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Nolly on PBS Masterpiece

Anybody watch the first episode tonight? It’s great. Helena Bonham Carter is absolutely hilarious as a soap actress in the 1980s who is abruptly fired from her show. The soap scenes are fabulous. Was Crossroads really that bad, elder British gays? I want the clone who plays Tony Adams in my bed pronto butbI gather the actor is married to some lucky bastard. I look forward to the next two episodes. I can see Helena and Kate going head to head for the Emmy this year, both playing comic characters.

by Anonymousreply 51April 9, 2024 7:58 PM

Helena Bonham Carter is great in this!!

by Anonymousreply 1March 21, 2024 5:38 AM

That “clone” OP is horny for is Augustus Prew. Augustus played the little shit, Ali, in “About a Boy” opposite Nicholas Hoult.

I hated that little shit with his screechy voice. But interested that he’s still acting now.

by Anonymousreply 2March 21, 2024 12:56 PM

He's all grown up now.

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by Anonymousreply 3March 21, 2024 12:59 PM

I hope he does "Hot in Herre" and "Just a Dream."

by Anonymousreply 4March 21, 2024 3:31 PM

I watched the first episode. I love HBC, she is one of our finest (yet underrated) actresses of our time. However, not that invested in the story so far. Maybe because I'm American and not familiar with this actress she's portraying or the soap ? Though I've read many on-line reviews from British viewers who also were never interested in the soap nor the real actress, and feel the same way.

But it's only 3 episodes, and Augustus Prew is gorgeous - so I'll stick with it.

by Anonymousreply 5March 22, 2024 12:47 AM

It’s hard for me to see HBC in anything of that period and not see Princess Margaret. .

by Anonymousreply 6March 22, 2024 12:49 AM

Augustus Prew turned into a sexy little fucker. Gay and married too.

by Anonymousreply 7March 22, 2024 12:49 AM

It's ok, but it could have been more camp. Apparently, "Crossroads" was a low budget piece of schlock and they could have played that straight and make it a bit more fun. They do get to her sad side, but Bonham Carter is batty as a loon and could do more with the character.

by Anonymousreply 8March 22, 2024 2:17 AM

Wait until the third (and final) episode when Nolly does a regional production of Gypsy!

by Anonymousreply 9March 25, 2024 9:46 PM

I'm recording the show and watched the first one - really liked it and HBC is great in this as is the supporting cast. Too bad there are only 3 episodes. Masterpiece/PBS has some really great series (All Creatures Great and Small, World on Fire, etc). The one BIG draw with these period programs is there are NO cell/mobile phones that seem to co-star in every contemporary show today.

I will wait until episode 3 drops then finish watching the series. I do hope Masterpiece comes out with another program soon.

by Anonymousreply 10March 27, 2024 2:32 PM

It was idiotic not to do the entire story of the real Nolly. She was actually a pioneer in early British television. Kind of like Betty White, she was doing morning shows and chat type shows in 1950s and 1960s. She learned how to fly a plane on camera.

Unlike Betty, she wasn’t appreciated for her contributions. She originated her low cost soap opera and it was popular - not as popular as Coronation Street, but it did well in ratings. She was pulled from the show because British broadcasters were embarrassed to have this middle-aged woman (heading into her senior years) heading up a popular show. They decided an old female dinosaur from early tv wasn’t important. In their eyes, her TV career was a fluke, so they ended it.

There was significant anti Americanism associated with Nolly and her show. Nolly had spent time at CBS in NYC learning how to produce TV shows. She took the American idea of a motel and made it the setting of her soap opera, which angered higher up males because it just wasn’t English, dammmit. They didn’t have motels. But Nolly thought the idea of short stay motels would introduce lots of different types of characters onto the show.

They also made fun of the cheapness of the show. People flubbed their lines, set pieces were cheap and sometimes moved when someone touched them. (All of those things happened on US soap operas too which actually made them more popular in the US because soap addicts lived for the flubs and to spot the microphone.)

Just using this one part of her career as a diva moment for HBC is pointless.

British shows on my PBS station have been sucking lately. The awful Funny Woman is an example. They’re trying to capture the madcap 1960s of swinging London while also being feminist and inclusive of gays and POC. And it just falls flat. It’s too narrow in its scope, the characters are unlikeable, the funny woman isn’t the least bit funny and the acting is subpar. Mostly it has a feeling of squeezing actors into a very limited physical space. It doesn’t have the budget to credibly recreate a slice of the 60s.

Hotel Portofino, Sanditon, Alice and Jack, the incoherent second season of Guilt…PBS, do better, please.

by Anonymousreply 11March 27, 2024 3:34 PM

I saw half of it, until the part she was on the bus. HBC is a nepo baby or "aristocrat" right? I liked her as the dream Saffy Monsoon, and I like her real life antique goth bouffant personality, but I didn't like this much. A different actress would be better for me.

by Anonymousreply 12March 27, 2024 3:51 PM

Lots of episodes of the original”Crossroads” series on You Tube. Wonderful campy nostalgic fun

by Anonymousreply 13March 27, 2024 4:06 PM

Glad to see this thread - enjoying this series as well along with HBC's great performance.

by Anonymousreply 14March 27, 2024 4:54 PM

What makes a hotel a “motel” in Britain. The set looks like a typical hotel.

by Anonymousreply 15March 27, 2024 4:59 PM

R11 - Yes, Funny Woman was mediocre at best. However, Rupert Everett who played Brian Debenham (talent agent) was a treat - a cantankerous curmudgeon doling out quips and odd gestures. Arsher Ali who played Dennis was kinda hot in a subdued way. Too bad that show got 6 episodes whereas Nolly only gets 3.

by Anonymousreply 16March 27, 2024 5:08 PM

Motel = Motor + Hotel

If you've seen [italic]It Happened One Night[/italic], at one point they spend the night at a so-called auto camp, cabins one could rent by the night. Later motels, hotels to which one just drove up, were developed. I can remember sitting in the car while my father went in to rent us rooms for that night during family road trips. That's an American, car-driving nation kind of thing.

by Anonymousreply 17March 27, 2024 11:40 PM

No I don’t watch that crap

by Anonymousreply 18March 27, 2024 11:41 PM

I wish R11 had produced this show. It needs waaay more three episodes if she was that much of a TV pioneer. And I swear they're using the same TV-studio sets, and possibly costumes, as Funny Woman (the *only* reason to watch that was the dreamy Tom Bateman). Still, HBC is great -- especially that scene on the bus with her fans and one non-fan. Nice to see Mark Gatiss, although his fake eyebrows were hilariously bad, and Augustus Prew is not without appeal.

I've said it for *years* -- Masterpiece Theatre ran out of masterpieces long ago. There are SO many series from the 70s and 80s that I would love to see again, and I don't know why they just don't re-air at least one every season. (OK, there are probably massive copyright and royalties issues.) But so many of the series from that era have just disappeared, no streaming or even DVDs (Fortunes of War with Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh comes to mind). Still, I've heard good things about Mister Bates vs. The Post Office, and that's airing in April in the US, I think.

by Anonymousreply 19March 28, 2024 12:01 AM

Here is a 20 minute video about Noele Gordon’s career, including he early days in daytime television

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by Anonymousreply 20March 28, 2024 1:24 AM

The show just kinda lies there. No real point.

by Anonymousreply 21March 28, 2024 1:29 AM

Maybe they didn’t want to do her career story because she kind of got her start by having an affair with the much older, married UK equivalent of Ed Sullivan. After 20 years of claiming he couldn’t leave his wife because he was catholic, he and Nollie broke up and he promptly married a younger woman.

by Anonymousreply 22March 28, 2024 1:33 AM

They should mercy kill Call the Midwife. Half the cast is like 80 years old.

by Anonymousreply 23March 28, 2024 1:34 AM

Augustus Prew is married to Jeffrey Self, an unaccomplished f list non talent who has a creative connection to Cole Escola, currently off Broadway in that Mary Todd Lincoln play Escola wrote. Self and Cole apparently have a pilot at HBO they’ve been trying to get off the ground for the past three years. It’s a very… weird pairing. What would a constantly working English actor have to do with some American non entity?

by Anonymousreply 24March 28, 2024 1:20 PM

HBC did a wonderful job in this role. That montage at the end was very moving.

by Anonymousreply 25April 1, 2024 2:32 PM

Have heard mostly positive things about this, mostly from American viewers who probably don't have the context some UK viewers might. Will give it a try.

by Anonymousreply 26April 1, 2024 2:36 PM

Be sure to read up on Larry Grayson, the camptastic host if The Generation Game who has a visit with Nolly while she's doing Gypsy.

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by Anonymousreply 27April 1, 2024 2:43 PM

Because this was only three episodes when it should have been at least twice that many, there was a lot of Telling not Showing, especially when Nolly told her Gypsy castmates her industry history and how awful men in power are. Would have been nice to actually see all that. Had we seen the Thai woman who spilled the producer's venom to Nolly in Bangkok before? And why keep showing Nolly turning the lights on in her flat? Also: That was a *terrible*-looking production of Gypsy, and HBC just shouted everything slowly.

by Anonymousreply 28April 1, 2024 5:46 PM

I *loved* it and her.

by Anonymousreply 29April 1, 2024 6:11 PM

Some people...

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by Anonymousreply 30April 1, 2024 6:14 PM

HBC was really wonderful in this. Like others, I too wish it had been at least four episodes with more back ground (some sort of an extended montage of her early years and the climb to Crossroads) a bit more of Nolly's last years... one scene of the gay guy crying in the hospital was just not enough.

But again, HBC was great... an actress with a face that moved! Wrinkles in the forehead! Hooray! She was actually expressive.

by Anonymousreply 31April 1, 2024 8:11 PM

Loved the scenes of her struggling with "Sing out, Louise!" and how she managed to get her entrance applause....

by Anonymousreply 32April 1, 2024 10:37 PM

HBC saved this series. It was a bit too disjointed and rushed through. We didn't even find out what her diagnosis was at the end.

In the series, they said GYPSY wouldn't move to the West End because they were going to do a revival on Broadway. That was 1982 - was there ever really a revival in the works ? With who ? The previous revival was 1974 with Angela Lansbury, and the next one was 1989 with Tyne Daly. Was there really a planned one for 1982 ?

by Anonymousreply 33April 2, 2024 12:39 AM

He might have just been saying that, r33.

by Anonymousreply 34April 2, 2024 12:44 AM

R34 Thanks - that's what I wasn't certain of from the show.

I also Googled her and found out she had stomach cancer which she died from in 1986.

by Anonymousreply 35April 2, 2024 12:48 AM

^^^^ Meant 1985.

by Anonymousreply 36April 2, 2024 12:49 AM

Stage images...

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by Anonymousreply 37April 2, 2024 1:31 AM

Call Me Madam

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by Anonymousreply 38April 2, 2024 1:50 AM

Oh no, they did another season of the incoherent Guilt and are running it this week on my PBS station. No thanks. The entire show is made up of scenes of people threatening each other.

“Oh aye, ya were in the fairst series, were ye? Then yid better get ow my way, ye hear? Or I’ll see to it yer locked up and tortured far eternity!”

“Says who? I’ll tartyer YOO ta death an then I’ll tartyer yer whole family and then I’ll tartyer yer dog!”

“Yoo can’t do nuthin ta me because I know a fella…and he knows yoo…ya unnerstan wutt I mean?”

“No, I doon’t ken….but I’ll tell yoo this…I’ll kill ya!”

“No, I’ll kill YOO!”

by Anonymousreply 39April 7, 2024 5:17 PM

UK here.

Crossroads was dreadful. My mother watched it every day, but it was terrible.Wobbly sets, actors forgetting their cues as well as their lines, and atrocious plots. Victoria Wood was given plenty of inspiration for Acorn Antiques.

by Anonymousreply 40April 7, 2024 5:45 PM

But the show continued on for seven years after they axed Noele Gordon.

by Anonymousreply 41April 7, 2024 5:51 PM

I'm a bit late finishing up the final episode of Nolly. I really loved this brief series - as others have mentioned, HBC was super - she was Nolly! I usually delete the episodes that I watch off the DVR but kept the final one to re-watch since it was so good. Too bad there weren't more episodes but at least another series 'Mr. Bates vs The Post Office is coming up. I'm also recording Alice & Jack on Masterpiece - haven't watched it yet but I hope it's worthwhile.

I will miss Nolly - since HBC was so wonderful in this series, maybe another role will pop up for her soon - she's a gem.

by Anonymousreply 42April 7, 2024 7:58 PM

Agree R42. Do you watch British soaps?

by Anonymousreply 43April 8, 2024 8:51 AM

The joy of watching British television from the 70s included flimsy sets and actors who could soldier on while holding up both flimsy wall and broken off pieces of bannister.

Doctor Who was famous for having pre-blown up pieces of wall heavily outlined before action sequences and robots teetering on their tow lines (k-9). Period dramas featured modern cars in the background and victorian stories featured seiko wrist watches.

by Anonymousreply 44April 8, 2024 9:15 AM

I’m just about old enough to remember Crossroads (including the fire mentioned in Nolly) and it was terrible, but also lovable and familiar in the way that only soap operas can be, when you spend so much time with fairly predictable characters. It was a British institution, loved more by viewers than by its own producers.

It was an institution, loved by another much-loved British gem, Victoria Wood, who was inspired by it to create Acorn Antiques.

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by Anonymousreply 45April 8, 2024 9:27 AM

R43 - Don't watch 'Soaps' British or otherwise although I do enjoy some of the British comedy series (Keeping Up Appearances) and a few others. I find that PBS has some wonderful series and scan the guide for what's on/coming up. I know BritBox has a ton of selections but streaming prevents me from recording (I think) the shows I want to watch on my time. With the nice weather finally here I spend more time outside and don't want to be tethered to the TV.

I did re-watch the final episode of Nolly last evening. I was just as good as the first viewing. Nolly's 'departure' was very sad and reminded me of my mothers passing 36 years ago. She wasn't a soap star - just someone who was a good person that made some bad choices, then moved forward and changed things but not soon enough. We are here for such a brief moment - just a blip really.

I'm researching Helena Bonham Carter and her other work - she is a gem.

by Anonymousreply 46April 8, 2024 10:28 AM

[quote]What makes a hotel a “motel” in Britain.

The big ol' 'mo at the front desk.

by Anonymousreply 47April 8, 2024 3:07 PM

[quote]I'm researching Helena Bonham Carter and her other work - she is a gem.

She also did a warm and credible Elizabeth...

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by Anonymousreply 48April 8, 2024 3:17 PM

Maybe I divert the thread for a moment to tell fellow PBS lovers to look for the "Walter Presents" programs.

They are multi-part dramas and mysteries from other European counties.

So far I have watched programs from Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, and currently Holland, "In Flanders Fields".

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by Anonymousreply 49April 8, 2024 3:23 PM

I suspect that many DLers already know this, but for the uninitiated: Fanny Cradock was a similarly tragic British TV personality who was "canceled" after a particularly monstrous TV appearance in 1976. She died ignominiously and nearly forgotten years later. "Fear of Fanny" is an excellent biopic about her starring Julia Davis, and is available for free on YouTube. If you liked Nolly, you'll like this.

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by Anonymousreply 50April 8, 2024 9:01 PM

Here's an amusing clip of Helena 'Boom Boom' Carter on the Graham Norton Show. I've watched a number of interviews w/her and she is so unique and quirky - I feel that some of that was evident in her role as Nolly. Before viewing the interviews, I had only seen her in the various movies and such and now I appreciate her even more. Plus, she is extremely pleasant to look at!

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by Anonymousreply 51April 9, 2024 7:58 PM
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