Miranda Series 1-3 (DVD)

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Miranda Series 1-3 (DVD)

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Review of "Miranda Series 1-3 (DVD)"

published 03/03/2017 | JaydonNolan
Member since : 27/05/2016
Reviews : 54
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About me :
Sorry about inactivity been really busy lately, getting back into this site again - will catch up reviews asap!
Excellent
Pro funny, easy to follow, appropriate for most people
Cons I would have hoped for more episodes
exceptional
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Characters / Performances
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"Stupidly funny - Miranda Series 1-3"

Miranda Series 1-3 (DVD)

Miranda Series 1-3 (DVD)

Introduction

Although I'd heard of this TV show, I had never felt inclined to watch it until I saw Miranda Hart being interviewed on the Graham Norton show when I was watching for Benedict Cumberbatch. Even just her mannerisms and general character were enough to entertain me, the prospect of her performing as a character in a show, which is based on herself, seemed worth watching.
For those of you who read my reviews frequently, you'll probably know by now that I often put off watching series which interest me. It's a common issue I face trying to convince myself to connect with new characters and follow a new plot line - I also get addicted to series quite quickly, introducing myself to a new series often entails committing a fair amount of my time to complete it. However, what really interested me about Miranda was that Miranda isn't exactly a character but more a comic mockery of the actor.
I am a fan of comedies and tend to prefer those that portray a humorous interpretation of a situation that could happen to anybody. Being able to relate to a situation and understand how the characters would feel is what makes comedy so enjoyable for me. Miranda really showcases everything that makes comedy fun for me - as soon as I had watched one episode I let it continue playing until my day had somehow slipped by and I had completed the entire series.

Plot

As the title suggest, Miranda follows the life of Miranda - a socially awkward middle-aged woman who seems to find herself in continuously awkward situations. Miranda owns a joke shop, which she purchased from the inheritance of her rich uncle. Assistant manager of the joke shop, Stevie Sutton, often finds herself being the one to help Amanda in her awkward encounters. Stevie is also the one who handles the business side of the shop, although Miranda has money her mindset is not entirely cut out to run the shop smoothly.
The basic premise of the show is to showcase Miranda's struggles. As she is from a posh background, her career as a joke shop owner is a disappointment to her mother (Penny) who frequently pressures Miranda to get married. Adjacent to the joke shop, is a restaurant owned by Clive Evans up until series three - ownership is then given to the chef Gary Preston. There are frequent suggestions that there is a romantic attachment between Miranda and Gary throughout the series, although this often results in them being dismissed as friends. However, when Gary gains a girlfriend the situation seems somewhat more series to Miranda as she realises that her friendship with Gary may actually be guided by her underlying love for him. As there isn't much in the way of narrative structure in Miranda, I will leave out the conclusion of this.
Although this is generally a third person viewing experiencing, Miranda does often address the camera to remind us this is a sort of autobiographical production.

Characters/Cast


Miranda Hart as Miranda

With a series like this, it is much easier to talk about the cast and characters individually, then to try and summarise the show using a description of the plot. The show obviously revolves around Miranda, whose life is the focus point of the show. Miranda is an overtly awkward character whose lack of social skills make for a comical program. Miranda is extremely relatable to anybody who has faced any kind of social struggle in their lives, though I imagine not many would handle situations in the same way she does. Miranda's decisions often lead to the kind of outcomes we might expect to happen to us once in our life times, as a result of poor judgement. As Miranda's life is generally quite unstructured and she seems to have little idea what she is doing most of the time, she is frequently set up for colourful scenarios.
One of the main themes surrounding Miranda's life, is her failed attempts to find a partner. It would seem that Miranda is simply too awkward to establish a relationship with somebody - not only this, but she is also quite picky about her choice of man. Being a tall and broad lady with short hair, some comedy is created by her being misgendered. In one episode, when Miranda tries to find a "girly" outfit she is mistaken for a drag queen and returns to the joke shop in a dress crafted for that profession. Although we would usually feel inclined to show sympathy for somebody having their gender wrongly identified, with Miranda we can't help but laugh as she boldly acknowledges her manliness. There is something really likeable about Miranda's awareness of her own awkwardness - if she was insecure or upset about her lack of social skills, this series would take a totally different tone.

Miranda Hart herself is a natural comedian. The way she becomes flustered and over analyses minuscule situations, often reminds me of a hysterical mother type character - despite her being a single woman. She is a master of facial expression and sometimes words aren't even needed for her to make us laugh. Miranda has also written books and performed in other series, so her career extends further than just this series. As I mentioned in the introduction, it was actually her behaviour in an interview that made in interested in watching the program as she instantly made me laugh and entertained me effortlessly. It's clear she is someone who doesn't take herself too seriously and has a great attitude towards performance and comedy. What I really like about Miranda is that she has the ability to laugh at herself, particularly at aspects of her personality and appearance which may otherwise have been embarrassing. There is certainly something quite inspirational about this attitude, in the sense that her confidence is admirable and it's warming to see somebody being quite content with their flaws. Miranda certainly does make this series and she is both a unique and funny character and person.
Sarah Hadland as Stevie

Stevie's character is quite difficult to follow sometimes - although Sarah Hadland is a sweet looking girl and this is often shown in her portrayal of Stevie, there are also moments where Stevie had a more snappy side. There is a certain level of managerial dominance that Stevie holds over Miranda and she seems to be a more logical thinker and certainly has an advanced level of experience in comparison to Miranda. Having said this, Stevie does often act as a notable friend to Miranda and helps her through her awkward situations by offering advice to Miranda. Often, Stevie acts as the voice of reason by simply stating the obvious solution - this creates a comical contrast between the reasonable thing to do and what Miranda actually does. There is a sense that Stevie is the more desirable of the two joke shop owners, she behaves in a way we would expect a woman of her age to behave. Stevie does, however, have her wilder moments. For example, in one episode a man leaves a wallet in the joke shop and both Miranda and Stevie take a fancy to him. Both compete vigorously to gain the man's affections, which shows Stevie's more flirtatious side. Regardless of this, it is obvious that the two are best friends and their relationship is warming to see.

Tom Ellis and Gary Preston

Gary seems to be a rather genuine and friendly guy, who is obviously supportive of Miranda despite her sometimes questionable behaviours and decisions. He is generally helpful in every way that he can be and seems to have a modest attitude.
As he attended boarding school with Miranda, their previously established friendship is evident in the dynamics of their relationships in the sense that Gary seems already accustomed to Miranda's awkwardness. It is actually set up as a coincidence that Gary and Miranda come back into contact, as Gary got the position in the restaurant without knowledge of Miranda's joke shop. There is an immediate sense that Miranda has been previously attracted to him, which sets up a scenario for some awkward interactions. Already Gary's attraction towards Miranda is unstable, however, when he sees Miranda kissing Danny after he returns from Hong Kong his feelings become more vivid. Although there is some talk of sex between Gary and Miranda this doesn't actually occur and results in some awkward interactions between them - Miranda is particularly put off having discovered that Gary found a girl in Hong Kong.
The difference in appearance between Tom and Miranda make their relationship somewhat more overtly comical. Tom is a typically attractive man who is well groomed and seems to take pride in his appearance - in contrast to this, Miranda is quite clumsy looking and seems quite awkward in her own skin.
Patricia Hodge as Penny

As the mother of Miranda, Penny is a vital character in making this show funny. Unlike the clumsy and awkward Miranda, Penny is very confident in herself and plays a very stereotypical "upper class" lady. Penny clearly takes a lot of time presenting herself and is very image concerned. She is quite controlling over Miranda and is often overly involved in her life as she hopes for Miranda to someday share the same level of elegance she prides herself on having. Penny's posh accent and pretentious mannerisms often serve as a comical contrast between herself and the notably more common Miranda. For example, Miranda is frequently irritated by Penny's habit of mouthing some words rather than just saying them. Penny also has a habit of saying "such fun" at the end of every sentence which seems to irritate Miranda too but is humorous to watch. This is often used to stop Miranda from challenging her requests.
Patricia plays this part wonderfully as she portrays this posh demeanour very convincingly in a way that is funny to watch. Although it's easy to be irritated by this character, there is also something very likeable about her.

James Holmes as Clive

Clive is the oldest of the main characters in Miranda, although he is not a man of typical values as such. Despite his age, there is something very young about his personality which often makes us disregard the age gap as viewers. Before Gary took ownership of the restaurant, Clive was the owner. It is also revealed in the first series that Clive had previously worked as an escort - when Miranda learns this she becomes increasingly awkward around him.
In general, James portrays this typically camp and mocking character perfectly. There is a sense that James sees himself above the other characters, though this opinion appears to be repressed. However, he does often tease Miranda. Clive is quite a sassy character who is instantly likeable, I believe it is revealed that he is gay later on in the series but this isn't really a surprise as his character is already quite camp.

What I thought

Personally, I found this show really enjoyable. It's quite light and easy to watch as it isn't plot heavy and the jokes are quite simple, therefore full concentration isn't required. I wouldn't say the story line is particularly engaging, only when Miranda starts to think about forming a serious relationship did I find myself really taking an interest in her life in the long-run. However, the resolution of the awkward situations Miranda finds herself in are what keep me watching. What I really appreciate about this, is how we could imagine ourselves in the situations. I don't think many people would make the decisions Miranda does in real life or allow themselves to get into such awkward situations, but it is entertaining to imagine that happening to ourselves. A lot of the humour comes from Miranda deceiving people around her as she seems to think that she can keep things from people to prevent undesirable situations unfolding. However, this often results in the situation being made worse for her. For example, in one episode Miranda is mistakingly identified as Amanda Barnes (a Global marketing teacher). Amanda had been consulted to make a presentation about her work, however, Miranda goes along with being called Amanda as she is given free drinks and treated with respect. This obviously results in an awkward situation when Miranda has to make the presentation on a subject she has no knowledge on and when the feel Amanda Barnes shows up!
I find Miranda a really likeable character - in fact, I think all the characters and cast are well thought out and each bring something unique and interesting to the show. I think the concept of Miranda is quite unique and is a fantastic way for Miranda to showcase her comical talents.

Final thoughts

Overall, I think this is the kind of comedy that anybody can enjoy. It isn't offensive in anyway, although there are some sexual jokes which may be inappropriate to a younger audience. It is also easy to follow and the episodes aren't too long which means not a lot of time is required to emerge yourself in it.

Miranda series 1-3 can be purchased on Amazon for £15.99


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This review was read 124 times and was rated at
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exceptional

Comments on this review

  • euphie published 11/03/2017
    e :o)
  • Secre published 07/03/2017
    I find this horrifically and horribly cringy and hate it with a passion... but I can recognise an E review regardless. *shudders*
  • Pointress published 07/03/2017
    E!
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Product Information : Miranda Series 1-3 (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

EAN: 6867441041993

Genre: Comedy

Franchise Name: Miranda

DVD Region: DVD

Actor: Miranda Hart; Patricia Hodge; Sarah Hadfield

Title: M

Classification: 15 years and over

Production Year: 2014

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Listed on Ciao since: 23/10/2014