Wodehouse Playhouse

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BBC (ended 1978)

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Wodehouse Playhouse

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Welcome to the Wodehouse Playhouse guide at TV.com. Although probably best known as the creator of Jeeves, the ultimate gentleman's gentleman, the prolific P. G. Wodehouse created an entire universe of eccentric, mostly upper-class Brits, and his short-story gems get smart dramatization in Wodehouse Playhouse. Real-life husband and wife couple John Alderton and Pauline Collins are the star repertory players in these charming adaptations, playing different characters in each episode, always to great effect.

Wodehouse's genius lies first and foremost in his use of language, with characters vividly drawn through his brilliant command of slang and idiom. The verbally agile Collins and Alderton are always up to the task, breezing through a variety of accents -- upper-class, lower-class, and every strata in between. Wodehouse's Mulliner stories account for quite a few of the episodes here, including "Unpleasantness at Bludleigh Court," which, as any fan knows, contains the famous poem about shooting gnus. But the marvellous Drones Club stories and Oldest Member golfing stories are worked in as well, including the standout "Rodney Fails to Qualify," where a dreamy (and extremely irritating) poet intrudes on the love affair of a pair of avid linksters. Wodehouse fans -- and they are legion -- generally regard these BBC shows as the best Wodehouse ever to hit the screen, and some added charm comes from the short introductions provided for each episode by Wodehouse himself. Jeeves aside, this is Wodehouse at his very best.moreless

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