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Look Around You: Season 1

38 customer reviews

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(Jul 20, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Look Around You is the BAFTA-nominated comedy series based on the unforgettable Open University and Television for Schools programs of the1970s. Through a series of gloriously deadpan experiments, we observe a colony of ants build an igloo, receive a telephone call from abrain, discover why ghosts can't whistle, and reveal the largest number in the world. Science has never been so silly.

Look Around You is a spoof science program that hilariously re-creates both the drab, depressing air of 1970s educational television and a bygone world of tedious school science lessons. Each of the 10-minute episodes--or "Modules"--takes the form of a number of surreal and pointless experiments based on a chosen theme ranging from "Water" and "Sulphur" to "Ghosts" and "Brains."

Look Around You's humor lies not only in an absurd take on education and the impenetrable jargon of science, but also in evoking a sense of nostalgia in the viewer. In this respect the series is helped immeasurably by faultless production and attention to detail. Narrated in austere English, using precise scientific terminology, this is a world of scratched film inserts, dubious periodic tables, cheap, synthesized music, giant hairstyles, bulky, teak-finished technology, and a proliferation of DYMO labels. Each show is even prefaced by a few seconds of the "Television for Schools & Colleges" countdown clock. The tutorial format of the series is not without its problems though--it is essentially a single, plotless joke stretched to eight episodes, and there are no characters to speak of, save glimpses of the deadpan and much-maligned lab-technician (cowriter Peter Serafanowicz). Despite these shortcomings, Look Around You is still a refreshingly different comedy, which is so well put together that you can almost smell the Bunsen burners while you watch. --Paul Philpott

Special Features

Advanced double-length module: Calcium
Little Mouse: full-length pop video
New exclusive commentaries featuring Robert Popper, Peter Serafinowicz, Tim Kirkby, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Edgar Wright, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, and Tim & Eric
Little Mouse commentary by Jack Morgan (BSc)
Pages from Ceefax
Play-at-home quiz pages
Additional music by Gelg
Test card

Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 20, 2010
  • Run Time: 71 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003IJ72WY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,794 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Look Around You: Season 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By D. Martz on July 20, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Look Around You is one of the most criminally overlooked works of this millennium. How anything this funny could escape international acclaim at near-obnoxious levels is beyond me. This is absurdist comedy at its best, as if Monty Python and Mr. Wizard had a baby, who was maybe dropped on its head. Though the 8 episodes are only 10 minutes long, there are plentiful special features which make this worth your money. Please, please, please buy this. You'll be happier for having seen it, and we'll all be one step closer to season two's DVD release.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Пётр Александрович on February 16, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Too hilarious. If you do not enjoy smiling, then I wouldn't recommend this...otherwise, for the rest of us, this is quite possibly one of the funniest series I've personally ever experienced. Real, quality British humor. Great, just great.
One thing though, your dvd player has to have the proper regional encoding or you'll have some problems watching it.
Arrived in great shape, exactly as described.
Definitely recommend.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Peter T Langford on July 20, 2010
Format: DVD
What more can I say? This show had me doubled with laughter every minute. From the confusing to the ever-so-slightly dangerously insane, Look Around You presents a very unique genre of comedy in the disguise of a perfectly factual 1970's "Science for Schools" programme. Having been exposed to such boring stuff at school (in the 90's) when these outdated shows often contained lines such as "Perhaps one day we will have electicity in our own homes!" Look Around You provided an utterly brilliant parody. I would recommend this to absolutely anyone. If you buy nothing else this year, buy this. Then next year you can save up for Look Around You 2!!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A. Griffiths on May 3, 2006
Format: DVD
Look Around You Series One:

This spoof comedy series is so firmly entrenched in its origins - a very small pocket of British television history known as Programmes for Schools, which were TV shows intended to be videotaped and shown in classrooms for educational purposes - that it might be almost impossible for it to be appreciated by anyone outside of the UK, and even for us residents, it's full genius can only be appreciated by those of us around and at school in the 1970's, or awake at night watching those hideous Open University programmes.

But luckily I was one of those people, and I I found "Look Around You" to be hysterical. The dry-as-dust delivery of the presenters and the totally bonkers ideas for educational experiments and scientific reports that populate each segment have to be seen to be believed. Each short segment passes itself off as a serious investigation into some scientific theme or other, and experiments or reports are carried out on screen to supposedly teach the viewer about various scientific facts. Of course, the facts and figures quoted or discovered during the show are all totally and hilariously fictitious, such as discussing what the highest number in the world might be, or setting a maths problem about ladies buying shoes for spiders, Sample experiments vary from the laugh-out-loud crazy to the very subtley skewed, and they include a study of ants building a miniature igloo, opening up a garden pea to extract its brain (yes it has one!), and programming a computer to compose a pop song about a mouse.

The interior studio scenes are all filmed in a clinical and stark lab setting with lots of close-ups, while the outside reports use faux grainy (or sometimes genuine recycled) 1970's stock footage.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cilantron 1 of 2 on July 31, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Have you spotted what we're looking for? That's right: a review.
Like birds, very little is known about them. They fly like birds, and yet they are smaller and covered in fur. This leads us to believe that they are either mammals or molds.
Let's perform an experiment. A small piece of a review is scraped off and placed in a petri dish filled with sugar. 3 hours later, the review has increased in size. However, both molds and mammals increase in size upon eating sugar. The results are inconclusive. Write that down in your copy book.

Now, let's look at an example of a review:
Season one of "Look Around You" would be an excellent supplement to any high school science course. They provide extensive coverage of the deadly disease Helvetica. My only quibble is that although dihydrogen monoxide is covered under its common name, the lesson unit covering this topic does not go in depth on how deadly this substance can be.

The DVD commentaries by the folks behind the show are very amusing and informative. The DVD commenataries by the guest commentators are neither. This is surprising. One might imagine that Simon Pegg and Mike Frost can't be not funny, yet they are consistently not funny for the entire duration of both of their 9 minute clips. Yes, even Matt Stone and Trey Parker aren't funny, but this is less of a surprise. The one exception is one of the Tim and Eric commentaries is funny, if you don't object to naughty language. However, this seems out of place, as there is little to no naughty language in the show itself (with the possible exception of the name one of the isotopes of iron.)

In our next lesson, we'll talk about the Internet.
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Look Around You: Season 1
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