Friday, December 17, 2021

As Time Goes By: Series 9


I'm still not ready. And the worst part is on two fronts, if you were watching the series live back then you would have had to wait I kid you not 2 years for the final series. Yeah, after series 8 ended in 2000 it took until 2002 for the show to return and wrap up. But not only that, it is 4 episodes long, plus a nice little end special so they really had to buckle down and finish everything up. On the plus side though, huzzah to the bride and groom! Now that wasn't such a chore now was it? Nine bloody series and Judy and Alistair are married at last, and it takes the majority of the series with only one episode to finish up Sandy's romance with a pretty monumental step. But hey what do I care, everyone has their happy ending! It does do a number on Jean though but Lionel is always there for her, and the series proper at least in my opinion ends on a perfect note. Now would I necessarily say the hour long special is bad? Not at all, it's a clipshow within the narrative sort of situation with Lionel asked to write another book and Jean suggests it being about how they reconnected, as we watch bits of older episodes throughout. Nothing wrong with it, has quite a few of my favorite laughs and scenes in it, but I would say it isn't entirely necessary viewing. It's without question for the loving fans who have been there since the beginning, and it really puts it into perspective in terms of time. Not just for the series but my rewatching it. 3 weeks of watching this lovely show and it seems over too quick. Also to add onto that is the fact that this is the last review of the year, sorry Spider Man fans but this is the end. Who really knows what will come next year? We're mighty close to the 900th review and the 7th anniversary. The future is a big place, who knows where we'll end up. But until then how was the show as a whole? The last series gets the 4 star treatment, one last 10/10, and I'll be stunned if another show can surpass the record this show implemented. It's a lovely show, doesn't try to be big or grand, and fully deserves more love and attention without question. I treasure it unconditionally just like I do our main cast, I couldn't stop praising them if you got me going. It's almost a show that doesn't require a review, you just watch it and can enjoy it. But I had to do it justice and I do appreciate you putting up with my tangents. And on this bittersweet bombshell, it is time to end. Thank you so much for spending some time with me this year talking movies, and I of course wish you nothing but the happiest and safest of new years every single day. Take care of yourself, and goodnight.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

As Time Goes By: Series 8

God help me, only one series left.

I'm not sure if I can handle saying goodbye. But as the penultimate series goes, with 6 episodes instead of 7 it goes to some places and poses some big questions. I mean it starts off innocently enough with more comedic episodes like Lionel being followed constantly by a dog and they soon wonder if another member of the family is welcome, and an episode with Lionel and Sandy meeting in an unwanted position and they try their best to cope with it while Jean makes a bigger mess out of it, so far so fun. Then the last three episodes happen, Penny and Steven are thinking about moving to Spain, Lionel comes to a decision regarding his family home, and Alistair quite literally goes for broke. So you get a balance of comedy and drama, once again not ending on a perfectly happy note but it's brighter than ones we have seen before. I think this is the biggest leap in quality in terms of filming, turns out this series was being filmed in 2000 and you can very discernably tell the difference, I mean it looks like 2005 Doctor Who to me with the image quality, and the camera work gets a lot more involved than A camera and B camera with a few panning shots. I mean the fact alone this show started in 1992 and still was airing in the new millenium is pretty spectacular that it got that kind of run. It's not exactly Eastenders, so color me impressed. Jean sure gets more involved than usual this time, playing matchmaker at any point and as usual overthinking situations, lord knows I treasure her but thank God she has Lionel to be her rational side. Though mind you, Lionel is super grumpy and speaks his heart and mind a good deal this series, I genuinely think the standout scene of this whole series is when he tries to properly explain in words why he loves Jean so much. It's not that long a scene, but every word is genuine from the heart and he speaks very intimately but plainly. He treasures this woman and loves her unconditionally, not a shadow of a doubt he wants to spend the rest of his life with her, and very much like Jean Pargetter I am a hopeless romantic. That's when you know you've struck gold with someone, when you can be completely honest how you feel about them, always enjoy their company, can appreciate silence together, and wouldn't dream of having anyone else. Contrary to popular belief, it ain't all about the hey hey. I don't want any hey hey I want what they have, because it's lovely and charming. But you bastards are still playing my heartstrings like a harp from hell, we were on the verge of greatness we were this close to having them back together. I swear on all I hold dear, I do not need to see them married I just need to see Judy and Alistair as a couple, if you cannot give me that in the last series there will be no 10/10. I said what I said. So let it be written, so let it be done. This series though, 10/10! Gold sticky star! Do not f*** this up. Just kidding, I know it will wreck me emotionally.

Monday, December 13, 2021

As Time Goes By: Series 7

Well this is it, final run.

Very much the series that focuses on relationships across the board this time. Sure the show focuses on it in some way, but the majority of the episodes here harp on what each of our respective main cast are doing in the love department. Not so much the hey hey but you know what I mean. Lionel and Jean are still happy and content, with a pretty big step for Lionel taking zero issue with Jean meeting a close guy friend from her past which let's face facts not many men would be at such ease. They act a bit more childish from time to time which is nothing but highlights material for me, that they can act so silly yet so lovely is rather hard to do in writing and acting without it coming off as gag me with a spoonful of diabeetus. Judy and Alistair slowly make their way round to a big commitment, Sandy is having nothing but trouble with her boyfriend Harold, Steven and Penny are on another one of their rows, yet strangely seem to be on good footing at the same time, we even get a brief glimpse into the bizzare relationship of the next door neighbors. Obviously some of it is for comedic effect, but it does take time to show the different kinds of loving relationships one can have over time. And hell the series ends on a pretty down note, a very subtle down note even. It still has it's humor but it's a bit of a rotten situation for our girls, and you never want to see that. But what I appreciate so much here about the writing is you don't get the sense the writers wanted anyone to actually hate Alistair or Harold, they don't turn into horrid, shallow, cunniving asses, I'd dare say Alistair is on top form better than ever here giving ample dedication to the family and still shining so bright as his own flashy self. I aspire to have his confidence in life, bless this man for all time. Lionel is a touch more grumpy this time around and I cherish it so, I couldn't possibly stop raving about this man if I tried, my king I shall be worthy to be like you. One day. Turns out though I was a bit wrong about the last series' finale, I somewhat figured we would see Jean and Lionel in Barbados but then I thought this is the BBC, they don't have that much money. It's a solid season that brings more comedy into it I think, has some fun, progresses the story and characters, and does make you wonder if everything will turn out well. So the rating is of course, a 7/10. Goodnight everybody! Nah, it's a 10. 4 stars, great times be had, is this wedding happening or not? Stop teasing me, let me have this! Let me have the love, you teasing cowards!

Friday, December 10, 2021

As Time Goes By: Series 6

God we are wrapping this up quick, it'll be a crying shame to see it end.

Back on the home front this series for the most part, we spend a fair good share of time with the girls this series. It really seems like Judy and Sandy have some more to give, Judy explores a new relationship, Sandy has quite a worrying experience with a stalker and has some issues with Jean's work, and they both help for the big surprise for Jean at the end of the series. The attention doesn't shift from Lionel and Jean but it's very appreciated to see them do more than usual. Heck Lionel is very much completely settled in the house and is content with not working much, and goes full on dad mode with the girls which shocker, I completely treasure with all of my soul and hope I can be even close to his persona in my life. But Jean couldn't be more overtaxed if possible, having a real dilemma if she should retire or not to the point she sees a therapist, she's very stressed this series and I don't like seeing her in such a state. They even have their first proper big argument as a couple, of course it's over something trivial but it gets sorted in the end. Not long after that Lionel is being more dedicated to surprising Jean, leading to the finale which I can't remember if it has much impact on series 7. It'll come back to me. Again, pretty solid season here and I know people are gonna have a hard time accepting the whole show is a 10/10, but I don't give that rating lightly and again I don't have anything to complain about. This is more of a getting the show more recognition than a proper review, I really can't fathom it dropping lower than a 9/10 in all honesty. It's something I've wanted to review since honestly before all this review show stuff started and any chance I get to spotlight something I love is top orders. See you next week for the final round.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

As Time Goes By: Series 5

We very much settle down a bit after last time.

I believe this is the first series that has cut down episodes, the show started at 6 and eventually got to 10 episodes per series but now it's down to 7, and usually I give a show tremendous good grief over that (Gotham WHYYYYY??!) but it doesn't bother me here. The majority of the series has Jean and Lionel semi-inheriting Rocky's place as they get acquainted with the neighbors and spend more time there, the mini-series premieres over in the States, and Penny is convinced she's at death's door. So we dial back a bit and get comfy spending some time with Rocky and Madge and of course Mrs. Bale which is always lovely, but poor Lionel and Jean have to deal with some characters out there which while funny is hard to stomach these absolute nonces and you want our happy couple to get some relaxation. It just sort of dawned on me in the last episode that, Jean looks like she just walked off the set of Goldeneye I mean her hair is exact, and I miss her in that series man. She has had such an expansive career and easily is one of the strongest british acting icons in the past few decades, but I kinda keep forgetting this series was in the 90s cause you really don't notice the time period that much. It's not like they throw a Tamagotchi or JNCO pants at you, so I mean really you could tell me this was a lower budget series made by the BBC a few years ago and I wouldn't have much cause to doubt you. Alistair and Judy are kind of on thin ice and they get some bonding time which is nice, I mean Judy bless her has been so lovely and fully deserves a good crack of the whip in the romance department (Hey hey...) so I'm fully in support of their relationship here. I had a real nice time with this series, and to know we are 5 series in and it doesn't feel out of steam or winding down must be commended, it proves you don't need to keep upping the situations, dilemmas, or stakes for each subsequent season but still have that enjoyable and satisfying feeling in the end. And another realization I just now had is the show doesn't signpost much, I think the most we got was the hint that Lionel and Jean were gonna tie the knot, it's such a laidback show that it doesn't need to give any incentive to come back for the next series because you most likely will. I can't name a show that does that. 4 stars! 10 out of bloody 10! And we are about halfway to the end, see you next time.

Monday, December 6, 2021

As Time Goes By: Series 4

Whoo boy, we've had some breaking news this series.

Quite a bit happens here from the word go, Sandy has moved in with Lionel and Jean as Lionel tries coping with so many women in the house, further progress is made in terms of the mini-series, Judy gets some romantic hurdles to jump, and the tiny small fact that Lionel proposes to Jean and they get married!! Ohhhh my God, ffuuuuu-

I lost it man. I genuinely lost it and this is not the first time I have seen this whole show but it snuck up on me something fierce. This show alone is the biggest example of saying screw your rubbish writing of other shows, where they do this tired old nonsense of having a couple get married on the last episode of the show because they don't know how to write a married couple so they take the easy way out. Bollocks! Proving once more why this is the romance show to end all romance shows! Hell Lionel proposes halfway through this series, the other half is them prepping for the wedding and the aftermath. We still have 5 more series' to go people, jump on this ship now. And I think I finally broke it down, I took a critical eye to why the writing works so well and I buy this couple more than really any other normal couple on television. Because Jean and Lionel, they are so normal but they have this acknowledgement of their behavior. They do act silly, they do make mistakes, they do go off on tangents but they recognize it and accept it as partners. They poke fun at the other's behavior, they ask the other why they get so swept up in their own mind, but the love and patience is all there. When Judy gets a brief love interest Jean gets overconcerned and starts leaping to conclusions while Lionel takes it more in stride and asks her why she makes a big fuss when it's quite okay. They balance each other out so much, it's this flip flop game where one starts worrying or making a big issue out of nothing and the other helps them get back down to earth, from huge topics like relationships and weddings to the most mundane things like taking down some curtains. It doesn't do sub par, tropey, write it in your sleep dialogue or situations. It's very real and doesn't even divulge too much into the lovey dovey stuff, though there is some and charms the hell out of me everytime. They earn that romantic scene. And not every episode ends on a laugh or very sweet moment, there are episode that end not so much on an open ended way but in a way where there isn't a clear resolution. That's life. There isn't always a happy ending or a convenient ending wrapped in a big bow with each situation. And it works because the cast make it work, Judi and Geoffrey are effortlessly perfect in these roles and I stress the show could not have made it past the opening episode without them. I know they're actors, but the love I see is genuine. They're not sex drived teens, they're not this odd couple tit for tat schtick, yeah they can be childish and bicker at times but there is a difference between good writing that incorporates such elements and sitcom writing where it is an end unto itself. They take solace in silence or even speaking very little to each other, they know their faults and yet admit them and move past it, they don't try to be perfect but the other sees such a wonderful thing about them. I don't see that in media much, why do you think I gave such insurmountable praise to Her and Lost In Translation? Not just because they are phenomenal, beautiful, perfect pieces of cinema but because they got the romance angle down even though it was different situations, Her was a lot about the long distance relationship and kinda about cheating and having to let someone you love go, Lost In Translation is a movie that has a love much more deeper than most romances that sadly have to part ways despite the amicable solace found in one another. As Time Goes By is about starting from scratch and that marriage is not the end all be all of a relationship, time is relative and it's never too late to find that beloved someone. All different facets of a relationship, but all just as powerful and important. Get off my lawn if you don't know the score yet. 10/10!! 100/100!!! Do I need to go on? Really? Five more series of praise and love, you're welcome to read it but you know the end game and so do I. See you next time everyone.

Friday, December 3, 2021

As Time Goes By: Series 3

A lot of stuff happened this series.

It feels like now that we've had two solid seasons of setup they're picking up the pace and giving us more. Lionel and Jean have their first big row, Lionel moves in, Rocky gets married and we finally meet Madge, our lovely couple takes a holiday in Paris, Jean and Lionel start learning to live together, a new branch of Jean's business opens, and Lionel is in talks with America to make a mini-series. So life gets more busy for the both of them but it seems only logical this is the next step for them in a relationship. Lionel flat out asks if she would like to move in and it seems very real their first day living in together, being super polite and proper before they go back to being themselves. It's incredibly factual about couples in that respect, and it's just lovely seeing them be domestic now. I have no idea how the writers encapsulate so much of living with that particular special person, it doesn't center on just the lovey dovey romance but is very realistic and blunt with all it's aspects. I'm actually very surprised they made Rocky and Madge's wedding the second episode, you would almost think they would save it to the end to get that nudge about Jean and Lionel getting married, but I really don't mind. It's a lovely wedding and we finally get to meet Madge played by Joanna Sim who could not be more on the same level as Rocky in terms of personality, passion, and love. They know they might not have a lot of time left in this world but it doesn't stop them from fully devoting themselves to one another. It's quite genuinely the goal every couple should strive towards, always ready for the next adventure, always never leaving each other's side whether it be in a physical sense or emotional sense, showing love with such reckless abandon just because they make each other that happy. And the way the show potrays that is not in an unrealistic way, regardless of which couple it focuses on. It's natural and candid and never afraid to end with a less than happy ending each episode. Though as each episode passes the reality becomes more and more clear that I'm already mostly Lionel Hardcastle, give me a few years and you won't be able to tell the difference. But mind you, Alistair is a bit of alright too I mean he could not back Lionel and Jean's romance more, has faith in Lionel's writing capabilities, he even walks Madge down the aisle without hesitation or question, I could almost call him the biggest fan of love there is. Even Sandy gets her fair share of attention, seeing a smidge of her relationship, Jean wants to give her the second branch of her business, her love and loyalty to Jean is paramount, it's good stuff without question. It doesn't waste a single episode of it's 10 episode run, even if it is more fluff like Jean trying to avoid a visit from Penny doesn't ever seem like a waste or simply not needed because it's where the more comedic writing shines. Believe me, if there was such an episode that didn't contribute to the series I would tell immediately. But you can tell these writers want to make it as good as possible which thusly for me makes it great. One week down, two to go. You already know the rating.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

As Time Goes By: Series 2

I'm a happy camper.

It's true, this show puts me in such a happier mood than I was in before which probably means I shouldn't watch it on a mighty good day in fear of exploding into sunshine and rainbows. So we pick up not far where we left off as Lionel and Jean take further steps into their relationship, they spend more time together, Jean meets Lionel's dad Rocky, they spend a weekend at a cottage, and Jean helps quite a bit with Lionel's book. In fact that seems to be the main big thing that happens, he finishes his book and is a published author which I quite like, it's not all about the romance every second but just the lives of these two people in all their endeavors. We add two new reoccuring characters with Rocky and Penny, Jean's sister in-law. Rocky is quite the antithesis of Lionel, very upbeat, adventurous, lover of life, and pretty much everything a person should aspire to be when they reach their sunset years. He's beyond lovely. And in that same sense Penny is the opposite of Jean, absent minded, focuses way too much on other people's lives instead of her own, and can rattle on incessantly for hours at a time. We all know people like that, they're frequent in my family. But it's always good to have the cast branching out over the course of the show, and once more the actors do very nice work. The focus is without a doubt on Jean and Lionel, whereas the first series had all the main cast have equal moments but that's not a bad thing. Judy couldn't be more cheeky and reveling in the romance if she tried, Sandy is just as fun and smart as always, and Alistair keeps being Alistair but has full faith in Lionel and backs his work with his usual brand of over the top. That and this series has the honor of introducing a very common phrase into my lexicon, it's almost an inside joke with my mom and me, that becomes a running joke in and of itself in the show. Hey hey. Everytime I hear it it makes me burst out in laughter, because it means a very particular thing. Dirty, filthy, shameless things. Hey hey, which must always be said in a somewhat sultry voice, with a raised eyebrow, and a smirk. But good God do I grin like a dopey prat when Jean and Lionel have their moments together, I can only dream and aspire to have such a candid but enormously loving relationship with anybody. I'm a hopeless romantic when it comes to this, leave me be. It's precious. Is this whole series going to be a 10/10? Cause I don't mean it to be but I'll be damned I can't say a bad thing about it. Bollocks, I'm positive in my reviews but I'm not that positive, for a pessimist I'm pretty optimistic about a lot of things. 4 stars, 10/10, I don't even care I can't argue it. You have full permission to check out for the coming 3 weeks of reviews for this series, cause it's just gonna be nothing but this. Pure concentrated positivity. I might need insulin shots before all this is over.