Maggie Cole is a fictional television character, but we all know persons like her.
And that’s what makes “The Difficulties with Maggie Cole,” a six-element British dramedy premiering Sunday on PBS, at turns humorous, sad, enlightening and redemptive.
Cleverly performed by Dawn French (“French and Saunders,” “The Vicar of Dibley”), Maggie is the pretentious, self-essential, blustery local gossip, the form of human being who runs a present shop nonetheless inflates that into getting “the local historian” of Thurlbury, a sleepy English seaside village. On the surface area, she’s harmless adequate she’s fortunately married to the local most important university headmaster, Peter, (Mark Heap) and pines for grandchildren (her son has been married for a few a long time). Her electric power, at least in her own mind, lies in the techniques she is familiar with — or thinks she is familiar with — about her neighbors’ techniques and peccadilloes.