Are You Being Served? Again!
|Starring the fan-favorite characters from Are You Being Served?, this show takes the upscale-department-store crew out into the country, where they strive to run one of Mr. Grace's country estates as a bed-and-breakfast place. Naturally, knowing this cast as we fans already do, hilarity ensues as the decidedly "city folk" employees try to mix with the rustic lifestyle and live close to the land (VERY close to the land, occasionally!).|
The Grace Brothers Ladies' and Gentlemen's Department Staff
- Mrs. Betty Slocombe
- Mr. Wilberforce Clayborne Humphries
- Miss Shirley Brahms
- Captain Stephen Peacock
- Mr. Cuthbert Rumbold
- Jessica Lovelock (Mr. Grace's secretary)
The Country Estate Staff
- Maurice Moulterd (farmer and livestock tender extraordinaire)
- Mavis Moulterd, his daughter (cook, maid, and farmer's helper)
For a full cast & characters list, check Are You Being Served? Again! on IMDB.
Show Dynamics (Spoilers)
The clash of "city vs. country" is thoroughly milked (to pardon the pun) in this series, as the Grace Brothers staff works to acclimatize to life in the country. Life is very, very different among the cows and chickens, as they all find out!
Much is made over the fact that Mr. Humphries has to share a bed with Mavis, the farmer's daughter...even though we, as the audience, know that absolutely NOTHING is going on, everyone else suspects the opposite.
As in "Are You Being Served?", Mrs. Slocombe plays mother to her former co-workers, though it takes on a slightly different dimension now that they are all equals and they are all living together as well as working together.
According to Mr. Moulterd, Mrs. Slocombe was not always the posh, highbrow lady she is today...let's just say he has some rather racy memories. LOL!
The sexual tension between Captain Peacock and Miss Brahms eases, quickly replaced by tension between him and Miss Lovelock. One gets the distinct feeling Miss Lovelock likes leading Captain Peacock on, but never intends to make good on any flirtation, while Peacock is rather blissfully ignorant.
Mavis Moulterd provides a shot of down-home, tomboyish femininity that tends to shock everyone, but she's also very practical and helps the group get out of several jams. She also fears and reveres her father, who is not averse to using "the strap" as punishment.
Why Did This Show Only Go 12 Episodes?
My personal opinion is that this show had two factors against its success.
First, it was not billed as "Are You Being Served? Again!" when it first came out--it was called "Grace and Favour." Most people, then, probably didn't know that it was a sequel series to AYBS. Only when it was released in America did it get the proper title, but by then it was a little late to re-publicize it.
Second, the show concept was funny, but it made for a very different show from AYBS. There was less of the hierarchical jockeying and tension we'd all come to love on the show, plus there was less room for the musical and dance performances we'd enjoyed (though they did make room for one or two!). I'm probably one of the rare few who enjoys both shows for what they are.
I really wish AYBS: Again! had been able to run more than 12 episodes, and indeed they were expecting that it would run longer. I think it had more life in it than that, but money talks, I guess. Sad :/