them, and one does get to know them rather quickly through their idiosyncrasies, catchphrases and typical behaviour.
Casting appears to me to be spot on – perhaps not exactly the way they are portrayed in the book, but each actor owns their own character from the first episode, their acting choices consistently carried on through both series.
If you don't know the Wodehouse stories but enjoy farce and situational comedy as it can only be done in Britain – or if you know the stories and are willing to forgive or ignore any differences with the written word – this is highly entertaining, as it would be even on repeated viewings.
Yes, it's happened again. The second series of the BBC's Blandings adaptations is with us, and already the armed camps are setting up: on the one hand, those who love this, and on the other, those who despise it on a molecular level.
Personally, I love the original Blandings novels & stories. This is of course also the major problem the series encounters: many of those who all but worship the original texts will never, under any circumstances, be happy with an adaptation. Not everyone is quite so invested though, or has read the originals, and it should be remembered that these are adaptations, and should be judged on their own merits. On that basis, I think they do an solid job. They are not perfect -far from it. But still very good, and largely true to the spirit of Wodehouse. Basically innocent, extremely funny escapism with a large element of well-realised slapstick.
The series is beautifully acted, Timothy Spall and Jennifer Saunders are on top form, Jack Farthing is doing an excellent job, and Tim Vine has done a sterling job with his thankless task of replacing Mark Williams. The supporting cast are all spot on (although none for me quite hit the moment of magic Paloma Faith managed in the first series), and the new Empress is suitably majestic. Timing is critical for delivering Wodehouse dialogue, large parts naturally having been lifted from the original stories, and none of the cast put a foot wrong. Direction and writing appear sympathetic, although this appears to have changed compared to the first series. Freddie no longer crashes his car every other second, so we are spared the 'amusing' CGI sparks and smoke; likewise his hair no longer stands on end when an attractive girl walks past -no loss, Farthing does not need such devices. Lord Emsworth however appears to have descended in intellect to near-idiot status, which he was not in the first series, and this may have gone slightly too far. Likewise, Lady Constance has become somewhat less threatening -in both cases, these things are relative (fortunately not mine). All told, while I think the first series has the edge, this remains a lovely bit of Sunday evening viewing and perfect to relax to if you like comedy of this type. If you don't, don't bother -it's not likely to change your view. If you cannot separate adaptations from the original texts (fair enough), again, I'd say don't bother -again, it's not likely to change your view. For the rest? I suspect you'll enjoy it. I do.
Very amazing, excellent performance of Actors, it is a must for Wodehouse lovers, even if I'm italian and I must follow the speech with the only english subtitles, but it's a Worth and a pleasure to listen the original voices. Very good, I love it! For the same reason I got obviously the first series and the Whole wonderful of Wooster and Jeeves!
It has to be admitted that the recent TV series "Blandings" has taken a number of liberties with the original Wodehouse stories."Based (loosely) on P G Wodehouse's stories" would be the best way to describe it. Plot lines have been heavily changed, characters are in some respects quite different from the books. If you are a purist then this is not for you. So why 4 stars you might ask. Because it is still a cut above most comedy offerings on TV at the moment and I have enjoyed watching them. Also, it made me buy some of the books and read them. If it gets people to do that, then I feel it is a good thing.