Charmingly entertaining, this series is a wholesome delight to the vintage senses, from darling start to sudden finish. (The only true downside being that this series was just stopped short at essentially a half of season four – for some strange and unanswerable reason, having absolutely nothing to do with and seemingly ignoring the fact that the show has enjoyed very high ratings and passionate fans in the UK – to the US and beyond.)
I discovered this engaging series about a year ago and was entirely thrilled to have stumbled upon it. I couldn’t watch every episode of the first three seasons fast enough and then promptly watched every show once more at a more leisurely and enjoyable pace. I couldn’t wait for season four to arrive this year and have recently seen every episode once (and I’m about to watch them all again for the second satisfying time). I’m glad that many storyline threads were wrapped up quite nicely at the end, but still wish this series had continued through the few more seasons that it was meant to be in the first place. (Could fans bring this back in any way any time soon – either side of the pond – maybe a co-production?!)
Adorned with lovely late Victorian dresses and details, complete with wonderful actors and their perfect performances, abounding with cute and quirky characters running the gamut from silly to snarky to sweet: this series of episodes (in basically three and a half seasons) offers plenty of thought-provoking and interesting themes while it evokes smiles, laughter and even some tears (at least to the sensitive of heart).
The women I know who have seen it have loved it like I do, and even some men I know have watched and enjoyed it too. This series is certainly family fare. There is plenty to think about… Poverty contrasting against monetary ease. A poor hamlet sometimes in contest with a thriving town. Class structure. Old traditions versus new ideas. Neighborly and not always so very neighborly folks. Human nature and divine beliefs. Conservative thoughts opposing liberal views of that late nineteenth century day. Religion and politics, business and love. It’s a cornucopia of fulfilling fun.
Miss Lane and young Laura each fall in love their several times throughout, as they both think on marriage: to be or not to be. Many families and individuals take their turns facing their financial troubles and personal challenges. Characters of many types come and go within the storylines. There are wise women, careless ones, loveable but flawed individuals, caring parents, good and bad fathers, and the list goes on. Many of the actors were gone too much or too soon for my tastes. One thing for sure: what I’ve seen has left me wanting more; but I will thank my blessings and enjoy what was done of this wonderful series.