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Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Lark Rise to Candleford, BBC1

Did we like it?
We felt we'd overindulged on Christmas confectionery when it was over, but this feelgood festive episode of the costume drama was lovely to consume.

What was good about it?
• The niceness of it all. Decent people trying to do the right thing is a TV rarity and Lark Rise to Candleford carries it off without becoming too sugary. There's adversity and there is friction – but solutions are found and good nature wins through. We love being cynical but there's always room for TV to allow us to shed that derisive attitude once in a while (even if that once in a while is invariably 8pm on a Sunday).
• Fine performances from the main cast (some of the kids were a bit stage schooly) especially Julia Sawalha who is heading for national treasure status with her portrayal as post mistress extraordinaire Dorcas Lane.
• Dawn French pitched her uncouth Ma Arless role perfectly, with none of her usual overacted mannerisms in order to get our sympathy.
• The best carol singing climax to a TV drama since Meg Richardson gathered all the Crossroads staff in her sitting room.
• Sheridan Smith's guest role as a ghost with the haunting catchphrase of: "The wind do blow".

What was bad about it?
• The sprayed-on frost and snow on trees that, mysteriously for Christmas, retained their leaves.

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