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Fresh Fields Set 1
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After 20 years of marriage and raising two children, suburban housewife Hester Fields (Julia McKenzie, Agatha Christie’s Marple) is ready for a new challenge. And it doesn’t seem to matter what it is—she dabbles in painting, jogging, cooking, pottery, and even fencing. Her staid accountant husband, William (Anton Rodgers, May to December), feels no such need for change, yet somehow always seems to get dragged into Hester’s exploits. Each morning he sets off for the office, never knowing what he’ll face when he returns home. But with Hester trying something new each day, life is never dull for the Fields.
Imagine the English version of I Love Lucy: Instead of a wacky blue-collar gal, the red-headed heroine is a suburban empty-nester with a knack for French cooking, while her husband, instead of a hot-blooded Cuban bandleader, is an accountant. You have just imagined Fresh Fields, an endearing Britcom about Hester and William Fields (Julia McKenzie and Anton Rodgers), whose quiet middle-aged lives get sent gently awry by Hester's dotty schemes to bring something new and exciting into their live… which generally means a new hobby, like painting or fencing, or helping her husband around the office, leading to exasperated sighs from William. Ironically, it's the very mildness of the comedy that makes Fresh Fields so charming--it's a portrait of a genuinely happy and long-lived marriage, and the rich affection between Hester and William nicely balances what could be described as domestic slapstick. Additional irritants include their neighbor Sonia (Ann Beach), who's constantly dropping by to borrow a bottle of sherry; Hester's disapproving mother Nancy (Fanny Rowe), who lives in a cottage in the back; and their free-spirit daughter Emma (Debby Cumming), who calls regularly but is never seen, and whose unmarried cohabitation with Peter (Philip Bird) causes many a kerfuffle with Nancy. Fresh Fields: Set 1 includes the first two seasons of the series, a total of 12 half-hour episodes. This is dependable comfort television for Anglophiles. --Bret Fetzer
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SUBTITLES are included along with filmographies for the couple.
12 humorous PBS episodes, each 25 min., leaving you with the desire for more.
DISH OF THE DAY--Hester tries being a part-time chef at local eatery, Lucy's Kitchen. Her recipe for life has something missing. William to the rescue?
MIDDLE-AGE DREAD-- Hester's newest career attempt is at a trendy boutique. Age & body figure discrimination?
HOOK, LINE AND SINK HER-- William wants to wet a fish line. Hester & Nancy want to tag along. But there is on `odd' fourth person.
THE NAKED TRUTH-- William asks for Hester's help to impress a visiting Bagdad client. Can the Fields deal with the foreign notions?
DES DET RES--Bills & taxes give William a house sale plan. A move? Hester's got a plan of her own.
SOMETHING IN THE OVEN-- Hester's chef job will be reviewed by a media critic. There's more in the oven than cordon bleu.
A NIGHT TO REMEMBER--William plans a surprise 24th wedding anniversary. But BOTH get surprised!
A BRIEF ENCOUNTER-- Does Hester's fencing teacher have more in mind than crossed swords? Will William foil the Casanova's moves? Get the point?
ALRIGHT ON THE NIGHT-- Hester's church concert/bazaar is avoided by William via fishing. Alas--the best laid plans of mice & men OR the Fields. Super episode, my favorite.
IN THE SPRING-- Hester's writing creatively after a neighborhood scandal. The men, William & Hester's dad, have their own affair perspectives.
BUSINESS CONTACTS-- Hester fills in as office secretary when William's real employee, followed by a temp, both are ill. Good thing Hester is so creative--or is it?
GET ME TO THE CHURCH--Emma's wedding to Peter is all set. Hester's the bride's mother. That's NOT good.
Comedy within a solid marriage relationship. Refreshingly fine. Yet risqué at times. For those happily married and over 40, you'll relate. . .often. My wife and I are very glad we watched.
I love good humor and adore great humor. I adore this series, and we'll watch it again very soon.