Monday, October 27, 2008

As You Wish, Sir

Oh how I love Jeeves and Wooster! It's one of those shows that I have to watch with lots of snacks around me, snuggled up under a warm comforter in bed. Yesterday was no exception. I watched season four, disc one mid-day, cozily cocooned with plates of cheese, crackers [Saltines - not my first choice, but was all we had available], a sliced up apple, homemade hummus, and 2 brown sugar Pop-Tarts - random I know. With smorgasbord at hand, I was ready to enjoy.

Besides laughing and groaning at the crazy predicaments that dear old Bertie gets into, and keeping up with the roller coaster twists and turns of interweaving plotlines involving said crazy predicaments, one of the most enjoyable aspects of watching Jeeves and Wooster has to be gazing longingly at the Art Deco period decor and the fantastic costumes. I've rambled on about my views on Art Deco before, but I must reiterate how visually appealing those designs are. And the clothes...well, if only I could flounce around in those dresses every day and night, I would feel like a million bucks! Sigh, but I do know that in the real world, I'm a bit too much of a comfort-loving slob to make that much of an effort to dress up.

There are so many wonderful things about Jeeves and Wooster, thanks in large part to the author PG Wodehouse - what with the brilliant storylines, the colorful dialogue, the amusing characters, and the names, my goodness the names! Bertie's beloved female pals are given adorable nicknames such as Stiffy and Nobby, but that's nothing compared to the nicknames of his male compadres - take for instance, Gussie Fink-Nottle, the Reverand Stinker Pinker, Bicky Bickersteth, Biffy Biffen, Beefy Bingham, Stilton Cheesewright, Chuffy Chuffnell, Boko Fittleworth, and Barmy Fotheringay-Phipps. Yes, quite barmy, all of them!

And perhaps, in respect to making good television, a huge reason for this series' success is the strong chemistry between its two lead actors - Hugh Laurie, as bumbling open-mouthed Bertram Wooster, and Stephen Fry, as his invaluable and respectable valet Jeeves. Fans of these actors know full well the length and breadth of their working relationship, having appeared together in Blackadder as well as A Bit of Fry and Laurie among others, as well as their friendship - Fry served as best man at Laurie's wedding to Jo Green in 1989, and is godfather to Laurie's three children. Fry and Laurie actually began their friendship and creative collaboration while at Cambridge University, as part of the Cambridge Footlights, an amateur theater club, along with mutual friend Emma Thompson [who Laurie dated for a spell].

And that, as they say in Hollywood, was the start of a beautiful friendship.

[Photo of Jeeves and Wooster intro image is from TVARK, photo of Jeeves and Bertie in their finely-tailored clothing is from The Fedora Lounge, and photo of Jeeves looking with concern at Bertie's befuddlement is from This isn't writing, it's typing]

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