A snobbish housewife is determined to climb the social ladder, in spite of her family's working class connections and the constant chagrin of her long suffering husband. In this classic bittersweet sitcom from award-winning writer David Renwick, Richard Wilson plays the short-tempered Victor Meldrew, a man who doesn't suffer fools gladly, and to his misery frequently encounters them as well as enduring endless misfortune.
His long-suffering wife Margaret Annette Crosbie struggles to cope with his rants against the world and the bad luck that befalls them.
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The hilarity that ensures is underpinned by a poignant, often darker edge little seen in most sitcoms. Written by Robert McElwaine. Some people may feel that it is predictable but it does so with intelligence and humour that is such that the viewer doesn't care if they have guessed the ending or not, the programme relies on receiving the empathy of the viewer which I believe, for the most part, this programme achieves extremely well.
Very well written, very well acted, and extremely missed. Start your free trial. Find showtimes, watch trailers, browse photos, track your Watchlist and rate your favorite movies and TV shows on your phone or tablet! IMDb More.
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Company Credits. Technical Specs. Episode List. Plot Summary. Plot Keywords. Parents Guide. External Sites. User Reviews. User Ratings. External Reviews. Metacritic Reviews. Photo Gallery. Trailers and Videos. Crazy Credits. Alternate Versions. Rate This. Episode Guide. Victor Meldrew is a retiree who attracts bad luck. If he's not driving his long suffering wife Margaret crazy with his constant moaning, he's fighting with neighbors.
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Andie Isalie. Share this project. I want to create cool stuff you for, and I'm hoping you'll get on board! Support Select this reward. Estimated delivery Apr Kickstarter is not a store. It's a way to bring creative projects to life. The series was occasionally the subject of controversy for some of its darker story elements, but nevertheless received a number of awards, including the BAFTA for Best Comedy. Four episodes were remade for BBC Radio 2. The series features the exploits and mishaps of irascible early retiree Victor Meldrew, who after being made redundant from his job as a security guard, finds himself at war with the world and everything in it.
Meldrew, cursed with misfortune and always complaining, is married to long-suffering wife Margaret, who is often left exasperated by his many misfortunes. Amongst other witnesses to Victor's wrath are tactless family friend Jean Warboys and next-door couple Patrick Victor's nemesis and Pippa Trench. Patrick often discovers Victor in inexplicably bizarre or compromising situations, leading him to believe that he is insane. The Meldrews' neighbour on the other side, overly cheery charity worker Nick Swainey, also adds to Victor's frustration.
Although set in a traditional suburban setting, the show subverts this genre with a strong overtone of black comedy. Series One's "The Valley of Fear" is an episode which caused controversy, when Victor finds a frozen cat in his freezer. Writer David Renwick also combined farce with elements of tragedy. A number of episodes were also experimental in that they took place entirely in one setting. Such episodes include: Victor, Margaret and Mrs Warboys stuck in a traffic jam;  Victor and Margaret in bed suffering insomnia;  Victor left alone in the house waiting to see if he has to take part in jury service ; Victor and Margaret having a long wait in their solicitor's waiting room; and Victor and Margaret trying to cope during a power cut on the hottest night of the year.
Despite Margaret's frequent exasperation with her husband's antics, the series shows that the couple have a deep affection for one another. This is demonstrated several times throughout the series. Victor Meldrew Richard Wilson — Victor is the main protagonist of the sitcom and finds himself constantly battling against all that life throws at him as he becomes entangled in complicated misfortunes and farcical situations. Renwick once pointed out in an interview that the name "Victor" was ironic, since he almost always ends up a loser.
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He believes that everything is going wrong for him all the time and he has the right to be upset because it is always someone else's fault. Victor does not see himself as retired and is always trying to find another job, but all his attempts end in failure. Victor is a tragic comedy character and sympathy is directed towards him as he becomes embroiled in complex misunderstandings, bureaucratic vanity and, at times, sheer bad luck.
The audience sees a philosophical ebb to his character, however, along with a degree of optimism. Despite his grumpy demeanor Victor isn't totally devoid of compassion—in "Hearts of Darkness" he liberates elderly nursing home residents that were being mistreated by the staff and in "Descent Into The Maelstrom" he calls the incident room number and gives the location of an emotionally disturbed girl that abducted a baby and stole Margaret's pearl earrings, which resulted in the girl getting picked up by the police.
However, because the girl was a friend of Margaret's and knowing she meant a lot to her, Victor never said anything. Victor has also shown a vast amount of loyalty to Margaret as, throughout their entire 42 years of lifelong marriage together, not once has the thought of infidelity ever occurred to him. In "Rearranging the Dust", Victor and Margaret recollect the days of their courtship at a party after which Victor says "You were always my first choice", which leaves Margaret stunned.
In another episode, Margaret recounts the time Victor took her to the funfair and they ended up getting stuck in the hall of mirrors for over an hour. Victor had said he didn't mind as he was happy to stay there and look at all the reflections of her. Victor's very best act of compassion came in the episode "The Wisdom of the Witch" in which he ends up saving Patrick's life from his new secretary's psychopathic boyfriend by forcing Patrick's would-be murderer, with himself along with him as well, out of the window of the house in which they were trapped during a snowstorm.
Margaret tries to maintain a degree of calmness and to rise above her husband's antics. However, she is often engulfed in these follies, mishaps and confusion and often vents her anger at Victor. In early episodes, her character acts more as a comic foil to Victor's misfortunes.
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Examples include fearfully asking if a cat found frozen in their freezer is definitely dead and mentioning a friend who died of a terminal illness. When Victor reminds her that the woman actually fell from a cliff, Margaret retorts she only did so because "she went to the seaside to convalesce". In later episodes, Margaret develops into a more complex character. She is shown to be fiercely protective of her marriage to Victor by becoming easily suspicious and jealous.
For example, of a Dutch marionette that Victor becomes occupied with repairing in the episode "Hole in the Sky", eventually leading her to destroy it. In "The Affair of the Hollow Lady", a greengrocer played by Barbara Windsor develops a soft spot for Victor and tries to convince Margaret that he has been unfaithful to her. In revenge, Margaret assaults her with a pair of boxing gloves. However, Margaret herself is shown to have contemplated infidelity with a man called Ben whom she met on holiday in the episode "Warm Champagne".
She decides against cheating on Victor. In this episode, she sums up her relationship with Victor by telling Ben, "He's the most sensitive person I've ever met and that's why I love him and why I constantly want to ram his head through a television screen. This is especially evident in "Things aren't simple anymore" where she voices that the world is "all speed and greed" and that "nobody does anything about anything".
In "Rearranging the Dust", Margaret recounts the time she first chose Victor at a party and, during a power cut, "shared their bodies" in the garden. After this moment of passion, they went back inside and when the lights came back on Margaret realised that she had "grabbed hold of the wrong person". Margaret's demeanor seemed to stem from an incident she had at school when she was a child.
When she was five, she had two budgies; one day when she opened the door of their cage, one flew straight out and hit the window killing itself, while the other stayed in the cage despite her best efforts to get it to come out. The next day at school her teacher asked the class to write a story about something that had happened to them so Margaret wrote her story about the budgies.
Her teacher made Margaret read it out loud in front of the whole class which resulted in everyone laughing at her. She then realized that the teacher had done it deliberately just to be cruel to her and knew why the other budgie never wanted to leave its cage. Margaret could be said to have a catchphrase - typically a long, exasperated use of the word "God", usually when making a realisation about the reasons behind one of Victor's mishaps. These are occasionally inadvertently aided by herself in some way, such as leaving the phone off the hook or giving permission to someone to enter the Meldrews' house when she isn't there.
Jean Warboys Doreen Mantle — Mrs Warboys is a friend of Margaret and a rather annoying one in Victor's eyes who attached herself to the Meldrews, accompanying them on many of their exploits. Until the fourth series she was married to unseen Chris until he left her for a private detective she hired when she believed he was having an affair, and they divorced.
She often bears the brunt of Victor's temper due to muddled misunderstandings and in part due to her aloof nature. One such occasion saw Victor asking her to pick up a suit of his from the dry-cleaners, only for her to return with a gorilla suit. Another occasion saw her persuading Victor to take on a dog whose owner had just died. Victor spent time building a kennel in the garden and when Mrs Warboys arrives with the dog, she forgets to mention that the dog is stuffed - much to Victor and Margaret's consternation.
As it turned out, she hated it as much as Victor and Margaret did and the waxwork ended up in the dustbin. Despite being friends, she has driven Margaret to distraction on several occasions. Most notably in "Only a Story", when she stayed with the Meldrews after her flat had been flooded and enraged Margaret with her complaining and laziness.
Jean was also shown as a somewhat absent-minded character, as she has a pet cockatiel despite having a lifelong allergy to feathers. She would often bore the Meldrews by showing them her complete collection of holiday pictures at the most unwelcome times. A running joke is her beating Victor at board-games, including Trivial Pursuit and chess, while having a conversation with someone else. Doreen Mantle described her character as "wanting to do the right thing but always finding out that it was the wrong thing".
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Patrick Trench Angus Deayton — Patrick and his wife Pippa live next door to Victor and often catches Victor engrossed in seemingly preposterous situations, all of which in context are perfectly innocuous.