The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff

A couple nights ago a show called The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff aired on BBC2. It’s a parody of Charles Dickens’s novels and its a sort of mix of Dickens and Alice in Wonderlandishness. Stephen Fry, the evil lawyer, has a top hat that grows taller with a crank, Jedrington’s adopted aunts and uncle, named after virtues are Aunt Chastity, Aunt Sobriety, Aunt Good Spelling, and Uncle Writes Prompt Thank You Cards, and his wife becomes a treacle fiend, never mind laudanum or gin. And lots of parodying of Dickensian language (think “lovington softie boots”). It’s all really silly, but really funny. My favorite part… Jedrington’s uncle tells him there’s something more to Jedrington, and it has something to do with his name. Jedrington? No, his other name. Secret-past? Well, what other meaning could that possibly have?

I don’t think The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff is coming to American anytime soon, but those in the UK can look forward to three more 30 minute episodes this winter.