Brit DVD Review: Mapp & Lucia: the Complete Collection by Acorn Media

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Are you a fan of Downton Abbey, Upstairs/Downstairs and countless other witty British period dramas?  If you answered yes, then you have to check out Mapp & Lucia: The Complete Collection.

This four-disc set encompasses the complete Mapp & Lucia series, which is set in what appears to be the early to mid-1930’s.  It is an adaptation of the E.F. Benson series of novels based on the same name.  Lucia is a wealthy recent widow who summers in Tilling, where she meets her landlord Mrs. Mapp, a social climber and the leading local social lady of Tilling.   To get an idea of the kinds of characters, I likened them to the Dowager Duchess of Downton meeting a “lower class” version of Mrs. Crawley.  The humour is sarcastic, but extremely subtle in its delivery.   Even though the series was filmed in the 1980s, the writing and humour really stand up to the test of time.

I don’t want to give anything away, but here are a few “teasers” about each episode:

Series 1: The Village Fete – Lucia of Riseholme summers in seaside Tilling with comrade Georgie. Miss Mapp is her landlord of “Mallards” cottage. Battle Stations -Lucia moves into Mallards announcing Mapp’s family heirloom piano faulty. The battle is on. Mapp’s gardener neglects Lucia’s flowers for Mapp’s cash crop veggies. The Italian Connection -Lucia and Georgie’s local art exhibit entries are in & out and who wins this volley? When an Italian countess visits, will Lucia’s foreign language skill prove true? Lobster Pots -Lucia falls in love with Tilling. Will she buy a house? The Owl and the Pussycat -Winter passes and the deceased couple surfaces. The pair has differing recovery stories–like a sea battle arriving onshore. Warning & wedding bells ring.

Series 2:

Winner Takes All -Georgie’s illness gets Lucia into aide mode. Then it’s venture-adventure via the gold market and Mapp and Lucia both stand for a council seat. Change and Change About -Mapp’s marriage is fattening-in what way? Is the idea of a house swap another brick battle? Lady Bountiful -Lucia ups her social standing via charity. Worship -The ups and bow-downs of marriage and politics. Au Reservoir – After a London opera trek, Lucia’s status falls at the rise of Mapp & her portrait. Revenge is rife.


Comments

  1. avatarJohn Evans says

    The fictional town of Tilling is actually based on the real town of Rye in East Sussex – a delightful place to visit. The TV series was actually filmed in Rye and nearby Winchelsea. And Mapp is played by Prunella Scales, who is probably best known in the US for her brilliant portrayal of Basil Fawlty’s wife Sybil in Fawlty Towers.

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