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Keeping up Appearances

Lucky find on Netflix a few years ago was this wonderful example of British entertainment.  The premise of the show is a woman of the middle-class station that has an exalted opinion of her own importance in “society”.  This is a constant source of frustration for those around, and even dismay for her at times, because of the various antics that she puts everybody through in her efforts to appear to be part of high society.

Unfortunately, it is not just “high society” that she puts on airs about, but everything.  Taking coffee at Hyacinth’s house is an ordeal as she is very clear that she has very expensive cups and saucers (they probably aren’t actually) and nobody can actually enjoy their coffee because of the starts and stops she puts them through.

Everybody reacts to Hyacinth including:

1. the Vicar at the local church who often hids under the stage in the church hall and changes his sermon topic because it strikes him that it might just be a triffle hypocritical to preach a sermon on “loving thine neighbor” while trying to avoid any actual contact with one of the more “devoted” congregants.

2.  Neighbors who sneak in and out of their house to try and avoid being invited over for coffree or tea, or simply said hello to.

3. Postman who tries, usually failing, to quickly send her mail through the door shoot and get away before she sees and comes out.  The reason that usually fails is that Hyacinth is concerned because her house is not a house that should receive 2nd class postings, and she wants the sorting office to upgrade all stamps coming to her house to 1st class.  And where is that invitation that is imminently coming to her from some very important person….is he sure they didn’t misplace it at the sorting office.

4. poor relatives whose cars just automatically go slower when heading to Hyacinths….she inspires the car to drive slower…an amazing talent.

5. see the church ladies scatter to the 4 winds….faster than any older ladies should be able to move…..Hyacinth seems to inspire agility in senior citizens.

6. all sorts of people, even after one visit realizing that even following her detailed instructions, if anything goes wrong with a trip or simply pouring coffee, it is THEIR fault.

7. Her husband, who has more trouble than most to avoid her, tries his best to survive. He is often treated as a wallet, for sending money to the son that only calls when he needs something, or do some sort of errand for people that are not pleasant but has connections to aristocracy, or so Hyacinth think.

I highly recommend this show.  I actually laughed out loud…belly laugh style watching some of the mess-ups she causes and the antics people will go through in order to try and avoid her…often failing miserably.  

i rarely actually laugh out loud in that manner.

For your viewing pleasure, here is a full episode from youtube. There are others, I think. You will get the chance to meet just about the entire crazy family.

4 thoughts on “Keeping up Appearances”

  1. This British sit-com has been running for years and years. It’s really quite dated.

    The standing joke is when people/tradesman come to her door, when she answers they enquire “Mrs Bucket?” And she always corrects them by saying Mrs Bouquet.

    1. Hey, it’s not that dated for someone on the other side of the pond who wasn’t aware of it till around 2010. 🙂 Yes, the airs she puts on, including with her name, is quite the point.

  2. I love that show. Used to watch it, and Are You Being Served, religiously. Hyacinth reminds me one of my sisters who never ceas3s in her mission to seek the approval of everyone driving by her home. She actuallybbelieves people driving by her home are taking the time to turn their heads to look at her yard. She goes out every day and not only sweeps dirt from her entire driveway, but also takes the blower to it, and pressure washes it once a week. I showed her this program on youtube one day, and five minutes in, before even seeing what the show was about, got angry with me because she thought I was comparing her appearance to Hyacinth. She never did realize it was about behaviorisms.

    1. Oh good grief, your sister and Hyacinth. 🙂 My mother never bothered to sweep up the leaves…she figured that if they stay on all winter, they just made the soil richer for the next year.

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