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Not Quite Complete, But 39 Episodes Over Eighteen Years: A Must Have For Enthusiasts Of British Humor,
This review is from: The Comic Strip Presents: The Complete Collection (DVD)
Anyone who loves ribald British comedy or wacky parody should appreciate the efforts of the performers from London's Comic Strip Club comedy venue. With their friends and associates, they produced short stand-alone films that have aired for over two decades. "The Complete Collection" brings 39 episodes together. Some are downright hilarious, some are more perplexing. With any anthology series, you will have a variance in the degree to which you will embrace certain stories. For my part, I tend to think the series started rather consistently, but got entirely more hit-or-miss as the years progressed. But it is still fascinating to see how the show evolved in time as it kept up with trends in pop culture and modern entertainment. Many of the cast members from "Absolutely Fabulous" and "The Young Ones" (and many other shows) hailed from The Comic Strip so if you follow British humor, you're likely to see plenty of familiar faces including Jennifer Saunders, Robbie Coltrane, Rik Mayall, Dawn French, Alexei Sayle, Nigel Planer, Keith Allen, Adrian Edmondson, and Peter Richardson.
While this is called the "The Complete Collection," it falls a little short as it does NOT contain the one-off specials from 2005 (Sex Actually) or 2011 (The Hunt for Tony Blair). While I would have wanted these as well, I guess I'll be happy with what I do have.
Disc One (From 1982-83): (1) Five Go Mad In Dorset, (2) WAR, (3) The Beat Generation, (4) Bad News Tour, (5) Summer School, and (6) Five Go Mad on Mescalin.
Disc Two (From 1984): (1) Dirty Movie, (2) Susie, (3) A Fistful of Travellers' Cheques, (4) Gino: Full Story and Pics, and (5) Eddie Monsoon: A Life?
Disc Three (From 1985-86): (1) Slags, (2) edited for Amazon: The BSers, (3) The Supergrass, and (4) Consuela.
Disc Four (From 1986-88): (1) Private Enterprise, (2) The Strike, (3) More Bad News, and (4) Mr. Jolly Lives Next Door.
Disc Five (From 1988): (1) The Yob, (2) Didn't You Kill My Brother?, and (3) Funseekers.
Disc Six: (From 1990): (1) South Atlantic Raiders, (2) South Atlantic Raiders Part II, (3) GLC, (4) Oxford, and (5) Spaghetti Hoops.
Disc Seven: (From 1990-93): (1) Les Dogs, (2) Red Nose of Courage, (3) The Crying Game, (4) Wild Turkey, (5) Detectives on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown, and (6) Space Virgins From Planet Sex.
Disc Eight: (From 1993-2000): (1) Queen of the Wild Frontier, (2) Gregory: Diary of a Nutcase, (3) Demonella, (4) Jealousy, (5) Four Men in a Car, and (6) Four Men in a Plane.
Disc Nine: 132 minutes of Bonus features including a retrospective, footage from the actual Comic Strip, and documentary specials.
This is a must-have for a certain audience (and you know who you are). I won't pretend that every bit is fantastic, I quite disliked a few. The highlight for me, perhaps, came with Mr. Jolly. But as TV history, this is practically essential and earns my highest recommendation despite some of its weaker links. Note on packaging: Discs are double stacked in the fold-out case, which I hated, but it's better than flipper discs! If you are a fan of British humor, don't miss this one! KGHarris, 1/12.
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Initial post: Feb 22, 2012 9:27:11 AM PST
Here's a question: The feedback for UK version of this set (which came out in '07) says that several of the episodes are noticeably edited from their original broadcast versions. Do you know if this is the case with this new set?
Posted on Jun 22, 2013 11:47:47 PM PDT
"Mr. Jolly Lives Next Door" was our favorite, too-- there are very few things that can make me actually laugh out loud, and watching Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson stumble about in a completely over-the-top, farcical binge of drinking is one of them (that, and watching John Cleese as Basil Fawlty whack his stalled car in impotent rage with an ineffectual tree branch is one of the other comedy moments that gets me every time); which is saying a lot, considering how bored I get with a lot of American comedies that rely on that same cliche of guys going on drunken binges that just gets tiresome & predictable after a while-- that just goes to show you how the brilliant Brit comic talents behind a Pythonesque, anarchic comedy like "The Young Ones" can take such an overused (and often artlessly & unimaginatively) cliched comedy premise and give it enough new quirky twists (i.e. Peter Cook playing the random serial killer next door to their shabby little "detective agency" office), along with their go-for-broke fearless performances, to really make it brilliantly funny. So glad to see this is finally out on dvd! I also have a bit of a soft spot for the "Four Men in a Plane", since it gives fans a chance to see these guys that we knew as the Young Ones becoming older, more seasoned actors & also playing against type as four "average" businessmen types instead of the usual wild, anarchic roles that we're used to seeing these guys in. Definitely recommend this series for anyone who's a fan of "The Young Ones", Monty Python, or just Brit comedy in general!
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