French and Saunders

Rating 7.9
Streamer BBC iPlayer
Seasons 6
Episodes 52 x 30 mins

If our readers are anything like Team Must, you’re well ready for a break from all the smarter-than-thou, emotionally intelligent dramedies and are more than ready for a slice of belly-jiggling, knee-slapping silliness. And there are two people who are absolutely certain to give you just that: Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.

The pair are pros at taking the piss out of popular culture, but our millennial readers will be heartbroken to know that with these two that doesn’t mean TikTok dances and Netflix true crime. Nope, we’re back in the 1980s and 90s with these two, parodying industrial action, Gone With the Wind, Madonna and The House of Elliott.

French and Saunders hold nothing back in their skits, making sure they always wind their mockery up a notch. Does someone have big hair? Make it so big it can be seen from space. Someone a bit loud? Break the sound barrier. No joke is too much, no look too silly.

And it’s a testament to their comedic skill is that they can somehow rip something entirely apart, without being even remotely cruel. Instead they ooze chemistry, matching each other perfectly in comedic timing and energy, both of which helped them on their way to becoming iconic figures in British comedy.

Their brilliance has stood the test of time, too. French and Saunders came back for a one off special in 2017, and The Telegraph’s Chris Harvey says: “there was plenty of evidence here to suggest that French and Saunders can still be a vital comic source. The things that make them a perfect double act – French the force of nature, Saunders the one with the crueller cutting edge – are undimmed.” The Times’s Carol Midgely agrees, saying the special “served as a reminder how very good French and Saunders were and still are. And how much of a debt British comedy owes them.”

First shown March 1987. You can watch the trailer by pressing play on the show image, or by clicking here.

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