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6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

When they were schoolboys, their rivalries were over soccer teams, girls, and clothes. Now that they're married men in their thirties, they compete over jobs, cars, and even the Christmas decorations on their houses. Lifelong friends Colin Armstrong (Robson Green, Reckless, Touching Evil) and Howard Scott (Mark Benton, Career Girls) are so bent on outdoing each other that they risk jeopardizing everything and everyone around them, especially their long-suffering wives, Jackie and Pauline. In the end, they find there is no escaping each other - for good or for ill, the bitterest of rivals and the best of friends. Follow the adventures of Colin and Howie in these hugely popular British dramas (Christmas Lights, Northern Lights, City Lights, and Clash of the Santas) - four hilarious stories about loyalty and betrayal, small-minded rivalry and big-hearted love. Seen on BBC America.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Robson Green, Mark Benton
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: February 7, 2012
  • Run Time: 713 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00662CG9E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,051 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Harold Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWER on December 24, 2011
2 guys began their one-upmanship fray in school and then never grew up. Their relationship is the key to this comedy duo that takes on family and employment consequences as they remain best buddies but always trying to out-do the other. The comic duo begins with a Christmas special debut/pilot. Their amazing spark developed through 2 seasons, and then ended in a Santa farce. All good, all humorous, plus the additional aspects of drama, suspense, action, and romance through top notch scripts.

All on the DVDs is with SUBTITLES, even the Behind the Scenes Bonus (45 min).
CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: The fun is shot in 2004 Manchester, with Colin (Robson Green-`Reckless' `Reckless the Sequel') and pal Howie (Mark Benton-`Land Girls' `Scoop') the bickering boys in adult bodies, neighbors, and co-workers. They are married to sisters but the harmony is far from perfect. Rivalry to the nth degree. A British Griswald frenzy. Jokes like a `wanking Santa' makes it older youth to adult fare. Christmas Ho-Ho-HORROR that covers 3 years. 70 min.

NORTHERN LIGHTS: 6 episodes (2006) average about 47 minutes each
Episode 1 Annual company dinner/dance divides our 2 pals
2 Almost unemployed together till one finds a taxi job and the other recalled
3 H.S. reunion triggers old times-not the best of times
4 Will coaching the company football team prove Colin management material?
5 Traumatic events of parents force Colin to consider `family'
6 A group fishing trip is a discovery time experience for all. Legend Sam Kelley is guest.

CITY LIGHTS: 6 episodes (2007) that have a unifying crime plot, continual complex relationship (including sex), and all the emotional conflict of 2 couples living too close. There's ample humor throughout.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jon Wynne on April 14, 2014
Robson Green is practically a national treasure in the U.K. North American audiences are gradually getting to know his work and one thing is certain: the man is versatile.

TOUCHING EVIL was this reviewer’s introduction to Green’s talents. That fine, intense series was released in North America by Acorn Media and clearly the response was positive. “Give us more Robson Green,” you could hear the fans crying.

Judging by interviews with Green on Youtube, the man is hilarious in person and it is no wonder that his comedic skills are every bit as competent as his dramatic abilities. This is plainly on display in the box set NORTHERN LIGHTS, which includes two movies and two series, the entire collection of programs featuring Green as Colin Armstrong and the wonderful, equally-gifted actor Mark Benton as his best friend, Howard Scott.

2006 – 6 episode series NORTHERN LIGHTS
2007 – 6 episode series CITY LIGHTS

This charming series, though not without moments of drama, is a marvelously witty examination of lifelong friendship, male one-upmanship, love and the kind of typically adolescent but somehow charming humour that exists between friends who were closer than brothers right from their earliest school days.

This candid examination of male friendship is a breath of fresh air. Colin and Howard are two regular blokes who have wives, kids, jobs, hobbies and a tendency towards petty jealousy in common. The show is brilliantly written and affords everyone in the ensemble cast an opportunity to shine. Aside from some political correctness in one episode that comes across as preachy, the story threads remain believable (though only just, in some cases) and enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SavvySiren1 on March 17, 2013
This is a fantastic, heart-warming comedy-drama starring the perfectly cast and vastly entertaining duo of Robson Green and Mark Benton, who are brilliantly supported by Nicola Stephenson (Margaret in `Brookside') and Sian Reeves (Sydney Henshall in `Cutting It').

A real treat for all those who enjoy such classic slices of TV gold as `Clocking Off' and `Playing the Field' - and a gem for those not yet familiar with them!

Don't suppose there are any plans for a new series?! ... Pleeeeeeease???!!! ;D
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