Monday, May 9, 2011

Jeeves & Wooster

For no good reason, until recently I had never watched an episode of this wonderful 1990 to 1993 BBC show. I recently began viewing them, and I am pleased to report that they are simply marvelous.

That the Wodehouse source material is glorious is clear. The lead actors, Stephen Fry (as the amazing valet, Jeeves) and Hugh Laurie (as Upper Class Twit of the Year candidate Bertie Wooster), are great talents and even better than I expected them to be, utter joys to watch.

What keeps pleasantly surprising me are the excellent adaptations by Clive Exton. Well-paced, funny, and frequently touching, they do good service to the original stories.

I am particularly fond of the frequent amazing turns of language in the show. You can find many fine examples on this Wikiquote page. One of my favorites is this exchange between Wooster and his Aunt Dahlia:

Wooster: Tut!
Aunt Dahlia: What did you say?
Wooster: I said "tut!"
Dahlia: Say it again and I'll biff you where you stand.
If you have not seen these shows, I prescribe a quick visit to the video source of your choice and repeated viewings of the episodes. They are sure to cure any gloominess afflicting you.

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