The petty jealousy and absurd one-upmanship continues in this final instalment of BBC One’s Mapp and Lucia.
My cringing discomfort at the ridiculousness of the titular characters at times moves me to want to grab them by the kingfisher blue lapels and shout at them that maybe their lives would be a little bit more harmonious if they weren’t such deceitful babies at each other. In the best possible way, I assure you.
There is, admittedly, something intensely satisfying about watching Miranda Richardson’s face expressing thinly-veiled embitterment, transitioning perfectly into faux-cheer every time her interests are thwarted. Frances Barber is effervescent as the loud and laughing Contessa, and the entire Italian-avoidance scheme and the way it resolves itself is by far my favourite thing to happen in this series.
And I do feel for Irene – after all, who wouldn’t fancy the heck out of Anna Chancellor, even if she is playing a pretentious annoyance with a best friend who apparently despairs at the prospect of having to live independently – but honestly, she could do much, much better. You really do have to accept that rolling your eyes at the abhorrent behaviour of this quaint little village’s cast of characters is what makes it so much fun.
The battle seems to be over, but I’m sure the war will rage on until either Miss Mapp or Mrs. Lucas expire from an excess of good living and garden produce.
And even then, I’m sure the surviving lady will find a way of making the funeral all about her instead. Stay classy, darlings.
Aired at 9pm on Wednesday 31 December 2014 on BBC One.
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