Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Fay Weldon's wittily wicked 1983 novel The Life and Loves of a She-Devil was the source for this near-legendary British TV miniseries. Julie T. Wallace starred as Ruth Patchett, the frumpy, wart-ridden wife of low-profile accountant Bobbo Patchett (Dennis Waterman). Already cursed with a brood of annoying children and a dingy suburban household, Ruth was dealt another blow when her husband deserted her in favor of glamorous, jet-setting romance novelist Mary Fisher (Patricia Hodge). Determined to get even with her rival and to restake her claim on Bobbo (who hardly seems worth the effort), Ruth embarked upon a campaign of revenge and conquest that rivalled anything cooked up by Machiavelli or the Borgias -- beginning with a spectacular fashion makeover, courtesy of British cosmetic designer Elizabeth Rowell. Several real-life authors appeared in the supporting cast of this four part, award-winning satirical drama, which originally aired over BBC2 from October 8 to 29, 1986, then was seen in America courtesy of the A&E cable service. Most critics agree that the "original" version of The Life and Loves of a She Devil far outclasses the later American theatrical-film adaptation starring Roseanne and Meryl Streep.