Our Zoo // Review


Ever since we finished this series called Our Zoo (which was... this Wednesday) me, together with my siblings, have been growling the same thing a few times every day. Why isn't there a season TWO?!!!!!! It pains my SOUL to hear that there won't EVER be another season released of this stinkin fantastic Period Drama series. I am weeping forever; crushed; shattered; doomed; dead. 

(Wow, that got really grave.)

Seriously though. Let me ask you something. WHY ISN'T THERE A SEASON TWO?! I am asking the film-people. WHY. Did the actors insist on stopping? Insist the contrary! Show them who's boss! Did you loose inspiration? Ask your fans! I'll write the script. Did the costume designer die? Find a new one! Did Upton burn down? Of course it didn't. WHY THEN. Wasn't it popular enough? Internet sources insist the contrary thereof - millions are crushed and on their death beds about the end of Our Zoo. Seriously?! You're kidding me? You're just going to keep it with one little series of six episodes? And Frankie so unhappy? And George buying a lion?!! And us not knowing how and what and who and - *splutters helplessly*

You can't just DO that. Wicked child.

(If you stopped because you didn't FEEL like it, I'm afraid I must tell you that I have made up my mind to hate you forever. Apologies in advance. You're welcome.)


JUST LOOK AT THOSE CHARACTERS. I WANT MORE.

*bites lip* *glares*

Okay, I'm done with my rant. I'll calm down, comb my furious hair and wash the angry sweat from my forehead. The review of Our Zoo (poet-and-you-didn't-know-it-alert) may start. There be spoilers, but who cares about SPOILERS. (If you care, kind off avert your eyes from the remainder of this post.)


All right, so "Our Zoo" is a six-episode-long (or should I say, short?) series about the true story of the Mottershead family who move to Chester and, of all the freaking things, decide to start a zoo. As in; buying animals and building 'cages' and all that. But the people in the village, Upton, are dead set against the idea - so they do anything to prevent it, from starting petitions to cutting nets to spreading lies. But in the end, with the help of The Good Ones, they finally get Official Permission and enough money to lend... and then, bam, we hear there isn't a second season and there never will be.

(I'm not going to rant about that again but... seriouuusly.)

The series was such a success in our family. My siblings, many of whom adore animals, loved the fact that it was about 'how Chester zoo started' (one of my siblings went to Chester zoo once, but she said she didn't recognise anything, because duh, this is set in 1930) and I, who doesn't really adore animals, loved the old-fashioned-charm, the adooorable costumes, some of the romances, etc. Different audiences can appreciate this; and I appreciate that in a movie/series. (My dad said it was 'brilliant', and my five-year-old sister loved it. Proof.)


Before I'm going to go through the characters, I'll cover the other aspects of the show.

First, the accents. GAH. I'm suddenly really, really obsessed with the Liverpool accent - and I'll talk in none other. Some of you tell me that if you had a British accent like me, you wouldn't stop talking. Well, I can't stop talking in a Liverpool-ian accent nowadays! It's adorable and I just love it. (Or, should I say, luv it? Yeah, I'll say luv it.) But yes, there are also characters with normal boring British accents, but the Liverpool accents are so precious. (My Granddad was bought up in Liverpool, so I have Liverpool-ian blood. Hashtag proud.)

The music isn't amazing, although the Theme song is nice.

There isn't any content bedroom-scene-nudity-wise, but unfortunately there are swear words sprinkled throughout. Nothing very big, but I have to admit that there was enough to me to think, 'Oh, I'd better mention there's some language, in my review.'


AND THEN THE COSTUMES.

The 30's were just... so glamorous and gorgeous. It might be my favourite time period, actually, fashion-wise. This show really made me fall bam-slap in love the fashion of the 1930 - the shorts, the cuts of the skirts, the gorgeous soft party gowns, the long necklaces, the HATS, and the HAIRSTYLES. My favourite wardrobe probably belonged to Mew, but Lady Catherine's wardrobe was disastrously impeccable, too. And Lizzie and Mew and Frankie's dresses for the auction evening... I'm in love with them.

Basically, watch it for the 30's fashion alone. Amen.


Now I will ramble (Wow, I haven't used that word in eons. Remember when it was so overused on the on this circle of blogs?) about the characters. George Mottershead, leader of the household, pillar of the zoo, decider and perseverer of fulfulling his zooological garden dream deserves to be the first I talk about.

I loved his ridiculously adorable grin (can I get an Amen about that, please? I need an 'I love George Mottershead grin' T-shirt. Just kidding.), I loved it when he left Billy in the bear-cage, I loved it when he told Mew he was proud of her, I loved how he got along so well with June and how he loved her so much, I loved how he loved his wife, I loved how he didn't give up, and I loved how he respected his parents. So yes, a lot of things about him that I loved. :-)

Other things... not so much. I hated the whole plot-that-hinted-he-partly-fell-in-love-with-Lady-Catherine. Those bits drove me crazy, and I'm so glad it ended well. I'm also so glad he acted like a gentleman in London and that he kissed his wife often. (:-P) But what also annoyed me sometimes was his... Robert-Timmins-ish-nature sometimes. If you've seen Lark Rise to Candleford, you know about Robert Timmins - who has his annoying side. George isn't annoying at all, but sometimes he annoyed me. But yeah. He's a good chump in general. Really, he is.


Lizzie!! I LOVE LIZZIE, despite the hiiiighly annoying fact that the movie hinted she had a part-time 'crush' on the Reverend. Luckily that passed quickly. (Why can't couples remain 100% percent faithful 100% of the time please? Thanks.)

Lizzie has THE cutest Liverpool accent in the movie, and I love her hair and her face and her hat. And her piano playing. She's such a brilliant mother, she's such an excellent wife (for the most time) and I love the support she gives her husband and her daughters and her parents-in-law. She really held the family together, she did, and I'd like to be her friend. Loved her!


June! JUNE IS JUST SO ADORABLE. And she's a young writer! I loved how every episode started off with her writing her 'Our Zoo newsletter' - her voice is adorable, and her curls are just... I mean look at her, doesn't she look ridiculously nice? She IS ridiculously nice. She's completely besotted with animals - Mortimer the monkey (mun-keh) is her best friend - and she's complimentary and gorgeous and I loved her. For the first three episodes or so, when most of the characters hadn't yet developed to their best, she was my favourite character.

(Doesn't she look like Shirley Temple but then better?)


Ugh, in the beginning Mew - short for Muriel; not named after the noise of a cat - annoyed me enormously much. My whole family loathed her boyfriend, Alexander, or whatever his name was. We were all jolly happy when Mortimer the monkey ate the lipstick he gave her.

Mew was just so... so DROOPY. Quit feeling sorry for yourself, girl, BE sensible, SERIOUSLY. You're only frikkin' fifteen and you want to go off to New York with an annoying boy. The Zoo was good for her - working was what she needed. I did sympathize with her, though - she's the complete opposite of a tomboy (like me) and I felt her disgust when she had to milk the goat and feed the animals, which was the exact kind of thing she hated. She loved pretty things, and she wanted to be just like Lady Catherine.

By the end of the series, I really liked her - she became so much more sensible, and she found a guy called Archie who's just DA best, and she helps her family by getting a paid job as a typist... I really liked her by the end. She still kind of annoyed me, because of her I'm-so-mature-and-pretty-attitude (which she totally has), but I really loved how she matured as a character. And, I've told you this, but her WARDROBE. So gorgeous.


Despite the fact that her smile is gorgeous and that her wardrobe is even MORE gorgeous, at first I HATED Lady Catherine. I thought, OH NO. A rich blonde single lady who'll drive George away from his wife JUST NO. And I did think that for several episodes, because she often talked to him as if she were flirting, and they smiled way too much at each other and it drove me maddddd.

But then she saw how much George and Lizzie loved each other, and what a wonderful spouse Lizzie is... and by the end, after that little speech she gave at the epic court scene - I loved her. (Still though, not my favourite character at all, considering I only enjoyed her character fully by the very last episode.)


ARCHIE was the best! He was so funny and GOOD and nice and... I really really loved him. He was just what Mew needed, seriously. Such a genuinely nice guy, a support to his (annoying) mum (seriously his mum is THE annoying-est character in the show, I shan't devote another sentance to her)... gack, Archie was the best.

(HIS MUM WASN'T.)
(And neither was that court-man.)
(And I HATED the Reverend. SO MUCH.)
(That is all I'm going to say on the characters I hate. But I really didn't like them at ALL.)


THE GRANDMA. She was grumpy; but hilarious. She disapproved; but yet she stood by and supported. My heart melted a little (a lot) when she and Granddad were cute together (her reaction to him saying that they should kiss - HAHA) - and I loved it when Granddad stood up for her when her cooking was slighted. Love the couple.

She was so annoying sometimes, though, although understandably. Zoo's aren't for everyone, after all. (She seemed to love the bears, though! THEY'RE PREGNANT I CAN TELL. (And she's so proud of the bear cubs, it's hilarious.))

OH AND. She was so quotable. We loved the stuff that came out of her mouth, especially the following line: "Oh Pipe down, we have to listen to you squawking all day; what's the difference?" - We laughed so much; we had to rewatch that bit a few times. SO GOOD.


AND THE GRANDPA. MY FAVOURITE. (I need a hug from him.)

He was so supportive, and KIND and smiling... and he couldn't bear to see anyone say bad things about his wife or his son, and I just love him to bits. His smile is adorable, and he works so hard and he's so excited about the birds... I just love the Grandpa. He and I would be the bestest of friends. (Isn't he the same actor as the pub-man in Lark Rise to Candleford? I really recognise him.)


Frankie!! I loved Frankie from the very start - from her sassy smile to her WARDROBE - Ahhhhh, I forgot all about her wardrobe!!!! It's AMAZING. Really, it IS. It's sassy yet classy; knit-and-wool yet chique and tailored - it's office-y, yet adorable. Gee, I can see why Billy fell for her. She's so beautiful.

(I abosutely loved the way she and Billy met. Billy's SO much fun... oh, let's talk about him right now, shall we? I saved the guy for last.)


Billy improved so much throughout the movie. In the beginning I thought ugh no a girl-crazy man who doesn't know how to spend his money oh no. But then I saw him helping his brother-in-law with the bears, and I saw him bringing home animals and I saw him being so hilarious, trying to sell his silly things. And then his car broke down, and he was so eager and helpful with the penguins. And then HIS SMILE and his stupid comments and silly laugh... I LOVED BILLY.

He and Frankie... GAH. HE AND FRANKIE. They were so adorable. Please, please - anyone who has seen this show, you must comment and talk with me about Billy and Frankie together. We must talk about the dress Billy gave her, and the rose, and when Mew went, "YOU two?" and when they helped the Mottersheads together, and when THEY HUGGED IN THE END.

(Frankie did NOT deserve to loose her job like that. Argh. I need a season two. So badly.)


Basically, I highly recommend this show, although it did have some things that annoyed me a little, as I've mentioned throughout this post. But I loved it to bits - it made me so happy, it made me swoon about the costumes, it made me almost like animals, it made me want to have curls like Mew, it made me SOOO yearn for more.

And George's grin. And BILLY's grin. And BILLY AND FRANKIE. And Archie. And the GRANDDAD.

I really LOVE this show. Here's the trailer, and then watch it and sign the petition for series two. Goodbye.

21 comments:

  1. Ok, Episode 2 is on tonight so I hurriedly scrolled down.. First of all..
    NO series 2?!!? What?! But but how I.. what!? That's NOT fair. It is BEAUTIFUL the series, the costumes YES and the music! It's just so lovely! I'll have to come back when I've seen the whole series.

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    1. Evie, have fun watching all of it!!! :-)
      I KNOW. NOT FAIR. :-)

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  2. I've never heard of this, but it looks really cool! That's so not fair that they didn't finish the story. I hate it when that happens. Those characters have a story! IT WASN'T FINISHED! Why can't they do what they set out to? Grrrrrr.

    Those animals are sooo cute. So's the little girl, *scrolls up to find her name*, June. She's a writer! How cool is that. Oh, and the grandpa! I can see why you want a hug from him - and I've never seen the show :P

    Great review, Naomi! I must say you have me very intrigued . . .

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  3. Awwwwwww . . . this looks so CUTE!! WHY can't they write more of it??? They really need to. Tain't fair.

    Honestly, Naomi, you guys have WAY better television over there in Europe. American TV would never come up with something like this. Never in a million years. Hate to speak ill of me own blood, but it's true. :-(

    I had to watch the trailer to find out what a Liverpool accent is--I'm really bad at differentiating between different British accents. But they sure do sound cute. Haha, "moon-keh." Just out of curiosity, how do YOU normally say "monkey"? For us, it's just "munk-ey."

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  4. SHOW ME THE PETITION FOR SEASON TWO. I also loved this series to bits.
    Archie is just the best!
    And Billy and Frankie! I loved the way she stood up for them in the court. And oh, the bears, that part was so good.
    And the accents!
    I need to see this again.

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    1. I don't know where the petition is - there IS one though. But it started 2 years ago, and they still haven't announced a second season... I'm giving up. The real June Mottershead has died now, too - she really wanted a second season, too. (Did you know she made an appearance in the movie?)
      YES. I love how Frankie and Billy did that with the letter. :-) Those two. :-)

      ~ Naomi

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  5. Oh my goodness! This looks like a GEM. I really want to see it. If my library doesn't have it I may have to employ violent tactics. *ahem*

    Haha, there's a Lady Catherine. That tickles me for some odd reason. ;-P And there's an ARCHIE! Haha, it made you ALmost like animals -- well, that's something. ;-)

    Great review, Naomi!

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  6. I NEED THIS!!! I love the screencaps and the whole look of the movie!
    A better Shirley Temple hahahaha True tho
    Billy looks so sweet with those penguins :D Thanks for the recommendation!

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  7. I just figured out who the Grandpa guy is -- he's the actor who plays Mr. Gardiner in P&P 2005. That's a weight off my chest. ;-P

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    1. THAT's it! I just looked up the actor - Peter Wight - on IMDb, and he's in loads of other period dramas - like, LOADS. Lark Rise to Candleford (I was right), Our Mutual Friend, Persuasion, The Paradise, and a few others. :-)

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  8. Ohhh, this sounds adorable!! I want to try and find it online or at the library now.
    But-no season 2?? Why do movie-makers DO that????

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    1. My mom and brother and I started watching this the other day...and it is SO ADORABLE!!! And British!! Eek, I love it. We're going to watch episode 3 today. :)

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    2. Natalie, you're watching it?!!!!!!!!! :-D
      I knew I liked you. :-) (Seriously though, it makes me so happy when someone watches/reads something after I recommend it. :-))

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    3. Haha, yes!! Aww, thank you. I know how that feels. I love introducing some book or movie to someone and finding out they love it too! :D
      We're actually going to watch episode 3 in about 20 minutes....while we eat lunch. ;) Yay!

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  9. Agh!! this series was sooo good!! Billy and Frankie were amazing, as were pretty much everyone else apart from the reverand. Ugh! he was such a pain!
    We finished when it was on TV last year in May, we were very sad!!!
    (Downton Abbey Christmas special is on tonight!!)

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  10. Aww, this looks cute. It looks a little bit like the movie "We Bought a Zoo". I love that movie. :-D But it may or may not slightly have to do with the fact that Matt Damon plays the lead role. *cough* ;-P
    "Doesn't she look like Shirley Temple but then better?" Well, her hair is like Shirley Temple, but I'd actually say Shirley Temple is more cuter than her. :-P We have lots of Shirley Temple movies - they're so cute, and she is so talented. She can act and dance and sing and tap dance. I actually have a friend whose hair is basically ringlets very much like Shirley Temple's. ;-) Only they're a little smaller and thicker.
    And there's a guy named Archie?! Oh, I like that name. ;-) (Haha, scrolling back up the comments, I can see Emma said the same thing. Hehe. I wonder why... ;-P)
    Oh, and one other thing. I actually finished my story I was writing yesterday. The one I've been writing for a year or more, about the girl in the second world war concentration camp. I actually finished it! :-D It was very exciting! :-) I still can't believe I did it. Crazy. Now I shall have to start the other story that's tumbling about in my head, continue with the other two I'm writing, and edit the one I finished. (My Mum is giving me a story writing course for school next week, so she suggested I use tips in that book to help me edit. I can't wait to get started. :-D)
    Must go, it's super hot today, especially since there's no air conditioning in this study!!
    ~Miss Meg

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    1. Well, Shirley Temple movies personally irritate me a bit... so I'd say June Mottershead is cuter than Shirley Temple. :-D
      OHHH MEG DEAR. CONGRATULATIONS. If you want a beta-reader; I'd absolutely LOVE to read it. Please do leave your email address in the comments; (I won't publish it. :-))

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  11. Just finished writing about my trip to Chester Zoo this weekend when I spotted your post! So weird, haha. Thanks for the nice words about Liverpool accents - we don't get such good press most of the time! Although technically the only proper Liverpool accent in the show was the mean lawyer in the last episode (typical) the rest sound more Manchester really.

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  12. This sounds like a really neat show, Naomi! Too bad there's only one season. :( It seems really strange why someone would start a TV show and then drop it, without wrapping things up a bit.

    Oh! I heartily agree with you! Why CAN'T couples stay 100% faithful 100% of the time? It's so infuriating! Filmmakers need to stop relying on that type of thing for drama, and come up with something more original! :)

    Haha! I'm not an animal person, either. :/ Actually, I find zoos rather boring. And I don't even like petting dogs or cats because I always feel like I have to wash my hands afterwards, and that's such a bother. ;)

    Lovely post, Naomi! Your reviews are always fun to read. :)

    ~Miss March

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  13. Eeeeeeeeee, this looks adorable!!!

    (I don't know if the Grandpa plays in LRtC, but he plays Admiral Croft in the new Persuasion.)

    Seriously, I should look this up. BUT THERE'S ONLY ONE SEASON!!!! How bad is it, cliffhanger-wise?

    Excellent review, old bean! :)

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  14. A great review. I do miss this series too and had wished for more. There was loads of great material in June Mottershead's book also called 'Our Zoo' Here's a review: https://chronicchronicler.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/our-zoo-adding-truth-to-drama/
    This zoo today is a charity and is really successful. It continues to be innovative and is doing loads to help save endangered species all around the world: http://www.chesterzoo.org/
    Here's also a link to the petition:
    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/bring-back-a-second-series-of-our-zoo

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