This witty series from the '80's concerned the antics of a young Merseyside couple who to say the least are chalk and cheese. Brenda Wilson is a 'people watcher' from Liverpool who fills her days by watching people from all walks of life go about their daily business whilst assessing them and guessing what their name is and what they do for a living. Whilst in her local pub with her sister, the older and certainly more wiser Pam ( the gorgeous Liza Tarbuck ), she meets quiet young birdwatcher Malcolm Stoneway who is from Meols on the Wirral and rides a clapped-out motorbike ( complete with sidecar ) and still lives at home with his dragon of a mother ( played wonderfully by the late Patsy Byrne, who will no doubt be locked in viewers' minds as Nursie from 'Blackadder II' ).
Somewhat improbably, the feisty Brenda seems to find herself somewhat attracted to Malcolm who, let's face it, is something of a wimp. Over the course of the seven series, there was an air of 'will they, won't they?' ( like in John Sullivan's earlier 'Just Good Friends' which starred Jan Francis and Paul Nicholas ). Things looked bleak for Malcolm and Brenda at one point when Malcolm married Lucinda ( Elizabeth Morton ), however the marriage soon dissolved and on 4th April 1993, fans got the happy ending they had long been waiting for in the final episode, 'Knotting', in which Malcolm and Brenda finally made it to the altar.
Jim Hitchmough's scripts, whilst sometimes lacking in depth and subtlety were nevertheless consistently funny and gentle. Paul Bown and sexy Emma Wray were fine as the romantic leads. Wray also sang the show's theme tune 'What Does He See In Me?'. However, it was Tarbuck and Byrne who stole the show. Their involvement in Brenda and Malcolm's affairs were often the best part of the show. Perry Fenwick was also of good value in those episodes he appeared in as Malcolm's friend Terry Milton.
In later episodes, Brenda seemed to mature and stopped regarding bird-watching as a chore. In fact, she later came to enjoy it. Pam later got married to David ( John Bowler ) with whom she gave birth to his two daughters, Sarah and Zelda.
Throughout the '90's ( and the early noughties ), 'Watching' was repeated on Granada Plus but since its closure in 2004, it has been pretty much shelved, though it was released by Network DVD in 2006. Give it a bash. Like bird-watching, it may be hard to get into at first but the end results are ultimately worth it.
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