Monday, October 8, 2007

Obscure British Television Shows

Why, oh why, would we watch The House of Eliott, a BBC costume drama that aired for three seasons nearly fifteen years ago?

How could we possibly have been sucked in by a show that has no profanity, no sex, very little violence - and not one chase scene! It’s just a soap opera, after all, one that takes place in the 1920s right after World War I in London. The Eliotts of the title are two attractive sisters whose widowed father dies in the first episode and leaves them penniless.

Whatever will they do? They have been sheltered all their lives, have neither attended school nor been trained to do anything useful at all. They’re too uppercrust to take in laundry or to work as someone’s personal assistant, although the older sister does indeed take such a job with the man who will eventually become her husband. Coincidence? I think not.

All the sisters know is how to design dresses. Cooped up inside their family home, they’ve done nothing but draw pictures and make their own clothes, which are fairly haute, considering they don’t know much couture.

Compelling? Not from that description, no, but in practice, this show captivated us from the very first episode. We couldn’t wait for Netflix to deliver us the discs. We tried very hard to avoid learning anything more from the web about the show, preferring to discover it as the Brits did over a dozen years ago.

We laughed and cried, were outraged and thrilled. We fell in love with Miss Bea and Miss Evie. And when it was over, when we had watched the final episode - crestfallen that there would be no more - we went through massive withdrawal. We scoured the web and found a British show called “French and Saunders” had done a few very funny parodies of the show, calling it the “House of Idiots.” We sighed, loving the parody despite the good-natured ribbing the comediennes gave our precious Eliott sisters. Even this satisfied our craving.

But now, there is truly no more. And we miss it ever-so-much.

Your Anglophilic Hollywood connection,
Miss Leigh