Thursday, January 6

the good life

I never saw the original moment of reckoning, here it is...

On his 40th birthday, Tom Good [Richard Briers] is no longer able to take his job seriously and gives up work as a draughtsman for a company that makes plastic toys for breakfast cereal packets.

Their house is paid for so he and his wife Barbara [Felicty Kendall] adopt a sustainable, simple and self-sufficient lifestyle while staying in their home in The Avenue, Surbiton. They turn their front and back gardens into allotments [gardens -ed.]... They introduce chickens, pigs, a goat and a cockerel. They generate their own electricity, using methane from animal waste, and attempt to make their own clothes. They sell or barter surplus crops for essentials they cannot make themselves. They cut their monetary requirements to the minimum with varying success.

Their actions horrify their kindly but conventional neighbours, Margo [played by Penelope Keith, who is great] and Jerry Leadbetter [Peter Bowles was originally to play the role of Jerry but was unavailable. He later starred opposite Penelope Keith in To the Manor Born. Paul Eddington played Jerry, then went onto Yes, Minister.]
via wikipediaThis 1970's BBC series The Good Life (renamed Good Neighbours in the USA) never mentions Scott and Helen Nearing (and their "Good Life" writings) but related premise. The Barbara character played by Felicity Kendall crept into many British minds as an unconventional sex symbol / tasty-tomboy type figure. Looking at these now as even a marital relation study of the 2 couples it is pretty fantastic, though all the self-sufficiency stuff pretty tame. Someone has jammed the whole thing up on youtube... The definition of light comedy.