A Rather English Marriage

PBS, Oct. 3

Don't be put off by the opening--two elderly gents meeting in a hospital as they await the death of their wives. The season premiere of Masterpiece Theatre can be poignant, yes, but just as often it's sly and funny, as Albert Finney, playing a randy former R.A.F. pilot, and Tom Courtenay, a fastidious retired milkman, are thrown into a sort of Odd Couple living arrangement. When Finney sets his sights on a chic divorce (Joanna Lumley, of Absolutely Fabulous), the results are delightfully unpredictable. And the richly nuanced performances are altogether superb.

--By William Tynan

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