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Miranda (TV series)

Miranda (TV series)

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Miranda is a BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 television series co-written by and starring comedienne Miranda Hart
Miranda Hart
Miranda Katharine Hart Dyke , known professionally as Miranda Hart, is an English actress, writer and stand-up comedienne. She writes and stars in the BBC sitcom Miranda...

, which first aired on BBC Two
BBC Two
BBC Two is the second television channel operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom. It covers a wide range of subject matter, but tending towards more 'highbrow' programmes than the more mainstream and popular BBC One. Like the BBC's other domestic TV and radio...

 on 9 November 2009. The situation comedy also features Sarah Hadland
Sarah Hadland
Sarah Hadland is an English actress who has a career spanning theatre, film, and television and as a voice-over artist.-Early life and education:...

, Tom Ellis
Tom Ellis (actor)
Tom Ellis is a Welsh actor best known for playing Dr. Oliver Cousins in the BBC soap opera EastEnders and Detective Sergeant Sam Speed in a Life on Mars parody on the The Catherine Tate Show...

, Patricia Hodge
Patricia Hodge
Patricia Ann Hodge is an English actor.-Early life:The daughter of the Royal Hotel owner/manager Eric and his wife Marion , Hodge attended Wintringham Girls' Grammar School on Weelsby Avenue in Grimsby and then St...

, James Holmes
James Holmes (actor)
James Holmes is a West Midlands-born comedy actor, best known for playing the character of Clive in the 2009 BBC sitcom Miranda. He has appeared in various off-West End and regional theatre productions, including playing Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest for the New Players Theatre...

 and Sally Phillips
Sally Phillips
-Career:Sally Phillips was the only woman in the 1990 Oxford Revue THRASH which also starred Ed Smith. She did nine consecutive Edinburgh Festivals, appearing in shows such as Ra-Ra-Rasputin, Arthur Smith's version of Hamlet and Cluub Zarathustra with Simon Munnery, Stewart Lee, Richard Thomas,...

. The series is based on Hart's semi-autobiographical writing and followed a television pilot and the BBC Radio 2
BBC Radio 2
BBC Radio 2 is one of the BBC's national radio stations and the most popular station in the United Kingdom. Much of its daytime playlist-based programming is best described as Adult Contemporary or AOR, although the station is also noted for its specialist broadcasting of other musical genres...

 comedy Miranda Hart's Joke Shop.

Described as an "old-fashioned" sitcom, it received positive comments from critics and Hart won the 2009 Royal Television Society
Royal Television Society
The Royal Television Society is a British-based educational charity for the discussion, and analysis of television in all its forms, past, present and future. It is the oldest television society in the world...

 award for comedy performance for her role in the first series. A second series was commissioned and filming started in mid 2010. The series began airing on BBC Two and BBC HD on 15 November 2010. A third series has been commissioned and it will air on BBC One
BBC One
BBC One is the flagship television channel of the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom. It was launched on 2 November 1936 as the BBC Television Service, and was the world's first regular television service with a high level of image resolution...

.

Situation



Miranda (Miranda Hart
Miranda Hart
Miranda Katharine Hart Dyke , known professionally as Miranda Hart, is an English actress, writer and stand-up comedienne. She writes and stars in the BBC sitcom Miranda...

) is 6 in 1 in (1.85 m) tall and gets called 'Sir' once too often. She has never fit in with her old boarding school friends, Tilly (Sally Phillips
Sally Phillips
-Career:Sally Phillips was the only woman in the 1990 Oxford Revue THRASH which also starred Ed Smith. She did nine consecutive Edinburgh Festivals, appearing in shows such as Ra-Ra-Rasputin, Arthur Smith's version of Hamlet and Cluub Zarathustra with Simon Munnery, Stewart Lee, Richard Thomas,...

) and Fanny (Katy Wix
Katy Wix
Katy Wix is a Welsh actress who has appeared in Not Going Out, Comic Relief Special, Rush Hour, Miranda and Torchwood.She also has numerous recurring roles in Horrible Histories...

), and finds social situations awkward, especially around men. She is a constant disappointment to her mother Penny (Patricia Hodge
Patricia Hodge
Patricia Ann Hodge is an English actor.-Early life:The daughter of the Royal Hotel owner/manager Eric and his wife Marion , Hodge attended Wintringham Girls' Grammar School on Weelsby Avenue in Grimsby and then St...

), who is desperate for her to get a proper job and a husband. Although Miranda owns and lives above her own joke shop, she lacks any real capacity for business, so it is managed by her childhood friend Stevie Sutton (Sarah Hadland
Sarah Hadland
Sarah Hadland is an English actress who has a career spanning theatre, film, and television and as a voice-over artist.-Early life and education:...

). The restaurant next door is run by Clive (James Holmes
James Holmes (actor)
James Holmes is a West Midlands-born comedy actor, best known for playing the character of Clive in the 2009 BBC sitcom Miranda. He has appeared in various off-West End and regional theatre productions, including playing Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest for the New Players Theatre...

), who also works as a waiter. He has employed a chef - Gary Preston (Tom Ellis
Tom Ellis (actor)
Tom Ellis is a Welsh actor best known for playing Dr. Oliver Cousins in the BBC soap opera EastEnders and Detective Sergeant Sam Speed in a Life on Mars parody on the The Catherine Tate Show...

), a university friend whom Miranda fancies. The various episodes revolve around this set-up.

Production


Abigail Wilson, who worked for comedians Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders
Jennifer Saunders
Jennifer Jane Saunders is an English comedienne, screenwriter, singer and actress. She has won two BAFTAs, an International Emmy Award, a British Comedy Award, a Rose d'Or Light Entertainment Festival Award, two Writers' Guild of Great Britain Awards, and a Peoples Choice Award.She first came into...

, suggested Hart pitch a show to the BBC after seeing her perform in 2003. Following a read-through of her script with Saunders and BBC executives, a television pilot, based on her semi-autobiographical writing, was filmed in early 2008, and the series was then developed into a sitcom for radio; Miranda Hart's Joke Shop aired on BBC Radio 2
BBC Radio 2
BBC Radio 2 is one of the BBC's national radio stations and the most popular station in the United Kingdom. Much of its daytime playlist-based programming is best described as Adult Contemporary or AOR, although the station is also noted for its specialist broadcasting of other musical genres...

 in August and September 2008. A television series was commissioned in August 2008 and began filming in June 2009. Outdoor shots for Series one were filmed in Hounslow, West London.

In an interview with the BBC's Writersroom, Hart said of the semi-autobiographical basis for the series:

Well I developed this stand-up persona, and that's where it all started from. I realised I was getting laughs being a version of me, and that's what ended up in the sitcom. You do ultimately start from yourself but I'm pleased to say I did have to exaggerate for comedic effect. It wasn't entirely autobiographical. I'm not quite that mad.


Each episode begins with a 'Previously in my life ...' segment, and Hart says a joke shop is the "right place" as the setting after being asked to consider an office to "normalise" the character. Her love of 1970s comedy programmes, such as Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em
Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em
Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em was a BBC situation comedy, written by Raymond Allen and starring Michael Crawford and Michele Dotrice.The series followed the accident-prone Frank Spencer and his tolerant wife Betty through Frank's various attempts to hold down a job, which frequently end in...

, is the influence for Miranda. The episodes end with a 'You have been watching ...' credits section where each cast member waves goodbye, as seen concluding Jimmy Perry
Jimmy Perry
Jimmy Perry OBE is an English writer, scriptwriter, producer, author and actor, most famous for devising and co-writing the BBC sitcoms Dad's Army with David Croft.-Education:...

 and David Croft sitcoms like Dad's Army
Dad's Army
Dad's Army is a British sitcom about the Home Guard during the Second World War. It was written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft and broadcast on BBC television between 1968 and 1977. The series ran for 9 series and 80 episodes in total, plus a radio series, a feature film and a stage show...

and Hi-de-Hi!
Hi-de-Hi!
Hi-de-Hi! is a British sitcom that aired on the BBC from 1980-1988. It was set in a holiday camp during the 1950s and 1960s and was written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft, who had written Dad's Army and It Ain't Half Hot Mum. The title was the phrase used to greet the campers and in early episodes...

. Quoted in The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

, Hart says "I'm saying this is what I'm doing and I'm not scared to do it. Some of my comedy peers do slightly fear being a mainstream figure, as if it's slightly uncool. Well, I thought I'm going to embrace it." Throughout each episode, Hart breaks the fourth wall
Fourth wall
The fourth wall is the imaginary "wall" at the front of the stage in a traditional three-walled box set in a proscenium theatre, through which the audience sees the action in the world of the play...

 and addresses the audience directly, a technique described as a "simple creative decision [that] makes this infectious comedy sing"; another critic stated "this is hard to pull off, but it works well".

Following the conclusion of the first series, the BBC commissioned a second series for BBC Two in 2010. Of this, Hart said "I am not only relieved but totally overwhelmed by the response and thrilled that people have enjoyed the series. I am very grateful for all the support and to the BBC for giving me the chance to do another series next year." Filming started during the first weeks of summer, and the new series began broadcast in November 2010. The second series comprises six episodes and will see the return of Miranda's mother and friends, Stevie, Gary and Tilly. For the BBC broadcast, following the end of each episode viewers could press the red button, or go online, to watch Hart interview a guest who had inspired her during the writing of the show. Hart's friend Clare Balding
Clare Balding
Clare Balding is a BBC sports presenter, journalist and jockey.-Early life:In 1989 and 1990, Balding was a leading amateur flat jockey and Champion Lady Rider in 1990....

 was the first guest and they discussed how Balding influenced the character of Tilly. Frank Skinner
Frank Skinner
Frank Skinner is a British writer, comedian and actor. He is best known for his television presenting, often alongside David Baddiel, with whom he also collaborated for the football song "Three Lions."He is a radio presenter on the Saturday morning slot on Absolute Radio.-Youth and early career...

 was interviewed for the second episode. Following the end of episode five, which is a two-hander
Two-hander
Two-hander is a term for a play, movie, or television programme with only two main characters. The two characters in question often display differences in social standing or experiences, differences that are explored and possibly overcome as the story unfolds....

 between Miranda and Penny, the red-button feature saw Hart interview her real-life mother.

In late 2010, Hart announced that she would be filming a special edition of Miranda for Comic Relief
Red Nose Day 2011
Red Nose Day 2011 was a fundraising event organised by Comic Relief. There was a live telethon broadcast on BBC One and BBC Two from the evening of 18 March 2011 to early the following morning as well as a number of run-up events...

. The sketch saw Miranda team up with dancers from Pineapple Dance Studios
Pineapple Dance Studios (TV series)
Pineapple Dance Studios is a docusoap which aired on Sky1 during 2010. The show gave viewers an insight into the world of Pineapple Dance Studios, a London dance complex, and introduced several employees including Louie Spence and Andrew Stone. The show was first broadcast on 14 February 2010 on...

.

Miranda was recommissioned for a third series by BBC Comedy commissioner Cheryl Taylor in January 2011. Hart revealed that the third series might not be ready until 2012, but she may write a Christmas special. The following month it was announced that the third series of Miranda would be shown on BBC One
BBC One
BBC One is the flagship television channel of the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom. It was launched on 2 November 1936 as the BBC Television Service, and was the world's first regular television service with a high level of image resolution...

. In April 2011, Hart announced on The Graham Norton Show
The Graham Norton Show
The Graham Norton Show is a British comedy chat show that is broadcast on BBC One in the United Kingdom. It was originally shown on BBC Two from February 2007 to May 2009 until it moved to BBC One from October 2009...

that she had set herself to start writing the third series the following month. However, Hart revealed in November she had still not started writing the series. That same month it was announced Hart would not be doing a new Christmas special, though the 2010 Christmas episode would be repeated on BBC One.

Reception


The first series was picked as one of the top 10 forthcoming TV shows for Autumn 2009 by The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times
The Sunday Times is a British Sunday newspaper.The Sunday Times may also refer to:*The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times *The Sunday Times...

. Ahead of the first episode airing, Dominic Maxwell in an article for The Times
The Times
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register . The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary since 1981 of News International...

described it as an "old-school" sitcom and said that "It’s good fun, if you buy into it. And if you do, it’s because of Hart." Also describing it as "old-fashioned", Vicky Frost for The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

said of the slapstick
Slapstick
Slapstick is a type of comedy involving exaggerated violence and activities which may exceed the boundaries of common sense.- Origins :The phrase comes from the batacchio or bataccio — called the 'slap stick' in English — a club-like object composed of two wooden slats used in Commedia dell'arte...

 physical comedy that "It's not clever – but it is funny. And that, I think is at the heart of Miranda's appeal." Mark Wright for The Stage
The Stage
The Stage is a weekly British newspaper founded in 1880, available nationally and published on Thursdays. Covering all areas of the entertainment industry but focused primarily on theatre, it contains news, reviews, opinion, features and other items of interest, mainly to those who work within the...

said that Hodge gives a "brilliant, brilliant performance" and that "what sets Miranda out as something special is Hart herself, and the rest just gels around her." The first series opened with 2.5 million viewers (10% audience share), rising to 3 million viewers (12% share) for the fourth episode.

The second series opened with 3.19 million viewers, rising to 4.01 million viewers for the third episode. Rachel Tarley from the Metro said Miranda is an acquired taste and that an episode can be a mixed bag. However, Tarley enjoyed the festive episode of series 2, saying "Hart got away with a lot of the more irritating qualities of her work, with help from the fantastic Patricia Hodge and Sally Phillips. Tonight was also the first we saw of Miranda's father, played by Tom Conti, who filled most of the episode's falling-over quota, so that Miranda finally remained pretty vertical throughout the episode." She added that Hart is "a great observer of everyday dilemmas" and the best thing of all is she left the door open for a third series. Dominic Cavendish of The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

called Miranda "the sitcom of the year", while Chris Harvey of the same newspaper said "The truth is, pretty much every time Miranda turns and looks at the camera, I burst out laughing. And even when her slapstick is so obvious it wouldn't confuse a small child [..] I still laugh. Even when I'm trying not to. Even when I really, really don't want to." Meanwhile, Catherine Gee said the show was a flop and listed six reasons why, which included unoriginal jokes, Hart's asides to the camera and the show retaining "the worst aspects of the sitcoms of yesteryear."

Awards and nominations


In March 2010, Hart won the comedy performance prize at the 2009 Royal Television Society
Royal Television Society
The Royal Television Society is a British-based educational charity for the discussion, and analysis of television in all its forms, past, present and future. It is the oldest television society in the world...

 Awards for her role; the series was also nominated for the scripted comedy and comedy writing (for Hart, Cary and Hurst) awards. The series also gained two nominations at the 2010 British Academy Television Awards
British Academy Television Awards
The British Academy Television Awards are presented in an annual award show hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts . They have been awarded annually since 1954, and are analogous to the Emmy Awards in the United States.-Background:...

: scripted comedy and female comedy performance for Hart. Both Hart and Hodge received "Best Actress" nominations at the 2010 Monte Carlo Television Festival
Festival de Télévision de Monte-Carlo
The Monte-Carlo Television Festival was created in 16-20 January 1961 by Prince Rainier III of Monaco, who wished to “encourage a new art form, in the service of peace and understanding between men”....

.

In November 2010, Miranda was nominated for "Best Comedy Programme" at the Broadcast Awards. In January 2011, the show won "Best New British TV Comedy" at the British Comedy Awards
British Comedy Awards
The British Comedy Awards is an annual awards ceremony in the United Kingdom celebrating notable comedians and entertainment performances of the previous year.-History:...

, while Hart won "Best TV Comedy Actress" and the "People's Choice Award For The King Or Queen Of Comedy 2010". Miranda was also nominated for "Best Sitcom". Hart won "Best Comedy Performance" and Miranda was named "Best Scripted Comedy" at the Royal Television Society Awards in March 2011. Juliet May received a nomination for best director at the 2011 British Academy Television Craft Awards
British Academy Television Craft Awards
The British Academy Television Craft Awards are presented in an annual award show hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts . They have been awarded annually since 1999.-External links:*...

. Hart and the show received nominations from the British Academy Television Awards
British Academy Television Awards 2011
The 2011 British Academy Television Awards were held on 22 May 2011. The nominations were announced on 26 April.Graham Norton hosted the ceremony.-Nominations:*Actor**Jim Broadbent — Any Human Heart...

for Female Performance in a Comedy Role and the YouTube Audience Award respectively.