Hold the tea and scones! Fans of the great British comedian Jennifer Saunders (who's featured in Bust in the past) will be devastated to hear that her Tv show Clatterford has been cancelled by the BBC. The series - which is called Jam and Jerusalem in the UK, and was screened on BBC America - tells the tale of a group of women in rural south west England, who are members of the Women's Guild.
The Women's Institute is an icon of British life, and whilst it's become newly fashionable, the highs and lows of the jumble sale or local history lectures provided rich pickings for Saunders. Her comedy partner Dawn French starred in the series, and according to the British press, this ends the pairs working relationship after almost 30 years. No other female comedy duo in history (and correct me if I am wrong!) has been so successful and developed comedy creations which have stayed in the collective psyche beyond the Tv series run (after all, how many of us have imagined ourselves as a character from Absolutely Fabulous when we've had a little too much bolly?). One of the best things about Clatterford was the character development. Whilst not much happened in terms of action during each episode, the characters were all beautifully drawn and had a depth to them not common to much British modern comedy. Reviewers have compared the show to a Chekov play and a Robert Altman movie.. which I think almost works! You're not having a raucous belly laugh, but watching the show you recognize real people, and comical situations dealt with in a very human way.
Aside from anything else, in an age where Tv seems to mostly be about talent shows, reality shows and celebrities competing with each other to see who can eat the most witchety grubs, it was refreshing to have a show which celebrated older women. Middle aged women are rarely seen on the small screen and without another series of Clatterford, they'll be seen even less. British fans of the show have bombarded the BBC with complaints - and there's also a campaign to reverse the decision on youtube and facebook.
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.
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