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Alfresco

3.9 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description


Hilarious British sketch series that launched some of today’s top stars

In the tradition of Monty Python’s Flying Circus and Saturday Night Live, Alfresco brought hilariously inventive comedy to British TV in the 1980s. It also introduced an entire troupe of bright young talents -- Emma Thompson, Hugh Laurie, Robbie Coltrane, Ben Elton, Stephen Fry, and others -- who went on to stardom.

Wild and wacky, Alfresco serves up social satire and delightfully off-the-wall sketches that seem as fresh and funny today as when they originally aired. The laughs fly hard and fast, and no sacred cows escape the skewer when these versatile comic actors lampoon bureaucrats, Jesus freaks, self-righteous counterculturists, and even their own show. Now, for the first time, American audiences can enjoy every episode of this British comedy landmark.

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES INCLUDE the three-episode pilot series, the story of the alternative comedy boom in 1980s Britain, and cast biographies and filmographies.

Review

Comedy fans will lap it up knowing they are in for a treat. -- Memorable TV

Grade: B+ -- Entertainment Weekly

I can recommend it for those who love Monty Python-type humor. Or simply love Emma Thompson. -- Battleboro Reformer

Spectacularly funny -- EW.com (Entertainment Weekly)

This collection is filled with smart, dry humor - the kind that the British continue to do so very well. -- PopMatters.com

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Emma Thompson, Hugh Laurie, Robbie Coltrane, Stephen Fry
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: August 26, 2008
  • Run Time: 315 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001ADXWY2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,221 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Joshua Bozeman on July 21, 2008
I just got the box set the other day, and it's very well put together. It's on 2 discs inside the regular paperboard box with the one end open. I haven't watched the entire thing yet, but I've seen some of series 1 and some of series 2 to try to get a feel for the comedy overall. Each disc has some extra material. There's a look into the counter-culture comedy of the early 80's (of which Alfresco was a part of), cast bios that are fairly lenghty and indepth, and the first 3 episodes of the pilot series the show resulted from. It's well put together. There's episode selection and PLAY ALL on each disc. There's even an lengthy insert that tells the backstory of the series and how it all came to be.

So, the set itself is top notch. As always, Acorn Media has put together a very nice set here.

As for the show itself- it's VERY hit and miss. A lot of the routines are just dreadful. A lot of the jokes don't even make sense. The laughs are more plentiful in Series 2 where they started to change the form of the routines. They more closely fit the traditional sketch comedy formula. I didn't love it that much as a whole. There were some funny bits, but a lot of it I just watched and waited. The laugh out loud parts never came. I'd smile here and there for large chunks, but I don't think I laughed out loud once. (so far)

I have a feeling this set was made simply because Hugh Laurie has made it big in the US with House. He's got charisma, and you can see he has comedy chops. I've never actually seen Fry and Laurie, but both men show talent and comedic timing here and there. If the material was funnier, you might get a better idea of that talent.

I should also mention a lot of the genuine laughs in the show are ruined by the annoying laugh track.
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I bought this for my Monty-Python/Fawlty Towers/Fish Called Wanda/etc.-British-humor-loving husband. We've barely made it through two episodes. I'm not sure if this was considered wildly funny at the time it aired, but if so, it hasn't aged well. We will likely watch additional episodes, but it's hard to get through them.
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By Reet on July 4, 2009
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Brilliant ground breaking British comedy! Wonderful performances by Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Emma Thompson (old school chums). A must for all Jeeves and Wooster, A Bit of Fry and Laurie and House M.D. fans.
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I love Fry and Laurie. Everything they do just tickles me. If you are a BIG fan of Fry and Laurie, you will love this. If you aren't, the other talent is also pretty good. It is a group effort. This is not for everyone, some people don't like anything, but I love this.
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