A Bit of Fry and Laurie: The Complete Collection... Every Bit!
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First, if you don't already know, A Bit of Fry and Laurie is a collection of sketches divided by mock interviews with the "British public" (always Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie). At times these sketches are of characters, whilst other times they are of the stars as themselves.
Vox pops abound in every series of A Bit of Fry and Laurie, but there is a lack of regular, recurring characters (unless you count Fry and Laurie), unlike in Little Britain. In series one and two, there are Tony and Control of MI6, and the promotors of Uttoxeter, and the like, but if you've seen those two series, you'll understand why they were dropped from three and four. (I won't go into too much detail on one and two; I'll assume you've already seen them.)
Series three introduces Mr Music (Hugh Laurie) who plays out the credits as Stephen Fry mixes up a strange, often disturbing, concoction. This bit, thankfully survives in the final series. Series three also marks a spike in music sketches (even Fry contributes his bit, as frightening as it seems in "You, You, You", etc.), including the popular "There Ain't But One Way", in which Laurie plays a Johnnie Cash-like singer with his brother Oren. I don't think you'll ever see Stephen Fry in a more unsophisticated role. By and large, this is my absolute favourite series, and my friends agree. Three hours just flew by.
Series four is... a tad awkward. Apparently, the programme was moved from BBC2 to the more restrained BBC1 (I may be wrong on the channels), where creative control was hampered by the station.Read more ›
Throughout these fantastic series, Stephen Fry's wit and Hugh Laurie's whimsy never fail to hit the spot. The pairing like to mock everything that the eighties held dear including ruthless black hearted capitalism, vulgar fashion sense and the incumbent Tory government. Allied to the ruthless satire is the pair's amusing habit of toying with and manipulating the English language in a hilarious manner. Far from trying to escape their upper class, Oxbridge backgrounds, they instead choose to embrace them as fully as possible.
Many American viewers will have come to Hugh Laurie through his part in the series 'House' and possibly could have come to Stephen Fry through the part he played in the American series 'Bones'. To these Americans I say that it is an absolute must for you to look through all the past works of these two comic masters. As well as this series check out 'Jeeves & Wooster', 'Blackadder' and the many books that Stephen Fry has published. As far as this series goes, don't hesitate, make this all in one box set your one 'A Bit of Fry and Laurie' purchase.
I think the first season is the strongest, and then the quality progressively declines. From the second season everything seems too glossy and contrived, with the beginning episodes had a sort of amateur charm to them. We get too many of Hugh Laurie's musical sketches, some of which aren't even comedic anymore.Read more ›
As far as my ratings go: Even though I'm a huge fan of British comedy, and that's basically all I buy in way of DVD collections, I found this one a bit hard to understand being a Yank and all. This show was on air when I was about six years old as well, so I'm not sure if it's a cultural or time-lapse difference that makes certain sketches go over my head.
For a collection of four DVDs, the price is quite heafty as well. For about the same price, you can find the 8-disk Jeeves & Wooster series in Amazon's "new & used" section. What would have made the boxed set worth the price would have been a collection packed with extras (left-over sketches, bloopers, behind-the-scenes stuff, etc). Though, the one extra this set did have was the Cambridge University Footlights Review Special that aired on the BBC featuring early works by Fry & Laurie. This special is quite hilarious, and Stephen Fry shines, in my opinion, during a seven-minute monologue simply titled, "The Letter". Very witty stuff, indeed!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not a bad collection. I got this for my wife because she was a fan of Hugh Laurie from House and British humor in general. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Jeff M
So far as I'm concerned, Fry & Laurie is the standard for sketch comedy to which all should aspire. It's clever without being unduly high-brow and of high artistic and literary... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Estobrevis
Somehow, I just didn't find this show all that great. I own over 20 box sets of British comedies, from Monty Python onwwards, and this is one set I can truly say I regretted... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Jeff J.
Very clever British humor. Lots of wordplay, It helps to turn on the sub-titles so you don't miss anything. Many of the made-up variations of words are laugh out loud. Read morePublished 16 months ago by eva b.
I love British TV and humor, so this show was right up my alley. Seeing Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie as young comedians is priceless. Read morePublished 16 months ago by E. Buchanan