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On The Air

1990 - 1995

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Keeping Up Appearances [8.9]

Keeping Up Appearances Plot Summary

Keeping Up Appearances was one of the best and most popular British sitcoms, or 'Britcoms,' of all time.

Patricia Routledge played Hyacinth Bucket, a woman who pretended to be upper-class but wasn't. To side herself with Britain's top ten percent, Hyacinth insisted her surname be pronounced "bouquet." Her attention to cleanliness, candlelight suppers, and desire to sing gave pain to her husband Richard and her neighbors.

Hyacinth, who once wrote a book of "Etiquette for the Socially Less-Fortunate," wanted to give her skills to anyone she met: the vicar, the postman, the milkman. She shuddered to think of her poor father, living in a run-down house with her sister Daisy and her bare-armed husband, Onslow. Generally, though, the likes of Daisy and Onslow would weigh out, while Hyacinth bowed out.

The brilliance in its tact and humor helped make Keeping Up Appearances, in July 1999, the first Britcom to air in the U.S. with closed-captioning for the hearing-impaired.

However, the show has no conclusion. The last episode 'The Pageant' aired on Christmas Day 1995, but the show was not cancelled here and another series was written. However, Patricia Routledge decided that after 5 years, she did not wish to reprise the role for a sixth series, no matter how much the BBC courted here, and how they did. Routledge went on to star in Hetty Wainthropp Investigates for the BBC. Therefore, there is not actually any decisive ending or finale to the show.




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