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Lunch » Tags » Tv Shows » Reviews » The League of Gentlemen: The Complete Series 1 » User review

the entire first series of the surreal BBC black comedy

  • Sep 3, 2003
  • by
Rating:
+5
Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith serve up laughs and shocks aplenty in the surreal BBC black comedy THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN.

"Welcome to Royston Vasey" - Ben Denton has just arrived in town and is looking forward to a hiking holiday with his friend Martin, as well as catching up with his Auntie Val and Uncle Harvey. At the local job center, restart officer Pauline is furious when Mickey, one of her slower students, lands a job interview without her 'help'.

"The Road to Royston Vasey" - The new road is a real boon for everyone except Edward and Tubbs Tattsyrup, the peculiar owners of the Local Shop. In this episode we also meet 'video hounds' Henry and Ally, as well as the truly-terrifying Reverend Bernice.

"Nightmare in Royston Vasey" - Tubbs sees a map and realises that Edward has hidden the outside world from her. Pauline cracks during a lesson about interview techniques and a strange creature is unearthed by the construction crew.

"The Beast of Royston Vasey" - Mr Chinnery is called upon to investigate the strange beast found by the road-crew. The Legz Akimbo Theatre Company makes it's annual visit to the town. Ben babysits the Denton's weird twin daughters Chloe and Radclyffe.

"Love Comes to Royston Vasey" - Mike gets married with the disgruntled Geoff acting as the best man. The Dentons mourn the passing of their prized toads Sonny and Cher.

"Escape From Royston Vasey" - Tubbs and Edward have an unexpected visit from their son David. Things are getting dire for poor Ben who longs to escape the Denton's clutches and it's Operation Day for Babs.

The DVD includes audio commentary, character profiles and deleted/extended scenes. (Single-sided, dual-layer disc).

Highly-recommended.

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About the reviewer
Byron Kolln ()
Ranked #147
Byron has been actively involved in theatre since the age of 12. He has had a great variety of roles (both on-stage and off). In addition he has hosted the long-running "Show Business" programme … more
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Wiki

In some grim and isolated corner of northern England lurks the town of Royston Vasey, where the local cab driver is a hirsute preoperative transsexual, the local butcher sells hisspecial stuffto select customers, and the local employment counselor thinks people are like pens: "If they don't work, you shake 'em. If they still don't work, you chuck 'em away!" But ifyou'renot local, you should steer clear of the local shop, no matter how tempted you are by its precious things.

To call The League of Gentlemen a black comedy would be an understatement. Its bleak humor owes as much to Samuel Beckett as it does to Monty Python, so those who like their laughs served warm are in for a shock. The show is the most wickedly inventive comedy to come out of Britain since Eddie and Patsy staggered onto our screens in Absolutely Fabulous, and like that groundbreaking series it proudly ignores the boundaries of good taste. Part sketch comedy, part bizarre soap opera, the narrative jumps back and forth between more than a dozen major characters, all played by the three performers who cowrote the show. These characters range from the odd--a vet who accidentally kills all of his patients--to the thoroughly disturbing, like Edward and Tubbs, the inbred proprietors of the Local Shop, who are willing to go to any lengths to prevent the building of a new road through their beloved town.

As the series progresses many of the plot threads begin to twist together, revealing hints that some deeper and ...

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Details

Genre: Television
Studio: BBC Warner
DVD Release Date: October 24, 2000

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