This is French and Saunders take on pre-revolutionary France. The setting is Versailles, 1782 where the Comtesse de Vache (Jennifer Saunders) schemes for she has little else to do other than avoid her elderly pox ridden husband. Despite the fact she is the wealthiest woman at court, she only has two servants maid Lisette (Dawn French) and jack of all trades Bouffant. Her arch rival is Madame la Plonge and her daughter Eveline.
The Comtesse's pox riddled husband arrives for a visit and she must avoid a plot by la Plonge to have her disinherited. But far more importantly she must have a really big model ship in her hair for an upcoming party. It's loud, broad comedy with an annoying laugh track but it is funny. The galleon hair ornament with working cannons is hilarious as is the leeches stress ball sight gag. It is way too nitpicky to note that this sitcom shows people knocking on doors in Versailles. Nobody of rank knocked on a door, they scratched with their little finger on their left hand. This was goodish.
Just to note, the opening credits are good. The Comtesse has lost her fortune in a wager with the Marquise de Foufou. But the Marquise has been killed by an axe murderer. The Comtesse ends up in a dungeon encased in a iron mask being fed fish paste through a tube. It's up to her loyal servants to frame someone else for the crime. This was good.
The Comtesse is to have her portrait painted but a debauched nobleman, possibly the Marquis de Sade (Richard E. Grant) keeps climbing in her window and doing debauched things to her with fruit. This was good.
The Comtesse fears she is pregnant by the King. What will Marie Antoinette think? Luckily it turns out to be gas caused by eating Austrian food so all is well. This was good.
A Marriage of Convenience
The Comtesse's destitute sister shows up looking for alms. The Comtesse schemes to marry her off to a Duke who needs to take a wife after being caught in an escapade in the royal stables. But first Lisette needs to give the Comtesse her first bath in nearly a decade. This was ok.
The Royal Command Performance
Marie Antoinette intends to prove her love for her husband by having public rumpo with him. The Comtesse manages to use this to get La Plonge and Eveline banished from court. But as she is enjoying her victory she accidentally triggers the French Revolution. This was good.