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Friday, 19 October 2007

Vote for 'Mrs. Pritchard' – from

The theme of outsiders revolutionizing government has always been popular in Hollywood, which, long before Ronald Reagan - and "Dave" - gave us Jimmy Stewart in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."

But it turns out Americans aren't the only ones who can get romantic about politics.

PBS' "Masterpiece Theatre" launches its 37th season this weekend with "The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard" (9 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 18, Channel 12), a miniseries about a supermarket manager (Jane Horrocks) who gets herself elected prime minister of Great Britain.

Even in Britain, which has had more experience than the United States in being led by a woman (more than one if you count the queen), Ros Pritchard's rapid rise to power plays like a bit of a fairy tale.

But that's more than half the fun of "The Amazing Mrs. Pritchard," whose first exhilarating episode is followed by a few reality checks, both political and personal.

By the end, you might feel as if you're watching a different series altogether.

If you want to know how the British entertainment industry really feels about the United States and the war in Iraq - and about those in their country that have supported both - you've only to turn to Hugh Grant's portrayal of a Yank-resistant British PM in "Love Actually."

Or to Ros Pritchard, whose down-to-earth approach to politics doesn't rule out some George Bush-bashing along the way.

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