Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Jeeves and Wooster

Jeeves and Wooster is a British TV show filmed from 1990 to 1993. It is based on a series of books by P.G. Wodehouse and stars Hugh Laurie as Bertie Wooster and Stephen Fry as his gentlemen's gentleman, Jeeves. The stories are set in the 1930's/

I found the complete series and started watching them. I finished the first season last night, a two parter.

The series tells the mishaps of Bertie Wooseter, a rich, lazy young man who is either getting himself into trouble or his friends, but usually both. Most of the time the mishaps these young men find themselves in involve girls. Bertie's friends are always falling in love, and most of the time aren't brave enough to propose to the "perfect" girl who has stolen their fancy.

Bertie, who determines not to get snagged by a pair of pretty eyes, takes it upon himself to set the two up. All of this plans end in some kind of disaster or other and it is up to Jeeves to save the day. Jeeves usually works on his own, disclosing his plan after everything has been set to right.

My favorite episodes in season 1 were the last two, the two parter I mentioned above. In that one Bertie is forced by his aunt to come and hand out awards to a group of school boys. Meanwhile, the aunt is trying to get money from her husband while her daughter breaks of her engagement after she and her betrothed get into a fight. Add to all this is Bertie's friend who has fallen in love with the daughter's best friend. However, he feels he cannot propose because he knows little about anything outside of salamanders.

Bertie decides it is up to him to fix all three problems and instead makes the cook made, which causes him to quit. Which causes everything else to fall apart even more until the aunt, and anyone else for that matter, cannot stand the sight of Bertie. It is therefore up to Jeeves to mend everything, which he does while Bertie is forced to ride nine miles in the dark and rain.

One of the best parts of these episodes was when Bertie's friend was in a club with him. He was telling him about the girl and showing him how salamanders show affection to a girl. Throwing his shoulders back and sticking out his chest, be started to wiggle as if he had ants in his pants.
The other young men think he has created some kind of new dance, much better then the fox trot they've been doing for so long. As Bertie and his friend leave, the other young men all line up and start to dance around the room, shaking their shoulders like salamanders.

This is one of the funniest shows I've ever seen. Jeeves' expressions alone would be enough to make the show a comedy. As a servant, he's not allowed to tell Bertie what he really thinks of his schemes, but his expressions speak volumes.

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