Reviews: Dads Army

It has seldom been funnier than this.

Among the very best of British Comedy. There are flaws, don't get me wrong. Cheeseman was a flop, some episodes are lackluster but it is 99% gold. It is one of those curious series where the episodes considered weak and uninteresting are in fact only mediocre and might have been the high point of other programs. The characters are interesting but the acting and attention to detail are what really raises this show to the levels of a masterpiece. Watch more than a few episodes and you will find yourself getting to know the characters closely, being able to predict their behavior and to feel shocked or ashamed when they fail to meet your expectations.

My personal favorites have to be the interactions Mainwaring has with the other main characters. Arthur Lowe is the linchpin of this spectacle. His anger with Godfrey turning into embarrassment when the latter "didn't want to disappoint", his refusal to take advice from Wilson less he seem a fool or weak, his half expectant, half dreading, attitude to Jones' monologues.

Like all good comedies it is touching too. The main page mentions Branded in which Godfrey's first world war status is revealed but almost as emotional is a scene in The Battle of Godfrey's Cottage where we see Mainwaring, Jones and Fraizer prepare to (as far as they are concerned) try and hold off a German invasion until the regular army arrive. The offhand way that Mainwaring says "It'll be the end of us of course, but I think we are all ready for that." and the others agree gives real insight into the danger these people where willing to face for their fellows. It also serves to make the payoff all the funnier. Well worth watching, and with enough episodes to keep even the Americans happy.