Durrells everywhere

Last year when the Durrells first appeared on ITV I wrote a fairly critical piece about it in The Times – and then enjoyed the series. With all that sun, sea, landscape and good humour, what did it matter that the characters bore no relation to anyone who’d ever actually lived there? As I wrote, ‘The family must appeal to some fundamental need we all have for there to have been a time when Corfu was bathed in perpetual summer sunshine, the English were regarded by a benign peasantry as ‘little lords’ and eccentricity had free reign.’

But this time, the charm is waning. I suppose, weirdly, I feel most protective towards Larry, who after all was a man of iridescent charm and charisma, who cared passionately about literature and was endlessly cruel to his nearest and dearest. And who was above all wonderfully funny. Someone – Theodore? – described him as a small blond firework, but the TV Larry has as much literary fire in his belly as a dough ball.

So I’ve stopped watching. Which is a shame, as the actor who plays Gerry is terrific. And so is the pelican. But still …


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