- Entertainment and Media
Keeping Up Appearances: Review
The adventures of Hyacinth Bouquet or should that be Bucket?
The complete and entire series of Keeping Up Appearances is to be found in this wonderful DVD set.
What a treat. You read that right, the entire series. Truly.
Some people might think that the character of Hyacinth Bucket is just a little over the top. Are there really people like that? Maybe she is a caricature, but in many episodes, she really does remind me of my mum.
The ultimate social climber
The first indication that Hyacinth's life is devoted to climbing the social ladder is the fact that she insists on pronouncing her last name, which is Bucket, as 'Bouquet'. Nice. My mum couldn't do anything with Jackson, but if our last name had been Sidebottom, you can bet she would have pronounced it 'Siddi-both-am'.
The comedy of class
This series started on TV in 1990, a time when I was still in the UK. I didn't watch it when I was in England - it was introduced to me by BBC America once I'd moved to Florida. What's funny is that many non-Brits think that we are a class-riddled society. This series goes to show that we actually think the whole class and social climbing thing is really rather daft, pretty funny and just a little sweet.
I wish I had the skill to invent characters like these. The lovely Hyacinth obviously comes from a 'working class' background as witnessed by the rest of her family. Of her sisters, all named after flowers like Hyacinth herself, we only ever see two. Daisy and Rose. Daisy is a chubby and jolly lady who is married to the ultimate lovable slob, Onslow. The other sister, Rose, is Daisy's direct opposite - skinny, tarty and on the hunt for a man. Sister Violet is never seen but obviously is similar to Hyacinth as we are reminded every episode that she has a Mercedes and 'room for a pony'.
The hapless husband
Her poor husband is often drawn into her social climbing activities - activities that never work out. If her plans aren't scuppered by the arrival of Daisy, Onslow and Rose in their beat-up, backfiring car, then they come to grief thanks to Hyacinth over-reaching herself.
The best rating
I have been buying goods from Amazon for many years and I always look at reviews and star ratings given by other buyers. I have never before seen a product that has 4.9 stars out of a possible five. I was gobsmacked. Oh, sorry Hyacinth and Mum, that wasn't too elegant - I was astounded, then.
Take a look at this...
Take a look - see for yourself
One of my favourite episodes is when Hyacinth and her neighbor Liz, are planning to take their turn working at the charity shop with 'Mrs Councillor Nugent'.
However, sister Daisy calls and says that there is an unknown woman in their senile 'daddy's' bedroom. Hyacinth wants to call round but doesn't want Liz to see her sister's run-down home. The things she'll do to 'keep up appearances.' It is,of course,on the DVD you see above.
In the clip below, see just an average day in the Bucket household.
Any anglophile, or fan of this comedy TV show will be delighted to receive the DVDs above as a wonderful gift and this book is the perfect companion piece, describing the making of the series.
Do you want to see some outtakes? They are always such fun.
Below, see the full cast of this incredibly popular television series.
Keeping Up Appearances ran for five years on television,starting in 1990.One of the reasons that it appealed to the public so much was because in England, such social niceties were a thing of the past.
But did they ever exist at all?
Many people from other countries sometimes get the erroneous impression that England is very class-conscious. But that isn't the case. It's an attitude that is fostered by the fact that there are ancient British titles such as 'lord', 'marchioness' and so on.
However, most British people will tell you that these titles mean nothing. We're a small island and as such, we're all accustomed to mingling freely with all 'classes'.
But that doesn't mean that there aren't social climbers such as Hyacinth Bucket. Hopefully there always will be because there's nothing the British like more than laughing at themselves.
© 2013 Jackie Jackson