Should I watch the sitcom 'Miranda' by Miranda Hart?
The award-winning BBC sitcom Miranda is based on semi-autobiographical writings by Miranda Hart, who stars as the title character. After appearing in a few comedy series with mixed success, Miranda Hart read her writings for BBC executives and the uncrowned queen of comedy, Jennifer Saunders ('Absolutely Fabulous'). They asked her to film a pilot episode, which was later turned into BBC Radio 2 comedy show Miranda Hart’s Joke Shop . Because of the success of her radio show the sitcom Miranda was created and the pilot episode that was shot in 2008 aired on November 9, 2009, followed by five new episodes.
The first thing one notices about Miranda (Miranda Hart) is her height, 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m), and because of her height she often gets called ‘Sir’. Her mother, Penny (Patricia Hodge), has never thought much of her and does everything she can to get her a decent husband and job. However, Miranda is 34 (“34 is NOT mid-thirties, it’s late twenties!”), still single, and owns a joke shop. Working is not her favorite occupation, which shows from the fact that she always manages to scare the customers away, so she hired her best friend Stevie (Sarah Hadland) as shop manager. Stevie takes her job very seriously, she is always planning on how to build a worldwide chain of joke shops, and frequently she says: “The only time we think small, is Heather Small” followed by a line from Small’s (M People) song Proud ; ‘What have you done today to make you feel proud?’
"The only time we think small is Heather Small"
The restaurant next door is run by Clive (James Holmes) and Gary (Tom Ellis). Gary is a friend from university who Miranda fancies. She frequently tries to make a move towards him, but every time someone walks in on them or Miranda ruins the situation. Still, there are clues during the first season that Gary is into Miranda as well.
Other characters in the show include Miranda’s boarding school classmates Tilly (Sally Phillips) and Fanny (Katy Wix). Miranda never really fit in with them, as is visible in the nickname they’ve got for Miranda, Queen Kong. Because Miranda’s mother would love Miranda to be like Tilly, and also because Miranda wants to be more ‘girly’, she tries her best to fit in with them, but she never succeeds.
Tricky Social Occasions
A striking characteristic of Miranda is her clumsiness. She often stumbles over boxes in the shop and the coat stand in the restaurant next door. Even though I’m really not a fan of slapstick, Miranda Hart is able to pull it off; each time i cannot help myself but laugh.
Attending girls’ boarding school has, according to herself, ruined her social skills, especially around men. When Miranda ends up in an awkward situation, she makes up ridiculous stories to break the ice. However, this makes the situation only more complicated, as she makes up marriages, children and jobs. More than once she has the following conversation: “You know when you get nervous socially and you end up lying to impress?” “No?” “Exactly! We all do it.”
Miranda's mother tries to set her up again
Read more about Miranda:
- Why we love Miranda - The Stage
Review of 'Miranda' written during the first season.
- Miranda Hart harks back to TV golden age - Chester Chronicle
Interview with Miranda Hart about several aspects of the sitcom.
Some things about the sitcom Miranda are different from other sitcoms we have seen recently. The most notable is the fact that title character Miranda talks directly to the viewer. In that way, some of her thoughts are revealed. At the start of each episode, Miranda sits on her sofa and tells the viewer what happened before in her life. Each episode ends with “You have been watching …” with credits, where each cast member waves the viewer goodbye. Some of these are influenced by Hart’s love for sitcoms from the 1970’s.
Miranda has a different feel than other current sitcoms and therefore it is refreshing. There are some aspects of the show that not everyone might like, such as the direct talking to the camera and the slapstick parts. Nevertheless, Miranda Hart manages to pull it off, helped by the funny story lines and great co-stars Patricia Hodges, Sarah Hadland and Tom Ellis. The direct speech to the audience makes you feel more part of the show, rather than a passive viewer.
It is definitely worth ones while to watch Miranda. It is just one of those sitcoms that are actually funny, and at some parts hilarious. As of now, two seasons of each six episodes have been aired. These half-hour episodes last the actual 30 minutes, though, as the BBC has no advertisements. A third season was announced in January 2011 and will likely be broadcast in Fall 2012.
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