Fry and Laurie as Jeeves and Wooster... What a perfect pairing of perfect pairings.
So what if Clive Exton sometimes plays fast and loose with the original material? The adaptations are still written with the greatest respect for that material so that the spirit of the world of Wooster is there in spades and Wodehouse's mastery of the English language would, I suspect, still shine through no matter what you tried to do with it.
Modern ITV drama and comedy generally comes in for quite a lot of bashing, but back in the 1980s and 1990s, Granada TV was producing an output that was amongst the best that British television has ever produced, and this series, produced at during the same period they were creating their definitive SHERLOCK HOLMES series lives up to that fine pedigree. The productions are beautifully performed - the comic timing is spot on - and always look expensive with a fine attention to the period detail.
Perhaps the biggest shock of all comes when you see just how young Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie actually look at the time of filming, but also how utterly convincing they are. Is Stephen Fry still channelling Jeeves when he presents QI? I suspect so. I also suspect that any HOUSE aficianados might be amazed at Hugh Laurie's performance here as the difference between the two characterisations is nothing short of phenomenal.
Special mention should also be made of the gallery of actresses performing the parts of the terrifying selection of Wooster Aunts that arrive to befuddle and bewilder the life of Bertie Wooster who manage to convey their matriarchal power to such great effect, and also of the young men and women (many soon to find greater fame elsewhere) who play Bertie's bizarre selection of chinless chums so convincingly, a bunch who, quite frankly, young Bertie should pack a bag and skedaddle away from as soon as poss, if he knows what's good for him.
Maybe the picture quality could be better, maybe some modern viewers would be uncomfortable with the nature of the stories themselves, and maybe the productions might now seem a little slow to the modern viewer, but they are productions of their time and should be viewed as such, so sit back, pour yourself a large Pimms (or whatever your preference - other comestibles are available) and (if you're in that sort of mood) savour 23 of the most sublime hours of TV entertainment that you're likely to see.