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Friday, 19 October 2007

Cast your vote for the grocer - from South Florida

What becomes of Britain when a supermarket manager, new to politics, impulsively runs for office — and wins?

In The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard, Ros Pritchard (Jane Horrocks) uses her power as prime minister to institute a one-day-a-week car ban and to propose moving the seat of power from London to the suburbs. She even suggests the British royalty is archaic and no longer needed.

Peppered with salty language, this light-hearted five-part BBC miniseries, airing as part of PBS's Masterpiece Theatre, follows Ros' political rise, beginning with her "Purple Party" candidacy and her surprise victory.

Aided by her all-woman cabinet, Ros works quickly to get up to speed on issues. She meets with heads of state while juggling the demands of her husband, Ian (Steven Mackintosh), and two daughters. Her family is ambivalent about Ros' newfound ambition, and a secret of Ian's could derail her career.

Writer Sally Wainwright said she created Ros out of her own dissatisfaction with England's political choices in the 2005 national election.

"Ros reminded me of a very bright but ordinary woman," she said. "People go into that situation with ideals and optimism, then are shocked by the reality of dealing with people who don't think like they do."

The miniseries airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on WXEL-Ch. 42, at 10 p.m. on WPBT-Ch. 2.

Tom Jicha
TV and Radio Writer
October 20, 2007,0,4524905,print.column

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