Are You Being Served?
Are You Being Served? explores the everyday proceedings of the mens and womenswear department at Grace Brothers. Set in the London of the 1970s, when the wars were over and the empire had ended, and everyone was trying to find their place in the new order of things.
The characters are exceptionally well developed and extremely relatable even today, which is saying something for an old British show showcasing the nuances of their class and social structure back in the day. The happiness to be found watching this show comes from its characters.
Working in a store is usually tedious drudgery. I know as I have done it. This show, however, shows us how camaraderie can help make the day pass a bit quicker, a bit more pleasantly. The value of shared lunches and afterwork meetings. Colleagues and friends, both at once.
“Family meeting! Family meeting!”
— Dick Solomon
“Bernard, I have served eleven governments in the past thirty years.
If I had believed in all their policies, I would have been passionately committed to keeping out of the Common Market, and passionately committed to going into it…
… A nationalisation freak and a privatisation maniac; but above all, I would have been a stark-staring, raving schizophrenic.”
— Sir Humphrey Appleby
“Education in this country is a disaster. We’re supposed to be preparing children for a working life. Three quarters of the time they’re bored stiff!”
”Well I should have thought that being bored stiff for three quarters of the time was an excellent preparation for working life.”
— Jim Hacker & Sir Humphrey