Britcoms (British Sitcoms)
Saturdays, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on WPBT2
7:00 p.m. — Are You Being Served?
Set in the antiquated Grace Brothers department store, the show followed the Over The Top antics of its staff. Leading the troops was the dowdy Captain Peacock (Frank Thornton), a city gent with a penchant for pomposity. Head of ladies fashion, Mrs Slocombe (Mollie Sugden) sported a different hair colour every week, while assistant, Miss Brahms (Wendy Richard) was the literal butt of a slew of bottom-pinching antics. Meanwhile fussing manager Mr Rumbold (Nicholas Smith) watched on in bemusement. The stand out character, however, was Mr Humphries (John Inman), a camp, senior assistant in the menswear department, who became infamous for trilling his catchphrase, "I'm free!".
7:30 p.m. — Vicar of Dibley
When their vicar passed away in the middle of a service, the inhabitants of the small Oxfordshire village of Dibley expected his replacement to be another old man with a beard, a Bible and bad breath. Instead, they got a babe with a bob-cut and a magnificent bosom. Geraldine Granger (Dawn French) is a woman - yes, woman - who enjoys nothing more than a good laugh and a packet of chocolate hob nobs. The thoroughly modern, pop music-loving vicar is far from the only eccentric character in the village, however. Famous guest stars have included Rachel Hunter, Sean Bean, Darcey Bussell, Johnny Depp, Kylie Minogue, Terry Wogan and Sarah, Duchess of York.
8:00 p.m. — Keeping Up Appearances
Patricia Routledge played Hyacinth Bucket, a woman who pretended to be upper-class but wasn't. Hyacinth insisted her surname be pronounced…“bouquet.” Her attention to cleanliness, candlelight suppers, and desire to sing gave pain to her husband Richard and her neighbors. Hyacinth, who once wrote a book of ‘Etiquette for the Socially Less-Fortunate,” wanted to give her skills to anyone she met: the vicar, the postman, the milkman. The brilliance in its tact and humor helped make Keeping Up Appearances , in July 1999, the first Britcom to air in the U.S. with closed-captioning for the hearing-impaired. Patricia Routledge did not wish to reprise the role for a sixth series, no matter how much the BBC courted her, and how they did. Therefore, there is not actually any decisive ending or finale to the show.
8:30 p.m. — As Time Goes By
Their two characters: Jean (Judi Dench) and Lionel 9Geoffrey Palmer), fell in love during the early 1950s, but when army officer Lionel was sent to Korea they lost touch after a letter hesent her never arrived. Both assumed the other had lost interest, but 38 years later their paths cross again, when Lionel returns to England to write his memoirs of life in the army and as a coffee-planter in Kenya (imaginatively titled 'My Life in Kenya'). Seeking an agency temp to handle the typing, he is sent a young secretary in the form of Judith Pargetter (Moira Brooker) and after hitting it off they agree to meet for dinner. That evening, though, Lionel also chances upon meeting her mother and his long-lost sweetheart: Jean. But could their love be rekindled after so long?