The inhabitants of Blandings Castle are not only eccentric, but very funny. Lord Clarence Emsworth (Timothy Spall) cares only for his prize pig The Empress. Nothing would make him happier than to hang out day in and day out by her pig pen, feeding her bits of potato or pudding, but his oh-so-proper sister Connie (Jennifer Saunders) is constantly after him — to dress up or in some other way improve himself. Connie has for all intents and purposes written off her nephew, Lord Emsworth’s dotty son Freddie (Jack Farthing), who never saw a tree he couldn’t crash his car into, or a girl he didn’t want to propose to. Presiding over the whole wacky bunch is the butler Beach (Mark Williams), who wisely keeps himself in a constant state of inebriation.
|The inhabitants of Blandings Castle, L-R: The Empress, Clarence (Timothy Spall), Freddie (Jack Farthing), Beach (Mark Williams), and Connie (Jennifer Saunders)|
Blandings Series 1 includes six episodes on two discs, with a total running time of approximately 182 minutes. The six episodes include:
1 – “Pig-Hoo-o-o-o-ey”
2 – “The Go Getter”
3 – “Lord Emsworth and the Girlfriend”
4 – “Company for Gertrude”
5 – “The Crimewave at Blandings”
6 – “Problems with Drink”
All of the episodes are directed by British actor-turned director Paul Seed (House of Cards, New Tricks, Northern Lights). The picture quality is high, sharp with bright colors and detailed sets. The screen’s aspect ratio is 1.77:1, widescreen, and looks great on a large-scale high-definition television screen. Scene selection and SDH subtitles are available, but unfortunately no other extras are included on the discs.
Jennifer Saunders may seem at first world’s away from the role that made her famous, Edina on Absolutely Fabulous, but Connie and Edina do share some similarities. Both are very sure that they are absolutely right about everything, and neither woman has much concern for her family members as long as she is getting her way. Harry Potter veterans Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew/Wormtail) as the harried Lord Emsworth, and Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley) as the perpetually soused Beach, on the other hand, play very different characters from their film roles; but they both seem to be having a blast trying to avoid or circumvent Connie’s latest “improvements.” Rounding out the core cast, Jack Farthing’s mobile face (and hair) add a lot to his role as Lord Emsworth’s dim-witted but likable son Freddie.
Blandings may certainly be silly, but it is also highly enjoyable to watch, and viewers will be happy to learn that the series will be back with new episodes in early 2014. That's great news for fans of British comedy and prize-winning pigs.
Originally posted on Blogcritics: DVD Review: ‘Blandings, Series One’