In WW2 France, Rene Artois runs a small café where Resistance fighters, Gestapo men, German Army officers and escaped Allied POWs interact daily, ignorant of one another’s true identity or presence, exasperating Rene.
This is one of my favourite sitcoms, certainly one of my favourite British sitcoms. There’s a lot of silliness in the plots, which is likely to put a few people off, but I love it. Not only are the plots fun, with a number of them arcing across episodes and even series – this is unusual in the world of sitcoms and helps to make this stand out from the crowd – but there’s a veritable crowd of good characters to enjoy, on every side of the storyline.
For me the three best characters are Rene Artois, the central character and object of desire for at least half the female characters despite being overweight, bald and occasionally cowardly, Leftenant Gruber, the gay German officer who has a thing for Rene, and Herr Flick of the Gestapo, but all are good, even Officer Crabtree, the British agent who masquerades as a French policeman – he’s annoying but it’s deliberate so it doesn’t bother me as it might otherwise.
Watching this show I can just imagine the fun the cast must have had on set and wish I was part of it.
If you’ve not seen this yet, check it out and see why British sitcoms were considered so good once upon a time.