Friday, April 16, 2021

Season 30 - Take a Girl Like You (2000-2001)

There are some miniseries that aired on Masterpiece that have never been on DVD or streaming stateside and this royally pisses me off. There are so many great shows that once you see them all you're left with is your memory. And I know, I know, this is how things used to be. You'd see a movie in the theatre or watch a show and until the advent of home recording devices in the eighties this was just how you lived, off your memories. The two shows I most wish to see again are oddly both based on Kingsley Amis novels, Lucky Jim and Take a Girl Like You. Take a Girl Like You aired during a headlong rush of chaos in my life that resulted in me eventually take some time off from school. This is a roundabout way of saying I caught a little bit of it when it first aired, really liked what I saw, but was unable to watch the whole thing until it aired again a few years later. But at least that time I was prepared with a shiny new VHS tape to record it on! I really should bust out those tapes. I think I even have the Colin Firth miniseries of Nostromo... And yes, I'm weird in that I have a VHS actually hooked up to a TV so watching it wouldn't be a problem... Now this is all I'm going to be thinking about for days! Oh, I think I have Lucky Jim too! The real reason Take a Girl Like You appealed to me was the period setting and Emma Chambers was in it. Emma Chambers, who is sadly no longer with us, is an international treasure for her portrayal of Alice Tinker on The Vicar of Dibley. Emma only had twelve credits to her name, but the effervescent if slightly dim Alice and her lovely turn as Hugh Grant's sister in Notting Hill made her an actress never to be forgotten. Of course these were very up characters, very verging on hyper, so the depressing drunk who is more than a little bit of a Nosey Parker she plays in Take a Girl Like You is a surprising and delightful change. My mom and dad would say a depressing change, but I liked seeing her range. I also happened to notice that Rupert Graves was in this, but this was still during the time I hadn't warmed up to him. It was the one two punch of V for Vendetta and Sherlock that did that for me. But anyway, once I saw the whole thing, Take a Girl Like You is an interesting look at a very specific time in England and the sexual politics of dating. I just wish I didn't feel like it dated me to say how much I liked it when it aired over a decade ago!


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