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Birds of a Feather, Set 1
Score: 79%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Acorn Media
Region: 1
Media: DVD/1
Running Time: 184 Mins.
Genre: Comedy/TV Series
Audio: English Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH

  • Behind-the-Scenes Featurette

Birds of a Feather: Set 1 is the revival of a British comedy that began in 1989 about a pair of sisters whose lives are turned upside-down when their husbands are sent to prison for robbery. The show went on for some 10 years, and following a 15 year break, the sisters now find themselves once again thrust together after an uncomfortably long and tense separation.

Younger sister Sharon (Pauline Quirke) has been living in a tiny little flat while working at the not-so-illustrious World of Quid, when she bumps into her sister, Tracey (Linda Robson) at a book signing for the hit erotic memoir, Sixty Shades of Green, penned by their favorite author, Foxy Cohen. Little do the ladies know, but Foxy Cohen is actually none other than their man-eating former neighbor and buddy, Dorien Green (Lesley Joseph)! When Tracey discovers the deplorable condition in which Sharon has been living, she offers for her to come back and stay at her house in the upscale town of Chigwell. Tracey reveals that she and her former husband Ralph have called it quits and she shares the home with her teen-aged son Travis (Charlie Quirke, Pauline's real-life son). Before you know it, Dorien is banging on the door, having been sued for copying Fifty Shades of Grey and with all of her assets frozen, she needs a place to stay... and she is offering to pay rent. To make matters worse, older son Garth (Matt Willis), a chef, pops back in from Australia with his girlfriend Marcie (Camilla Beeput, Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime) and her 10-year-old daughter, Poppy (Bethany Attrup). All of a sudden, the house just got incredibly crowded.

Everyone is struggling to find their place. Dorien insists she is paying rent and demands to be treated as if she is in a high-end hotel, expecting Sharon to wait on her hand and foot while she awaits the outcome of her court case, while Garth and Marcie decide to open an Aussie pub, after they throw an impromptu "pop-up dinner" at Tracey's house and it's a huge success. Sharon longs to quit working at World of Quid, and when Dorien's financial situation becomes a bit more dire than she had realized, Tracey encourages her to go apply there. Much to Sharon's chagrin, Dorien snags the manager's position because of her charm and education and sets out to whip the place into shape, especially where Sharon, or Shal as Tracey often calls her, is concerned. Hilarity and insanity ensue.

This mish-mash family has all sorts of craziness happen to them, including constant financial worry, Shal's ex mysteriously coming back into her life, a secret stash being found in the attic, Tracey's boss and his romantic and weird pursuit of her, and of course, Dorien's legal troubles. The interaction between the women is pretty funny and I especially love the nonsense and insults that go back and forth between Dorien and Shal. Dorien is quite an outlandish character and watching her run around in her tight leather pants and stiletto heels, while being mocked in Shal in her sweats is a constant form of amusement.

To be fair, I have no history with Birds of a Feather, although I looked for it on Netflix to see if I could see an old episode to get an idea of the show. That being said, when I first started watching, the comedy was pretty hokey and silly, complete with canned laughter to boot. I later discovered it is filmed before a live studio audience, and I guess it's more of an acquired taste, as I found myself really enjoying the silliness of the show towards the end. It's a fairly nonsensical show, but it's an enjoyable one. Not as wry as something like Detectorists, but still amusing and a quick watch at only 8 short episodes. The only special feature is a short Behind-the-Scenes featurette, which was fun and gave some background about the show as it was and as it is now. I look forward to seeing what these three ladies get up to in the coming seasons as it is still going strong and has been renewed. If you are a fan of the more goofy British comedy, you'll probably enjoy Birds of a Feather: Set 1.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins
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