“Sir Gregory’s that crooked, he could hide behind a spiral staircase.”
I feel a bit guilty about watching this one before I read the book, because you’re inevitably influenced by the one you saw first, and, well, reading the book always seems more honest somehow, if it’s a question of adaptation. Plus, I’m an English student. I’m supposed to care about what the book says as opposed to what the film (or telly programme) says.
And Blandings is undoubtedly comedy, and I’m really, really bad at reviewing comedy. Nevertheless, I shall do my best.
So. The BBC Blandings series is based on P.G. Wodehouse’s series of novels, the first of which is called, I think, Blandings Castle. It’s a farce, essentially. Think Douglas Adams in period costume. This week features Lord Emsworth’s increasingly desperate attempts to fatten up his prize pig the Empress in time for the Fattest Pig Competition.
I’m just going to say that it is funny. I’m not going to try quoting any jokes, because that inevitably goes terribly wrong. And there is some wonderful wordplay: as well as the “spiral staircase” quote above, there’s the wonderful pronouncement that someone’s moustache “looked like a maggot that had crawled under his lip and died.” I’m not convinced that the cast is terribly strong, though, especially Mark Williams as the inexplicably named manservant Beach. And, without any reason to invest in the characters – they are really mere objects of farce – it all seemed a bit, well, vapid and pointless.
Funny, though. And short: at half an hour long, it’s perfect for that lunchtime break or when you just need to let your brain rest a bit.