The Lovers (1970),Sadie, It's Cold Outside (1975) and Wide-Eyed and Legless (1993)
This chapter discusses three television love story serials: The Lovers, Sadie, It's Cold Outside and Wide-Eyed and Legless. The comically unresolved courtship of the young protagonists in The Lovers, set at a moment at the end of the 1960s when it seemed that the Permissive Society had arrived but that the phrase always referred to other people, is succeeded in Sadie, It's Cold Outside by a comic portrait of middle-aged jadedness also suited to its historical setting in the mid-1970s. Wide-Eyed and Legless is more naturalistic, in keeping with its basis on a true story and with Rosenthal's late televisual style. The film's humour operates both intra- and extra-diegetically, for the audience's sake and as a way for the married protagonists to relate to each other. In each, the central female character is in her own way an unruly figure of the kind described by sitcom critics as excessive in behaviour and opinion, rejecting a life of domesticity and good motherhood.
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