Type: Documentary

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: 1953-02-01

You Are There - Are You Being Served? - Netflix

Are You Being Served? is a British sitcom created and written by executive producer David Croft (Croft also directed some episodes), and Jeremy Lloyd with contributions from Michael Knowles and John Chapman, for the BBC. Set in London, the show follows the misadventures and mishaps of the staff of the retail ladies' and gentlemen's clothing departments in the flagship department store of a fictional chain called Grace Brothers. The series was broadcast on the BBC for ten seasons, totalling 69 episodes between 8 November 1972 and 1 April 1985 – and would include 5 Christmas specials. There was also a 1977 film, a spin-off series Grace & Favour with some of the same main cast in 1991–92, and a one-off episode with a new cast in 2016. Since its original release, all 69 episodes, comprising ten- series — including the restored pilot, the Christmas specials, the sequel and the film — have been released on DVD. Are You Being Served? was a great success in the UK and was also popular in three other countries of the Commonwealth of Nations (Canada, New Zealand, and Australia), and was successfully aired in The Netherlands and Belgium with Dutch subtitles. The show was also popular in Israel and in the United States, where it gained a loyal and enthusiastic following when PBS television stations began airing reruns of it in the mid-1980s, along with other British sitcoms. In 2004, it was ranked 20th in a television countdown of Britain's Best Sitcom. It is regularly repeated worldwide (BBC Two, Gold and Drama in the UK; PBS BBC America in the United States; and BBC UKTV, Fox Classics and 9Go! in Australia).

You Are There - Critical reception - Netflix

The series gained much of its popularity with TV viewers by “pushing the envelope” through its deliberate-yet-subtle use of risqué visual gags, innuendo-infused dialogue and cleverly-disguised sophomoric humour. These comical devices also attracted some mild criticism, in part for relying on sexual stereotypes and double entendres – e.g., Mrs Slocombe discussing her cat: “Animals are very psychic...the least sign of danger and my pussy's hair stands on end”. John Inman's portrayal of Humphries' over-the-top antics and sharp-tongued, witty responses, along with his trademark catch-phrase “I'm free!”, were enthusiastically embraced by many audience members, and the character evolved into a gay icon in popular culture. Despite this, Inman pointed out that Mr Humphries' true sexual orientation was never explicitly stated in the series, and David Croft said in an interview that the character was not homosexual, but “just a mother's boy”. In an episode of the spin-off Grace & Favour, the character is further described as neither a “woman's man” nor a “man's man” and as being “in limbo”. The characters (Mr Humphries especially) sometimes broke the fourth wall for comical effect.

You Are There - References - Netflix