How "high class" is Hyacinth

I’ve been watching *Keeping Up Appearances * and love it. But I’m not familiar with the British class system. It seems like the joke is Hyacinth is really LOW CLASS but struggles to be out of it. Then again her sister Violet seems a step above Hyacinth.

The question is compared to Americans where would Hyacinth and Richard be? I reckon Daisy and Onslow would be “poor white trash.” LOL

Hyacinth is solidly middle class with delusions of grandeur. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the show, but I seem to remember that she grew up working class, married Richard, and endeavored to become more.

I think Daisy is working class, Violet is working class with money, and Hyacinth is working class with self-delusion. Not that any of them work, but class is hereditary, not merit-based, nor is it strictly economic. (You can be a poor aristocrat or a rich commoner, which is kind of a foreign idea to the U.S.)

But as far as I know, the series doesn’t reveal anything about the Bucket sisters’ mother and little of their father except that he is horny, addle-pated, and apparently a veteran of World War I, so we don’t really know how Hyacinth comes by upper-class pretensions come. Of course, part of the joke is that Hyacinth’s ideas about class really belong to pre-World War II British society.

I can’t understand why you Americans enjoy this show. To my mind it’s abysmal, a one joke (and plot-line) comedy.

The first few were OK, but then as you say, it became entirely too formulaic.

Everybody’s got an opinion, but I don’t think it was we Americans who kept it on BBC1 from 1990 to 1995 or voted it into 12th place in the BBC’s Best British Sitcom poll.

(No, I did not know that off the top of my head.)

Yeah, it’s formulaic and I wouldn’t put in my top 12, but Patricia Routledge’s Hyacinth is a great comic character. The actors who play Richard, Daisy and Onslow do fine jobs too.

Word. It’s pants! How many times can you see Hyacinth insult her neighbor, get embarrassed by Onslow, berate Richard, etc.? EVERY SHOW IS EXACTLY THE FUCKING SAME!

Makes Last of the Summer Wine look like fucking Brideshead Revisited.

I don’t get the Yank love for Benny Hill, either.

Because nearly every American has a mother, or an aunt, or a cousin, who is exactly like Hyacinth.

My mother grew up in a small town in the Great Depression. She has spent most of her life trying to be an aristocrat. (The Hollywood version, anyway.) I see Hyacinth doing an exagerated version of some of my mom’s quirks, and I think it is hilarious.

Oddly enough, my mom likes the show, too.

Jar Jar Binks makes the Ewoks look like fucking Shaft!

Sorry. Had to get that off my chest.

Please don’t be tempted by Hippy to watch Last of the Summer Wine ::shudders:: try One Foot in the Grave or Father Ted.

How about giving us a primer on the American “class system” so we can compare? I’ve only ever see a minute or two of the show but I think that Hyacinth is supposed to be solidly lower-middle-class, say a step or two down from the middle-class Goods and Ledbetters in The Good Life (which is another show you could be watching instead, I bet you’d enjoy Margot). If that means anything to you you already know too much about the class system here (there’s nothing systematic about it, it’s mainly about choosing your parents*).

  • and schools, home town blah. . .

IMO the divide between Hyacinth and her relatives is too great for it to be meaningfully described as part of the real-world class structure. And I too hate the show with a passion.

Awesome Spaced reference, a truly great British sitcom.

Keeping Up Appearances is quite simply bollocks.

I think Americans like to watch it because we like to laugh at the utterly nonsensical class neurosis that Brits seem to possess.

Really? I think that this class nuerosis you speak of only seems to exist in rubbish programmes like this one…

I think we might seem to possess that neurosis largely because of hackneyed shite like ‘Keeping Up Appearances’.

Most Americans ignore or outright deny that we have any sort of class system here in the United States.


If you haven’t worked out that the neighbouring siblings are the poshest characters in the show, you have problems.

Nobody is upper class.
Everyone except Daisy, Onslow, Daddy and Rose are varying shades of middle-class.It’s a terrible programme.

If you want funny, try The Mighty Boosh.

Which is why I’ve always said that the American version of the show would have a millionaire Texan, son and grandson of Establishment Politicians, pretending that he didn’t go to Yale and that he’s just a simple rancher.

Actually Michael Kinsley wrote a great twitting of Bill O’Rielly that pointed out the tendency towards revers snobbery in America.

And many manage to maintain this illusion by keeping exclusively within their gated communities and their ghettos.

(Yes, there is a class system in the US: partly based on money, partly based on heredity [who your parents were], and partly based on “race”.)

Well said.

This bears repeating.