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Academy Award-winner Geoffrey Palmer and Oscar-winner Dame Judi Dench are the "dream team" in this beloved British TV series about former lovers reunited after 38 years. The third season's the charm as Lionel and Jean take the next step in their rekindled romance by moving in together. Theirs is, one character notes, "a great love story," one which a publisher friend thinks that--with "a few minor alterations"--might make "a stunning miniseries" for American television. In several memorable episodes, Lionel and Jean's long-delayed dream holiday to Paris becomes a comic nightmare when they babysit a spatting honeymoon couple. Lionel displays his "softer side" when he gives his blessing to his indefatigable 85-year-old father's marriage. Meanwhile, Jean opens a second branch of her secretarial agency. But at the heart of this season is Lionel and Jean's new living arrangement. They are, it is observed, "like ham and eggs," except that they've never lived in the same pan before. It isn't going to be easy, but as Lionel notes, "When did anyone ever claim that love was easy?"
As Time Goes By is all the more precious considering that mature couples like Lionel and Jean are irrelevant on American television. "We are relevant," a defiant Jean insists. Better still, they are true. There are moments in this very human comedy that will have you, in the words of one ham-handed American television executive, "by the throat," as when Lionel, penning the miniseries, tells Jean what he felt when he first saw her all those years ago: "I saw you and I stopped breathing." --Donald Liebenson