Bren leaves the canteen for the Totally Trivial studios (after being given various drugs to help her relax) and plans to stop at the hospital to visit her mother on the way. The remaining staff tune ...
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Harry H. Corbett,
Comedy about the staff of a northern English factory. Bren, a kindly woman, tries to help everyone with their problems, while attempting to ignore her drunken mother who lives in a fantasy world where she hobnobs with the rich and famous. Her boss Tony likes to make out that he's an ultra-laddish sexist pervert, although it's all just a cover for being too shy to ask Bren out. The older members of the team, Dolly and Jean, live only for the not-so-subtle bitching war they have with each other. Dolly is preoccupied with her weight and Jean's fed up with her husband. Meanwhile, Twinkle, described sarcastically by Tony as 'The Pixie With The Laughing Face' is always in a foul mood, and Anita simply hasn't a clue. Add in Stan the handyman, who busies himself with 'toaster emergencies' and 'canine faces alerts' and Phillipa the neurotic human resources officer and it's an unusual day when 'any blooming work' gets done.Written by
Roseanne Hodge <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To research for the programme, Wood got first-hand experience working on the early morning canteen shift at the James Halstead factory in Whitefield, Manchester, England. See more »
[Dolly has revealed that she and her husband are going on a luxury cruise]
Luxury, my do dah! It's a converted World War Two aircraft carrier!
We have our own suite, our own balcony...
Your own Bofors Gun!
See more »
'dinnerladies' (sic) was a short lived but concise series which was a delight to watch. The scripts were quite simply charming. Victoria Wood's attention to character detail is so well refined, there is little like it elsewhere in the land of situation comedy. Even series which clock up over a hundred episodes do not have the brilliance or depth of character as can be seen here.
A lot of the credit also goes to the performers. Particularly Anne Reid and Thelma Barlow as the bickering friends Jean and Dolly respectively. We had seen aspects of Thelma Barlow's comic timing when she was in Coronation Street but it is brought to great fruition here.
It may not be as 'in your face' or as loud and bumptious as a lot of nineties comedies and I feel it is sad that 'dinnerladies' is often compared to these others. This is a series of pure classic comedy writing - showing off a great knowledge of idiolect and pathos.
Victoria Wood kept the series short to leave on a high note, and she certainly did. The second series proved just how brilliant a writer she is. I certainly hope she pens another sitcom of an equal standard sometime in the future.
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