16 thoughts on “The Durrells in Corfu and Other Nasty Animals

  1. I think it depends on whether you know the books well – not seen these, but I read all the books as a kid, and even though they could all be pretty awful to each other, there’s also a ton of affection and random acts of kindness, and they clearly had a shared sense of humour which could be quite deadpan. Was recently reminded of this exchange from the books.

    “‘It’s all your fault, Mother,’ said Larry austerely; ‘you shouldn’t have brought us up to be so selfish.’
    ‘I like that!’ exclaimed Mother. ‘I never did anything of the sort!’
    ‘Well we didn’t get as selfish as this without some guidance,’ said Larry.”

    Also, the books show that there were a LOT of friendships among the family and the Greeks, not just Theo and Spiro. Sounds like the adaptation isn’t that great as an adaptation…..

  2. I also was turned off by the irritating Family. Maybe I’ll watch on DVD where I can fast forward. Costumes were okay, but as I previously mentioned it was irritating, so I didn’t really look.

  3. Maybe it’s more of a British sensibility, I found it pretty charming (I have read the books though) it was very popular in the UK too. Most of the costumes are original 30s pieces from Cosprop.

    1. Not surprised that the costumes are originals — it’s a very lovely show to look at! Excellent art direction, not just by using period pieces, but the choices.

  4. I completely agree! I remember loving the previous TV movie “My Family and Other Animals” from 2005 with Imelda Staunton as the mother and Matthew Goode as Larry. The family seemed real, but overall loving and amusing. I barely got through two episodes of this new version, even though the set and costumes are lovely. Like Downton, I just couldn’t watch people being so utterly awful to each other.

  5. I’ve become invested in Gerry and his animals. He has a pet pelican that he takes on walks!

  6. I actually love the realism of the constant bickering and taking each other for granted. They do love each other but they’re each going through tremendous transitions–the younger ones to adulthood, Gerry to a teen, Larry to a professional writer, and Mum to a dating single woman again. All done in a new locale, a new language and on very little money. They’re “Brit-centric” behavior seems appropriate for the time period. Beautifully done and well acted!

  7. I hated the series — really stupid boring people with typical Brit ethnic superiority attitude. But I did like the clothing, even when the two-piece bathing suit was called a “bikini” (cringe). The dresses were lovely. Otherwise, a yawn.

  8. This series really does divide opinions. I enjoyed it, perhaps because I watched it in the middle of winter. Having teenage sons also helped as I could relate to the Mother , and Keeley Hawes was wonderful as always.Under all the familial bickering there is a lot of affection I felt that came across more in the later episodes. Even Margot improves as the series progresses. She is almost tolerable by the end and the second son is so clearly “messed up” that he becomes pitiable rather than detestable.
    And the setting and costumes made up for a lot of other failings such as the shoehorned in romance and the lack of locals.

  9. That’s disappointing. I saw the 2005 adaptation and loved it, and I really enjoyed the first book in the series (though I must admit I couldn’t get through the second). I can’t access PBS here in Germany but I was hoping to watch the series on DVD eventually. I think I’ll still give it a try as I’m a die-hard Masterpiece fan.

  10. Here it was just called “The Durrells”. Australia tried to market it as “the next Downton Abbey”, which I thought was absolutely ridiculous.
    I never got around to watching The Durrells, but it does give the impression (from the gazillion ads I’ve seen) that it is one that would appeal more to Brits and maybe people in the British Commonwealth.
    But I don’t see myself watching it, as the 1930s are about my least favourite years in all of history, so it holds little appeal to me.

  11. I take back what I previously said about this show.

    I love it. I checked it out from the library and realised it wasn’t Larry having sex in his mother’s home, but a lot more.

    Gerry is a darling child and I love his love of animals. Louisa, the mother is trying to survive on her widows pension. Margo USA teen finding herself and Leslie, well, I’m not really sure.

    They bond when they move to Corfu.

  12. Obnoxious middle class drama which never really explains why this peculiar group of ex-pat misfits garnered enough dosh to move to Greece or how they are living while there. The mum-centered family set up suits today’s single parent vibe. The plum in the voice accents with their accompanying inherent snobbish superiority ensure seamless continuity from the cringeworthy Downtown Abbey that made Upstairs Downstairs look like a work of Shakespeare. Dreamy escapist filming of a Corfoite landscape that no longer exists (except on some rich bastxrd’s private gated estate like the Rothschilds) and has been replaced by an avalanche of cheap concrete package holiday resorts, amenities and totally nondescript villas with tiny pools and an annual deluge of the white working class trash that has turned what used to be paradise on earth on the southern tip of the island into hell on earth with the morality of a modern day Babylon. And this is the show swimming across the nation’s screens that is bigged up here as popular and joyous.

    Give me unpopular and miserable any day rather than this escapist tripe. I think Gerald would have been disgusted!

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