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Whites [DVD]

34 customer reviews

Price: £3.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Only 7 left in stock.
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Product details

  • Actors: Alan Davies, Darren Boyd, Katherine Parkinson, Isy Suttie, Maggie Steed
  • Directors: David Kerr
  • Writers: Matt King, Oliver Lansley
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: ITV Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 22 Nov. 2010
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003XU7O26
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,778 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Deep in the Hertfordshire countryside, Thaxted Manor Hotel is home to The White House restaurant and it's resident head chef Roland White (Alan Davies). A former leading light of the London restaurant scene Roland is now a terminal slacker who relies on best friend and put upon sous chef Bib (Darren Boyd) to do all the hard work for him. With his brigade of staff including restaurant manager Caroline (Katherine Parkinson), dippy waitress Kiki (Isy Suttie), new apprentice Skoose (Stephen White) and hotel owner Celia (Maggie Steed) Roland is facing a difficult choice; to finally go for it and earn that first elusive Michelin star or just hide in his office and settle for the easy life.

The DVD of Whites contains all six episodes of the first series.

Episode 1:
Bib is working under masses of pressure, whilst Roland is taking his own time, away from service, to write a book that nobody has asked him to, much to the annoyance of restaurant manager Caroline. Spurred on by the news a publisher is coming to dinner with owner Celia, he sets about showing his worth as a top chef.

To assist his put-upon sous chef, he hires an apprentice Skoose. Bib is overjoyed. This, however, is short lived. Assisted by kooky waitress Kiki, the team pulls together under the pressure of a busy dinner service to keep it running smoothly, and impress the guests with their top quality food. Will they do it?

Episode 2:
Caroline is annoyed that Roland has yet again failed to update the menu and pushes him to come up with a new one. As Bib is so keen to introduce new dishes, Roland sees this as an opportunity and asks him to design the new menu.

Roland is troubled when celebrity chef Shay Marshall arrives at the hotel in his helicopter. He is one of Bib's heroes and Bib begins to model the new menu on Shay's unusual recipes. Shay's flirting with Caroline tips Roland over the edge and he confides in Bib his real reasons for disliking Shay. How will this affect the team, and how will Roland feel when Shay comes to dinner?

Episode 3:
A car convention takes place at Thaxted Manor.

Bib is under pressure from his wife as they are desperately trying for a baby. He races against time to make it to the fertility clinic, which is not easy when Skoose is lurking round every corner.

Skoose is put in charge and uses that position to his own advantage, much to the delight of Kiki. Roland is enamoured by a beautiful visitor to the hotel and sets about impressing her with his cooking skills - which Caroline certainly has something to say about.

Episode 4:
The White House restaurant undergoes a health and safety inspection. Roland is used to passing with flying colours with the help of a little bit of casual bribery. Not this time though as new inspector, Heather Critch, means he can't rely on his usual methods to pass. With Caroline and Celia on his case, he has to find another way to stop the restaurant from threat of closure.

Meanwhile, Bib is desperate for a holiday with his wife, which is only exasperated by borderline sociopath Skoose, and Kiki demonstrates her talents as the designated fire warden.

Episode 5:
Roland finally gets a chance in the spotlight when he is invited to do a spot on TV show, Sunday Chefs. It's just a pity he's chosen to do it on a day where they have a function for 300 people, much to the annoyance of Bib and Caroline.

Then when Roland chooses Skoose to be his TV 'sous chef', to the absolute delight of the young apprentice, Bib is driven close to the edge, until a chance meeting with an Australian restaurant owner makes him take a step back and consider his future.

Meanwhile, Robin and Caroline have made their own commitment to the future. How will Roland react to the news?

Episode 6:
Roland is feeling lost without Bib, who is planning his new life in Australia. Whilst the White House staff prepare their acts for the talent show, Roland begrudgingly interviews for a new sous chef, which he makes sure Bib knows about when he pops in to say his goodbyes.

Kiki is upset that Skoose refuses to perform at the party, whilst excitedly talking to Axel about his act, much to Skoose's frustration.

Meanwhile, Robin has to attend to a pig, leaving Caroline at the mercy of Celia's bartending. Will Caroline finally let her hair down? And will Roland have to perform on his own? With the party in full swing, drinks flowing, anything can happen.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By tallpete33 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Oct. 2010
Format: DVD
Alan Davies swaps his duffel coat for Roland White's white (sometimes lilac!) chef's jacket in this excellent new BBC comedy series set in the kitchen of a country hotel. He covets a Michelin star with his "classic" food but is not exactly the most hands-on chef in the world - quite happy to wing it and often chill in his office with a large whisky whilst his unfortunate put-upon sous chef, Bib, holds the fort in the kitchen.

This series works because of a great cast and the chemistry between them all - Skoose the scheming chef after Bib's job, manager Caroline (who Roland may or may not be in love with), Kiki (Dobby from Peep Show) the dippy waitress and the eccentric owner Celia (who was at it like a prairie rabbit on her 3 week honeymoon in Panama apparently). They all deliver a clever and often subtle script that conveys the tension and rivalries in a busy kitchen perfectly but be warned it crosses the line of bad taste and will have you cringing and laughing guiltily in the 3rd and 4th episodes. I've never been a big Alan Davies fan tbh, finding him a bit irritating in Jonathan Creek but teamed up with Darren Boyd (Smack the Pony, Kiss me Kate) and the IT Crowd's Katherine Parkinson, he mans up and puts in a cookin' performance.

The series starts off fairly slowly but has a cracking finale with the Skoose dance and "Wham" reunion making it the sleeper hit of the year for me. Being filmed in HD was a bonus too.

Let's hope a second course is on the menu :o)
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Steve on 3 Nov. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have not been a fan of Alan Davies as an actor, but in this I have to admit that he is very good indeed. It is a brilliant and subtle performance. He is a chef who was once on the up, but is now on the way down. He wants to get back to what he was but no longer really has the heart for it and increasingly depends on others. He is jealous of others' success but it is no longer the work which motivates him. He has come to look on the people he works with almost like family but treats them badly and can't express his emotions, even if it means losing his friends. He still has a twinkle in his eye but is feeling his age. It would make a very depressing drama. And yet it is all handled with a deftness of touch, with writing and performances throughout of the highest order, that produces a really delightful comedy. This is a series which bears repeated viewing - it is not just jokes, you can see real people in it. I like it a lot. I hope there is a second series but only if it maintains the standard of the first.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Adele Bentley on 10 April 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Even though it took me a wee while to stop expecting Alan Davies to perform a magic trick or solve a mystery this series was very entertaining.
The characters were so well cast that it was easy to find myself joining in the storyline...well, mostly in my head. Poor Bib, all I wanted was to finish his sentences or even offer him a few ideas to deal with that annoying little Skoose guy!
Kiki is amazingly blonde, for a brunette. She makes a convincing case for an eggless omlette.
What really appeals about this comedy is the lack of canned laughter. It's for grown-ups who appreciate intelligent humour and can be trusted to know when to laugh.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By SirMarvin on 25 Mar. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Best Sitcom newcomer of BBC in 2010

I really loved to watch the characters and actors in this new fizzy series. It takes you in the kitchen when the pressure is on. The comedy aspect is not all over the place and you get some really story in between. Unfortunately BBC won't renew it this year it seems, let's hope the reconsider as this would be like burying a gem.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Margarita Navarro Perez on 28 Feb. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I found this series way funnier than I expected. The story is a little predictable but it has really funny moments, it made me laugh out loud quite a few times... and for me, that's what a comedy should be about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. L. Rees TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Nov. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
One of television comedy's "also rans", which could well have become a winner if given more time.

Fellow reviewers have enthused, I sadly unable to do so quite as much. Unfortunately my stumbling block is Roland White himself. Normally I enjoy Alan Davies on screen but the chef he plays here is lazy, vain, full of self-pity, an irritant. Only in episode 2 is substance given to the role with revelations of the treachery that helped cause everything to go wrong. (That misfiring attempt at revenge is very funny.)

Similarly all the other characters except Bib (Darren Boyd excellent) seem one dimensional - waitress Kiki only around to be scatty (admittedly amusingly), Skoose there mainly to needle Bib. (Surely there is more to him than this! An outtake has Skoose dramatically reacting to bad news. This deserves inclusion in the episode concerned, at once showing he is not simply an insensitive troublemaker. By the way, full marks for that totally unexpected performance by him at the end. There he is revealed in a completely new light - the result a hoot, absolutely great.)

Writers Matt King and Oliver Lansley show skill at creating scenes of excruciating embarrassment, people in a hole continuing desperately to dig - as when Roland tries to assure his date he does not mind she is minus a limb.

Six episodes. Intriguing bonuses include Kiki being prolongedly VERY weird. The cast interestingly discuss their roles (accompanied by a repeatedly slamming door!). They reveal hopes for how their characters will develop - unaware they are not to be given the chance.

Much seemed in place for a classic series, but this was not to be. At least there is the boxed set to compensate - enjoyment mixed with regret for what might have been.
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