A Bit of a Do: Complete Collection was released on DVD June 29 by Acorn Media. A Bit of a Do is a British comedy that stars David Jason (A Touch of Frost, Only Fools), Nicola Pagett (Upstairs, Downstairs), David Thewlis (Harry Potter, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas), Stephanie Cole (Doc Martin), Gwen Taylor (Barbara), and Michael Jayston (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy). The comedy was written by award-winning novelist and screenwriter David Nobbs (The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin) and is based on his books.
A Bit of a Do originally appeared on ITV in 1989 and ran for two series (or seasons as we would say in the US). Series one contains six episodes and series two contains seven episodes. The Complete Collection includes all 13 episodes which run for a total of 658 minutes. It hasn’t yet appeared on television in the US. A Bit of a Do won four British Comedy Awards including best television series and best actor (David Jason). It also received a BAFTA nomination for best actress (Gwen Taylor).
A Bit of a Do is about two couples who are united by the shotgun wedding of their two children, Jenny (Sarah-Jane Holm) and Paul (David Thewlis). It takes place in a fictional town in Yorkshire, England. The Simcocks, Rita (Gwen Taylor) and Ted (David Jason), are your stereotypical blue collar working class family. The husband has no tact whatsoever and the wife appears to be perpetually embarrassed and in tears because of everything he says or does. Her aging father seems to be set on doing anything he can to annoy his daughter.
The Rodenhursts, Liz (Nicola Paggett) and Laurence (Paul Chapman), are your stereotypical upper middle class family. The husband is a dentist, which puts them in a totally different social class (in their minds) than the Simcocks. The wife is snobbish and concerned only with getting Ted Simcock into bed, which mildly annoys her husband. My favorite episode was the first when Jenny and Paul get married. I can honestly see some of the scenes really happening and it was just off enough to make me laugh. After that the episodes sometimes seemed a bit too similar, although each was generally good for a laugh or two.
A Bit of a Do is really a series of events, or “do’s,” like weddings, christenings, funerals, etc. where the two couples have to interact because of their children’s relationship. The series is a bit dated because it’s 20 years old and has the typical British humor but if you enjoy British humor, you will enjoy A Bit of a Do. It’s definitely a bit risque and contains quite a few sexual innuendos and antics so it’s more of an an adult show. It contains bonus features including interviews with Nicola Pagett and writer/creator David Nobbs and cast filmographies. The series is contained on four discs.