Top positive review
One person found this helpful
on 11 July 2017
There isn't much I can add here which hasn't already been said, I suppose. But I felt like writing something because I enjoyed these programmes so much and feel almost bereaved that I've completed them all - almost the way I feel when I've had a good holiday and can't imagine how life can go back to normal.
I vaguely remember this being on telly in the early nineties when I was a young man (an aeon ago now it seems), and always thought this version definitive in the same way as Jeremy Bretts's Sherlock Holmes is claimed to be definitive.
I've never read P.G. Wodehouse, to my shame, but love Fry and Laurie both together and separately and can remember them being on telly back to the early eighties in Alfresco and The Young Ones, etc. Both men are geniuses with a breadth and depth of talents in music, writing and acting - comic and otherwise, both well educated and from fairly well to do backgrounds almost on the periphery of what still remains of the world Jeeves and Wooster occupy - all of which comes together in these stories.
The stories all more or less follow the same pattern: a trifling matter arises that Bertie needs to intervene in (e.g. matchmaking for a friend in order to avoid marrraige himself). Jeeves suggests a plan to solve the problem, which doesn't go well. Following the bungled attempt at the plan Bertie finds himself in trouble - this may or may not be Berties own fault (though Jeeves seems to have no problem taking risks and getting Bertie into trouble). Finally, Jeeves hatches another plan, again risking Bertie, which this time saves them. They exit the situation quickly and go back to London either by steam ship or Bertie's exquisite Astin Martin Lagonda(?).
The stories take place in Bertie's posh rooms in London or New York, The Drones Club (a raucous cresh for upper class twits), several vast country houses or the odd location like Budleigh Salterton or a village fete. The characters are all grumpy but titled and wealthy uncles, battle axe aunts, simple minded dilettantes, openly conniving and blackmailing dilettentes, or idle, dimwitted young men. (A stand out is Spode, the pompously fascist 6th Earl of Sidcup, and possibly my favourite).
The characters all have old fashioned names like Bertram, Dahlia, or Augustus, which don't suit them or childish nicknames that do: Corky, Tuppy, Stilton, etc. Everyone dresses for the occassion, evening dress for dinner, or a morning suit with a cane, etc. The men all drink and smoke at all times of day and all know each other from Eton and Cambridge.
Bertie himself probably isn't as dim as he's painted, and certainly isn't as crass as many of his friends at The Drones. He has a quick wit to be fair, and is amiable and good natured to the point of being gullible. Also he has no wish to take responsibility for anything and trys to avoid marraige at all costs. Certain individuals take advantage of these traits in various stories and Bertie appears to bring it all on himself.
The sphere these people all exist in is the high society of the British Empire in the 1920s, they are the 1% of the time and the rules are different for them. They mostly don't work, they have no real problems, certainly not money problems, and there are no consequenses to anything they do. Everything else is taken care of by the gentleman's personal gentleman.
Nothing serious happens but it's all frivolously amusing, and takes you away from the real world for a bit - I loved the stories and it's about time I read the books.