French Fields: Complete Collection
by Elaine Hegwood Bowen
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French Fields: Complete Collection is the sequel to Fresh Fields, where the Fields’ couple has hilarious circumstances heaped upon them. However, they always manage to pull together and take care of business.
The British situation comedy Fresh Fields originally aired on England`s ITV network from 1984 through 1986. Written by John T. Chapman and produced for Thames Television, it took place in a domestic setting, following the adventures of a suburbanite couple, Hester Fields (Julia McKenzie) and William Fields (Anton Rodgers).
Situations revolved around homemaker Hester`s persistent and often comedic attempts to improve her life or attempt new hobbies, while the exasperated William went off to the proverbial salt mines. Several years later, a sequel appeared. French Fields (1989-1991) found the listless couple relocating to France in search of a new life, and followed their adventures in that country. French Fields lasted three series of six episodes each, all of which appear in this box set, full and complete as they originally aired.
French Fields: Complete Collection is a classic domestic comedy in the tradition of I Love Lucy. The two are lighthearted empty nesters who, frankly, can use a change of pace. William complains about the daily commute, while waiting for Hester to finish dinner, all the while figuring out which wine would be best for the night.
In one episode William and his wife decide that they will move. As they tell their daughter, she is really upset, even though she doesn’t live in the same English town as her parents. Once Hester figures out that the daughter might be agreeable with the move, she is now on the road to finding a rental unit in France and to, as well, rent out their home in England.
On moving day, William has it all figured out—to the minute with the new mattress delivery, the movers, maintenance men and the new family, who is anxious to move into their new digs.However, one maintenance guy comes a bit too early, and William’s plans are thrown out the window. In the end, the house is filled with people, and the last group to arrive is the new Asian tenants. It’s hilarious watching everyone greet the family by bowing their heads. Once William and Hester are on the boat to go over to France, they discover that their passports are on the moving van. It’s one hitch after another, but one hilarious ride after another, while watching the Fields finagle their way out of one mess after another.
Fresh Fields: Complete Collection is available from Acorn Media on February 28 on DVD. Visit www.acornonline.com
Elaine Hegwood Bowen is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago, who also serves as a news editor for FilmMonthly.com
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