Back the 1970’s and 80’s there was a long-running comedy TV show called ‘Are You Being Served?’ on the BBC. It followed the very British way in which a collection of the most unlikely clerks made their way in the Grace Brother’s department store. What made it so fantastic was the characters. Each one was so unique, yet represented a very distinct person each of us likely knows. An aging military man always recounting his past glories, an attractive girl from the less-classy part of town, rough-edged maintenance men, near retirement department heads, and even a young (constantly hinted at) gay man – all of which operating under most hilarious British etiquette and hierarchy while dealing with the most ridiculous of ordinary experiences. I loved this show to death and watched it on PBS whenever I could catch it.
To my joy, I did discover that almost ALL the original episodes are available on YouTube – for free! Go check out a few episodes and see for yourself. It doesn’t get going well until about the 2nd or 3rd season in, but it’s a grand ride. I remember being very heartbroken when I’d watched them all and the series came to an end.
To my surprise, however, it turns out BBC just did a remake here in Aug 2016. On the surface, it looked almost identical to the original. Sadly, however, it’s gotten very poor reviews. Mostly because it seems to have tried too hard to revive the exact same characters – characters who’s actors had almost no hope to re-create the magic that the much-loved original cast had generated over the 10 seasons they worked together. It also played on social jokes that only worked at the time. Perhaps it’s for the best we leave the show as it was.