Friday, June 4, 2010

Beryl’s Lot (season 1, episode 1, “Getting Up”) – 1973

I was happy to find someone online selling a few episodes from this early ‘70s British TV show. It is not a sitcom, but more of a serious, slice of life hour-long drama. With just a little bit of humor tossed in. The show centers around a woman named Beryl, who upon turning 40 starts to go through somewhat of a midlife crisis. She is married to a nice enough guy, has one grown out-of-the-house married daughter and one 17 year old daughter “Rosie” who is living at home. But she is dissatisfied. In this episode it is revealed that she “had” to get married at age 17 when she became pregnant, and now feels as if her whole life since then was nothing but cooking, cleaning and kids. Her husband doesn’t understand, he’s content with his lot in life.

Robin plays their boarder, Fred Pickering. Somewhat a change from his other 1973 roles, his character is rather conservative and rule-abiding. His hair is short-ish, but long enough to give him a wonderful Brian Jones-circa-1964 look. No backstory for him is given in this episode, but he seems to look to Beryl as a mother figure and tries to look out for the family’s best interests by doing a lot of nose-poking into their affairs. For example, when 17 year old Rosie starts dating a guy who is bad news, Fred makes it a point to tattle on her to her parents in typical big-brother style. Rosie is played by an actress named Verna Harvey and dated Robin briefly during this time. According to his book, it seems as though he pretty much dated every pretty actress he ever co-starred with!

I also loved his sarcastic attitude when kindly Beryl allows a friend to temporarily stay with them after she gets thrown out of her hotel room for nonpayment. Ah, that familiar pissed-off scowl, so reminiscent of Horror Hospital….

It’s a good show. I only have 6 episodes of it, I hope I can find more.

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