For me, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie were, are and always shall be, the quintessential Jeeves and Wooster! As English as Pimms and cucumber sandwiches, this glorious P.G. Wodehouse creation lifts the veil on the altogether more carefree life in 1920's high society, ironically observed through the wit of one of our great writers. And who better to bring it to the screen than two of our greatest comic talents.
Sadly, P.G. Wodehouse has suffered of late from the tight mouthed disapproval of Political Correctness. Landed gentry, dutiful servants, dim-witted police characatures, debutantes obsessed with marriage and black and white minstrel groups are not always popular topics today. I wish that some people could just get over their angst about "toffs" though, and see this for what it is - a wry and witty gallop through an entirely different era. This is comic farce, and it pokes fun at absolutely everyone.
I doubt this series could have been made today, but thank heavens it was, getting on for twenty years ago. As such, please remember that fact when watching these DVDs. The style of filming is a far cry from today's frenetic jump-cut output. But that just adds to the experience, and enhances the other-worldly feel of an altogether more innocent, genteel era.
There have been some voices of dissent about the story line here and there in this series. One feels that new scripts - partially removed from the writings of Wodehouse and involving a trip to the States - were created to help sales of the series in the US. They are, occasionally, less than wholly successful. Having said that, the majority of episodes are true to form, and the American settings do provide an interesting contrast to the usual round of English country houses and the glorious Drones club. If you too enjoy the episodes so much that you watch several back-to-back, you may notice also that one or two of the characters are played by more than one actor. These are minor niggles though in what I otherwise treasure as a real high point in television.
When the big box set was originally released by Granada the picture quality was - as is much of their shoddy output by the way - horrible! Note to Granada - pay more attention to quality!!! Luckily, this and the preceding re-packaged set of the complete four series collection are much better, having been digitally re-mastered. I just wish they'd filmed more episodes. Reaching the end of the final disc left me feeling sad that there were no more to view - my evenings would not be quite the same.
I heartily recommend you buy this set - it will give you many hours of enjoyment. Mix yourself a cocktail, pull up a chair and say PAH! to political correctness!