After her sensational and well-merited success in "Fortunes Of War" and "Tutti Frutti", Emma Thompson was suddenly a big name and she got to do her own comedy series, written and masterminded by herself, full of big-name guest stars and heavily flacked by the BBC; and it was just terrible. It was a series of sketches with occasional musical interludes, with no linking theme. A few of these items, to be fair, were passably diverting - just a few. But most were not only not funny, they were downright unpleasant, the relentless poor taste being offset by a clear narcissism. As Emma Thompson seemed to have a lot of control, there was really no-one else to blame. One felt sorry for all the big-name guests trying to squeeze laughs out of very dubious material (series regular Imelda Staunton actually managed this from time to time, far more often that Thompson did) and the goodwill engendered by Thompson's two drama series from the previous year vanished overnight. Years later, she told American journalists that it had been critically panned because she was a woman, and male critics didn't want her not to know her place. This was pernicious nonsense. It was panned because it was lousy.
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