Wednesday, 27 January 2016
328 Maggie and Her
First viewed : January 1978
I may well have seen the first* episode of this sitcom which was broadcast at 7.30 pm on Friday 13th January 1978 but I can't be sure because I heartily disliked the show.
Maggie ( Julia McKenzie ) was a divorced schoolteacher in her mid-thirties living in the same block of flats as Mrs Perry ( Irene Handl ), an outrageous outspoken pensioner who unilaterally took on a maternal role in relation to her flatmate. Maggie generally found her intrusions a blasted nuisance but did have some affection for her. With Handl's Jewish roots , Maggie and Her did have some resemblance to the American sitcom Rhoda .
I had two main problems with the show. One was McKenzie; with her carrot-coloured perm , frumpy frame and bird like features, I couldn't believe that she would have as many male admirers as the storylines required. The other was that although Handl was a good actress , Mrs P's behaviour was just too extreme to be either believable or endearing e.g. the second episode where she gets a job as a dinner lady in Maggie's school and starts insulting the headmistress during their first meeting.
It lasted for two short series, Handl continued working right up to her death in 1987 aged 85. McKenzie looks likely to at least equal that with a long string of credits on both stage and TV screen.
* There was a pilot episode entitled Poppy and Her in 1976.