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58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2001
Format: DVD
The quality of the sound is much better than in the VHS version I've seen (Dolby digital 2.0 on DVD). However there aren't any special features except scene selection.
The titles of the episodes listed are the following: "Jeeves takes charge", "Tuppy and the terrier", "The purity of the turf", "The hunger strike" and "Brinkley Manor".
The 5 episodes of this set appeared previously (VHS) under different titles: "Jeeves' Arrival", "Golf Tournament", "The Gambling Event", "Hunger Strike" and "The Matchmaker".
Two memorable characters are introduced: the ever-amiable, charming and foppish gentleman of the '30s, Bertie Wooster, and his stately, cultured and dignified valet, Jeeves. Bertie (and his helpless friends) finds himself in trouble all the time, and only the priceless Jeeves can extricate him and make things run smoothly again, until the next imbroglio comes up.
Their creator is P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975). If you already met him, then no more talk is necessary. If he hasn't crossed your path yet, you're even luckier; you will be able to discover his sunny world starting afresh.
Bertie Wooster is played by Hugh Laurie and Jeeves by Stephen Fry. They are simply brilliant and I laughed myself into stitches watching the series.
Usually TV adaptations are disappointing, but in this case, none of the original flavor is lost!
Plot lines are not followed exactly sometimes and separate novels and short stories are combined together in one episode to make the whole thing livelier, but the final result is, somehow, exactly right.
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63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
For some reason, A&E has released the first series of Jeeves & Wooster under different episode names. The original first series was available from PBS branded as Mobil Masterpiece Theatre, which is how this wonderful series first ran in the States.
I made the mistake of purchasing the first set offered by A&E thinking these were episodes I did not already have. Don't you do the same if you already have the original set from PBS.
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45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Great videos, these. And thanks to Ian for the tip regarding duplicate tapes. After further research I believe I can clear up the issue. I think "The Very First..." and "The Collector's Set" contain the same episodes, despite the fact they sport different titles (see Ian's review below). Both of these sets were released in 1991. The upshot: there are essentially 3 J&W box sets: the two mentioned above which are really the same; the "More J&W" box set; and the "A Tad More J&W" box set. Happy hunting!
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2005
Format: DVD
Jeeves and Wooster is great, no doubt about it. But A&E had an uncanny knack for screwing up the series it releases. Their "Monty Python's Flying Service" release looked terrible, and used edited tapes from the original English broadcasts. Their release of "The Prisioner" had audio mastering so bad in one set they had a recall to replace the discs. And, here's "Jeeves and Wooster". I guess no one remembers seeing theses on "Masterpiece Theater", but the masters A&E used for the DVD's have been edited for time to insert commercials. All the fade ins and fade outs are edits in the originals, which had no commercials. You can also see that the episodes aren't 60 minutes long. Whole scenes I remember seeing years ago in the uncut PBS broadcasts are missing from these DVD's.

Well, it's unlikely that "Jeeves and Wooster" will be released on DVD again any time soon, so these are better than nothing. If you've never seen the series at all you probably won't miss what's been cut.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on June 12, 2002
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I have heard of the Wodehouse stories, on which this series was based, but have never read them. Wodehouse fanatics (and there are a lot of them) seem to embrace the show with enthusiasm. I'm writing to tell you that you don't have to know the canon to love the TV version.
Stephen Fry (Jeeves) and Hugh Laurie (Wooster) are well-known English comedians. They both had major roles in the Blackadder series and Laurie starred in Stuart Little. Here, Laurie plays Bertie Wooster, an air-headed young English aristocrat, a character exactly like his Blackadder roles, and Fry plays Jeeves, Bertie's valet, a man of sophistication and cunning, equally at home in the sitting room of a county manor or in a rowdy East End mission. A character completely unlike any Fry played in Blackadder.
The series is set in the 1930's, and is rich with period atmosphere. Poor addled Bertie may be rich, debauched and carefree, but he forever seems to be getting into social trouble with either his aunts or his eccentric school chums. The punch line every time is that, after Bertie has made such a pig's breakfast of things that you can't imagine he'll ever be invited to anyone's mansion for dinner again, Jeeves comes up with a simple and elegant resolution. Along the way, we are treated to crisp, witty dialog, in the best British tradition. I particularly enjoyed Jeeves's reaction to the mess jacket he finds in Bertie's clothes closet:
"I assumed it had gotten into your wardrobe by accident...or else been placed there by your enemies."
Bertie protests. "I wore this jacket at Cannes, Jeeves, and all the young ladies tried to catch my eye."
"No doubt they mistook you for a waiter, sir."
The striking thing about this series (unlike, say, Blackadder) is that it will keep you laughing without the slightest sexual innuendo or a smidgeon of violence (unless you count Bertie's golf game). You could show this whole series at a Sunday School picnic and no one would blush.
How many comedies can you say *that* about?
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
It's only fitting that one of the best British comedy series out there is adapted from some of the funniest novels ever written. Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry expertly fill in the ditzy aristocrat Bertie Wooster and his stoic ultra-brain manservant Jeeves. Hilarious writing, great casting, insanely complicated storylines that make "Seinfeld" look like a walk in the part.
"Jeeves Takes Charge" when Bertram Wilberforce Wooster advertises for a new valet (the old one kept stealing his socks). As Bertie becomes accustomed to Jeeves, he is also being sent to the country to (theoretically) woo Honoria Glossop, a woman so hearty and athletic that she slaps Bertie right off his feet. To make things more complicated, one of Bertie's pals is in love with Honoria, and Bertie's two crazy cousins are stealing stuff.
"Tuppy and the Terrier" includes Bertie planning to propose to the mischievous Bobbie Wickham, a move that rapidly gets him into hot water (specifically, a hot water bottle punctured by a needle) -- but not as much hot water as he'll be in when Aunt Agatha finds out that Bobbie gave away her beloved dog. Meanwhile, Bertie's pal Tuppy Glossop has fallen in love with a snooty opera singer and dumped Bertie's cousin...
"The Purity of the Turf" is soiled when Bertie's uncle falls in love with a waittress. Aunt Agatha's orders that Bertie bribe the girl away work -- and don't work -- and the resulting threat of imminent death sends Bertie and Jeeves into the countryside. There they start up a gambling syndicate at a fete where betting of all kinds is off-limits.
"Brinkley Manor"'s "Hunger Strike" goes horribly wrong when Bertie's cousin Angela breaks up with Tuppy, and newt-obsessed Gussie Fink-Nottle falls in love with the soppy Madeleine Basset (she believes the stars are God's daisy chain -- how about that?). Bertie offers advice to the lovelorn young men, only to have Madeleine assume that he is in love with her, and Tuppy assumes that he is in love with Angela. Anatole the cook also quits. And Jeeves is Bertie's last hope. before Madeleine marries him and Aunt Dahlia murders him.
P.G. Wodehouse's novels spoof the idle rich, and you may come out of it thankful that these people had too much time on their hands. Timid young men, carnivorous aunts, a guy obsessed with newts, another guy who falls in love with every girl he comes across, a stuffed moose, uncles in the throes of midlife crises, incredibly smart butlers, and young women who accept a marriage proposal that was never made -- if anything here strikes you as funny, this will be perfect. Hugh Laurie is perfect as the gangly, amiable Bertie Wooster (who's too accomodating for his own good) and Stephen Fry is quietly, dryly humorous as the opinionated valet Jeeves.
Though this season suffers from a few awkward spots that are polished out later in the series, this show is outrageously funny and definitely worth buying!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2002
Format: DVD
I love this series -- the acting, the timing, the comedy; some of the best British humor I've seen. It absolutely pains me to drop it to three stars from five, and it lies completely on the head of A&E for removing the already-present Closed Captioning track, so those of us with hearing disabilities cannot fully enjoy it. I was so looking forward to buying the entire DVD collection, too.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
The 5 episodes of this set appeared previously under different titles: "Jeeves' Arrival", "Golf Tournament", "The Gambling Event", "Hunger Strike" and "The Matchmaker".
Two memorable characters are introduced: the ever-amiable, charming and foppish gentleman of the '30s, Bertie Wooster, and his stately, cultured and dignified valet, Jeeves. Bertie (and his helpless friends) finds himself in trouble all the time, and only the priceless Jeeves can extricate him and make things run smoothly again, until the next imbroglio comes up.
Their creator is P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975). If you already met him, then no more talk is necessary. If he hasn't crossed your path yet, your happiness is even greater; you will be able to discover his sunny world starting afresh. What wouldn't I give to be able to read his short stories and novels again without knowing the way they end (always happily) beforehand!
Bertie Wooster is played by Hugh Laurie and Jeeves by Stephen Fry. They are simply brilliant and I laughed myself into stitches watching the series.
Usually TV adaptations are disappointing, but in this case, none of the original flavor is lost!
I've seen all four seasons, and the one thing I found confusing is that sometimes secondary characters are played by different actors.
Plot lines are not followed exactly sometimes and separate novels and short stories are combined together in one episode to make the whole thing livelier, but the final result is, somehow, exactly right.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Fry and Laurie make the perfect visual Jeeves and Wooster (next to Horden and Briars, who were utterly brilliant in the Radio 4 adaptations.) But this series sticks so closely to the tenet of the books, and there are enough silent one liners to make watching it a tireless pleasure. It's the perfect alcohol-free remedy for an awful day at the office.
Unfortunately the 'extras' option on the DVD (an 'Audio Commentary') is desperately bad. It completely misses the program's natural ebullience and the commentator discusses Jeeves and Wooster as if they died in a suicide pact sometime during the Depression. It has absolutely no place in the running, and drains all the colour and enjoyment from the rest of this magnificent disc. So buy it- definitely. Just don't touch the add-ons...
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon July 7, 2006
Format: DVD
P.G. Wodehouse wrote some of the most beloved stories in the twentieth century, including dozens of short stories and a number of novels of probably his most famous characters, the fopish Bertie Wooster and his brilliant valet, Reginald Jeeves. Those stories were the basis of this wonderful collection of episodes in the first season of Jeeves and Wooster.

Set in Bertie's flat in London and various other locales around England, including the wonderfully named Drone's Club, the episodes revolve around Jeeve's always successful machinations that rescue Bertie from one scrape or another, frequently involving real or imagined relationships with a variety of mainly unsuitable women who travel in the same upperclass world as does Bertie. Bertie is indeed doubly lucky; first, to be born to wealth, allowing his ineptitude to do no real damage to himself or others, and secondly, to aquire the services of his valet, Jeeves, whose cleverness is the epitome of the helpful servant.

Hugh Laurie, now quite well-known as Dr. House on the highly-regarded Fox network medical drama 'House', plays Bertie with a knack for physical comedy and a wide range of facial expression that perfectly convey the emotions of a man totally at the mercy of strong-willed women, particularly his aunts and a variety of young marriagable women. Bertie sees no need to ever marry, since he has a wide circle of hilariously-named friends called Bingo and Gussy Finklenottle.

Wodehouse obviously loved to tweak the noses of the totally clueless upperclass members of British society. We see the extremely large houses where the aristocrats lived; thanks to Wodehouse we can safely laugh at their foolishness.

Wodehouse's humor is definitely British, physical, and simply wonderful. I have purchased this set and all the other episodes of Jeeves and Wooster, and I've watched them several times. I'm happy to report that they hold up extremely well to repeated viewing.

Highly recommended; five stars. The quality of the pictures and sound are fine with no apparent problems with transfers.
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