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The Robinsons - Complete Series One (2006)

Martin Freeman , Hugh Bonneville  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Martin Freeman, Hugh Bonneville, Abigail Cruttenden, Anna Massey, Richard E. Johnson
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 22, 2006
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000FI9OEA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,616 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Robinsons - Complete Series One" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Six episodes
  • Commentary by writer-producer-directors Justin Sbresni and Mark Bussell and others on each episode
  • Outtakes
  • Behind the scenes

Editorial Reviews

The Robinsons are not related to any of the famous Robinsons: Edward G, Smokey or even Sugar Ray. No, they are a plain, run-of-the-mill family from Wimbledon, South London who have "done quite well". All of them, that is, except the youngest, Ed (Martin Freeman), (the black sheep of the family) who's 32, recently divorced after a disastrous marriage that lasted 5 ? months, doing a job that he hates and living in his aunt's flat in Bermondsey. What has gone wrong in his life? I mean, how difficult is it to find a girlfriend, a decent job, a good dry-cleaners and the meaning of life?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A WINNING LOSER May 30, 2006
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With its darkish humor, fine ensemble acting and atypical writing, this series deserves the chance to develop beyond a single season. For now, it's still a bit predictable and at times strains for a laugh, but it does manage to remain darkly funny over the course of each installment. The cast does a good job of portraying several familial archetypes -- especially Martin Freeman of "Tim" and "Arthur Dent" fame, again playing a worthy and charming loser who routinely finds himself on the wrong end of almost every situation.

To break out of the typical sitcom formula we also witness the myriad setbacks experienced by his more successful siblings. Setbacks they seem unable to recognize thanks to their ability to protect their egos with their professional accomplishments -- something Freeman's character has been stripped of. So what adds a little more shading here is the different ways in which these people respond to their own problems and the way they subsequently skew the view of their family members' problems. In short, no matter how strange their individual failings may be, anyone and everyone else is assumed to be even worse off.

There's a further twist as well -- albeit a somewhat gimmicky one. This pattern of failures and missed opportunities are given an inherited dimension by visiting a stream of odd and eccentric family failures down through the generations. At times these asides work well and play off the current storyline, and at other times they seem just stuck on to give the writers and audience alike a breather. When it works, it's funny. When it doesn't it offers a little twinge similar to the pain that some of those should-have-been-abandoned Python sketches pioneered.

While "The Robinsons" is yet some distance from reaching the polished and perfect pitch of "The Office", the present is above average television comedy, and the future potential remains high. Let's hope this loser wins in the end.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great British series! April 9, 2008
By chico
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Yes, definitely not for the prudish but if you enjoy Shameless, Black Books or other quirky, dark and sometimes raunchy series - this is for you! Would have loved to see a season two....
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and underrated comedy. November 27, 2013
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Extremely funny and certainly very underrated. I missed out on this series when it first screened but was lucky to catch the first episode on BBC I-Player. Fast-moving comedy with many jokes you first register the second time around. Excellent entertainment!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pick This One Up! November 24, 2013
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You'll want to watch this over and over. Can't understand why only one series in the lot (even 'Hardware' had two seasons). And, of course, any time Martin Freeman and Olivia Colman get together, you know you will have some priceless moments.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I could give it more stars October 13, 2013
By Deborah
I wish I could give this more than 5 stars. I am a BIG fan of British comedy and this is one of my all time favorites. I play the episodes over and over again. Wish it had lasted more than 1 season. I loved the over-the-top absurd quirkiness of all the characters. I especially loved Vicky. When she mistook her father for her elderly boyfriend....well that was one of the funniest things I've ever seen in a TV series. I was laughing so hard, I almost threw-up.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funnier than I thought! September 14, 2013
By Olivia
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I expected this show to be quite funny but I ended up watching the whole season in one sitting. It was hilarious! A lot funnier than I expected. Too bad this is the only season of this show.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Where's the humor? July 28, 2012
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The Robinsons is supposed to be a dark comedy but where's the actual comedy? Twenty minutes into the pilot episode there wasn't a funny joke told. The main character Edward Gordon Robinson (Martin Freeman) a 30-year old divorcee who works a dead-end job as an actuary for a large reinsurance company is a relatable character but there has to be some actual jokes in a 30-minute sitcom and there isn't any. Edward is born from a family who hasn't accomplished anything noteworthy in their lives, just living the middle-class life. George, Ed's older brother, is obsessed with precision and timing. Everything has to be in an exact time. If a children's board game says "approximately 60 minutes" to finish then it better keep children playing for 60 minutes! Vicky is Ed's sister and she is an interior designer and a fussy, little perfectionist.

While it's a realistic portrayal of middle class family life and all of its dysfunctions, it wasn't humorous. I bought The Robinsons because it starred Martin Freeman and while I loved his performance as Tim Canterbury in The Office, The Robinsons was a disappointment. The bottom line is a sitcom has to keep me laughing off the edge of my seat and there were barely any jokes in The Robinsons. It's just a boring and uneventful sitcom.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
See Martin Freeman and Hugh Bonneville before they became REALLY big - but otherwise, insipid dialogue, missing beats.

The writers tried, and in some moments, they get it, the joke, the timing. Most of the time however the characters are not odd and strange enough, the timing is off, or they are too contrived.

The writers really try to do something different here, but somehow, it doesn't work consistently. They got 90% but did not finish the 10%

Give them another chance - everyone has a dud or a few in their careers.

I stopped watching at the end of Series One. I just don't want to know anymore about the characters.
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