Cranford is a delight. Now airing on Masterpiece (they have omitted the “theater” in a ditch effort to seem cool, way too late) it boasts a huge ensemble cast of mostly older talented women. Dame Judy Dench, Eileen Atkins, Julia Sawalha, Imelda Staunton, Lesley Manville, and Julia McKenzie – even if the names are not familiar, their faces will be.
The quaint town of Cranford is the main character in this miniseries based on the 1851 novel by Elizabeth Gaskill. It is an idyllic rural village of English ideals. Cranford is settled very away from the scandalousness and constant change of London and?the women who reside there like it that way.
It is nice sometimes to watch a show about nice people, but before you concern yourself that this is just fluff for grandmas, it is also funny, and full of all the melodrama that comes with simple village life. There is death, romance, and most importantly, wonderful characters.
The first series has just finished airing on PBS, but it is available on DVD. Perhaps Masterpiece would get more viewers if It both advertised it's shows, and replayed them from time to time.