on 25 October 2005
Keith is a mini-cab driver. His life is awful, lonely and sad. Yet he fails to realise it and remains optimistic about the direction of his life. Much of the story is Keith talking to the audience through a mini-camera in his car, telling of what he has been through and how his life has come out the way it has.
Full of hope that he can see his 'little smashers' following divorce; Keiths story is both beautiful scripted and immaculately delivered. It delves from occasional comedy to bleak introspection and surprises with some genuinely moving moments. The limited set of Keiths car is surprisingly not as restrictive as you might think with different locations creating an appropriate mood for each segment of the story.
If you are looking for a slightly unusual and intelligent comedy then this is an excellent choice. If you come expecting straight gags then it is not.
on 29 April 2002
Marion and Geoff has a lot going for it. It is in a class of rare television that will make you stay in to watch it and at only ten minutes an episode, that's not bad going. Of a similar ilk to 'The Office,' Rob Brydon masterfully plays out an ingeniously funny script whose beauty on screen lies in its simplicity and under-direction. Added to this, its executive production team boasts the likes of Steve Coogan, the mastermind behind 'I'm Alan Partridge,' and the birth of the scripted docu-soap. A true must for any collection worth its weight.
on 21 February 2003
Marion & Geoff stands obvious comparison to I'm Alan Partridge or The Office - as comedy with a heavy helping of tragedy, and based around the delusions of the main character - but it is more artful than either of those, and really owes most of its inspiration to Alan Bennett's Talking Heads. Where it surpasses even that series is in sustained length - three times the length of Bennett's monologues - and that it's a lot funnier. And absolutely heartbreaking.
The DVD has been designed to watch with all ten episodes run into one another, which provides greater continuity but makes for some odd features, like the brilliantly punctuating title and credits music in between episodes playing to a blank black screen. It also slightly upsets the sense of the series playing out over a period of months, from separation through divorce to Keith's optimistic solo toast in the penultimate episode "to my new life, to my kids ... and to Marion & Geoff."
But these are tiny gripes in an otherwise faultless experience. Keith Barrett, the giggly, blinkered cabbie is, unlike Alan Partridge and David Brent, impossible not to like, and the frequent cringes are born of genuine sympathy more than embarrassment. The ten-minute structure of each episode disciplined writers Brydon and Blick into packing each scene with nuance and meaning, yet it works well as a story arc when watched all together, particularly the mesmerising central episode consisting, in one take, of Keith's relating how he first discovered Marion & Geoff were having an affair, during a summer barbecue. The direction and editing are masterful too (the motorway lights illuminating Keith's face one by one as he silently drives four and half hours to fail to see his little smashers yet again; the cuts as you sense he's about to lose his silver lining for once), making a one-shot monologue with a video camera into a modern tragedy absolutely bristling with life - and death. "Bit of a shock," as Keith says when he goes to see the monkeys ("my favourites") in the safari park during yet another eventless afternoon alone in the car. "They've all been shot."
on 9 March 2004
I didn't watch Marion and Geoff when it was on telly ("A guy talking to a camera in a car? How can that be funny?") and rather surprised myself when I found it in a box of goodies from Amazon. But I watched it, and found it to be an extremely likeable comedy. Gentle is probably a good word for it (apart from the final scene!) but to use that word puts it on a stage with Butterflies, Last of the Summer Wine and other rather BBC comedies.
No, Marion and Geoff is just very very funny observational comedy. There's no swearing, no nudity but it's still the funniest thing I've seen in a while.
The format it's presented in here is also well done. There's no credits before or after each episode, and each episode is just shown in a continuous format with a small "break" in between. Of course, it means that you can't just watch one episode and switch off, but here, that's not a problem (as an aside, you can still watch the episodes as they appeared on BBC).
The extras are good but not overly so. Comic relief episode, deleted scenes, commentary. The commentary itself is quite good, with Brydon on top form.
on 12 March 2003
Marion and Geoff is truly a masterpiece. I had the fortune to stumble across an episode one night and havent missed one since. This dvd is a must for any fans of comedy, just watching Keith's (Bydon) optomistic face makes me want to laugh. There are some hilarious one liners, and a brilliant scene where Keith decides to pay Marion and Geoff a surprise visit in Disneyland.
Some great extras too - a great comic relief special and outtakes to boot.
Buy it - you will not be dissappointed.
on 14 March 2010
Keith the taxi driver is an amazing comedic creation. I dont think i have laughed so much in ages. Rob Brydon is magnificent at giving the subtlety that is required for this character. I had only caught bits of this series when it first came out and have been meaning for ages to buy the dvd. After having watched the series I could have kicked myself for not buying it sooner. Rob Brydon is, to me, one of the great comedy talents that this country has. he should be celebrated for his brilliance. buy this series and you will not be disappointed! unless you are devoid of humour!!
on 21 June 2012
Well I'd like to start by saying that I really enjoyed this program and loved the DVD.
I'm not your conventional sixteen year old, I do have different tastes to most, I enjoy comedy, drama, science fiction, and most genres for different reasons. Whether it comes from the realism combined with surrealism present in Gavin and Stacey, or the blackest of black comedy style that makes Julia Davis' Nighty Night.
I had watched Gavin and Stacey and decided to take a look at what Julia Davis and Ruth Jones had done, If not at first I began to appreciate what can be done with black comedy and that you can make something brilliant without carrying the usual beat. It was only recently I re-watched Nighty night and felt I wanted more, so quickly found the comedy Human Remains, that starred Brydon and Davis, and found that it was of a different tone but got it just right, six episodes with six couples all played by the same two, but in each the actors seem to have the ability to change themselves.
It was next I remembered that I had seen another comedy with Rob Brydon that was to be of a similar style, Marion and Geoff, and yesterday I found the two DVDs in a second DVD shop that I knew I had to buy them both, and so I did. I happened to watch the DVD as one 90 minute long feature, as I pressed Play all on the DVD menu, and I slowly slipped into a one on one monologue by the lonely but ever optimistic Keith, who lives to talk about his two sons and his former wife Marion, and her partner Geoff, who are all he has in the world, apart from his cab, and £70 he won on a radio quiz game.
Brydon plays the character with such realism that you might actually be convinced he was just an eccentric man with a bizarre outlook on life had you not heard of him before. Keith's story is at times touching, but Brydon's comedy timing cuts down any emotional moments and one gets the sense that life goes on for Keith and that he doesn't dwell on the past; the series is edited with small snippets of film and the occasional piece of music to set the tone and break up his long winded stories and experiences, there are also some nice shots taken from inside a car of a coastline which are added in inbetween scenes.
The character is an interesting one, he has obviously had a difficult life with many things not going his way, but he seems so happy and isn't bitter towards his former lover who has treated him poorly by having an affair and cutting him out of her and his children's lives quite considerably.
As I said, I am one of bizarre tastes, I can like many different things for different reasons and therefore this is not automatically something that fans of Gavin and Stacey will like so I urge them not to jump in a buy this and then leave a negative short review as some people already have.
The DVD commentary is a nice addition that not all DVDs feature, so it was nice that the writers and star took the time to do this, and the commentary transpires as a nice insight into the making of the program and a chance for the viewer to see which parts of the series the writers admired and parts they thought could have gone better.
Rob Brydon does comedy very well and I hope to see some of his other works and collaborations when I am finished with this gem.
on 12 February 2010
It is not often I see a programme or film which is so perfect that I find it hard to put into words. Rob Brydon and Hugo Blick have presented me with one of those situations with this magnificent series. Marion and Geoff is quite simply perfect in every way. The writing is pure poetry, a tightly scripted and beautifully flowing story full of humour and pain which draws the viewer deep in and never gets dull for a moment. The filming, lighting and cutting of the series is exceptional, creating a piece of art from a very limited set. The whole programme is held together by the most incredible performance from Rob Brydon. Many people know him simply as Bryn in Gavin and Stacey - I just hope his increased exposure will encourage fans to seek out his earlier work and witness a true genius at work. Every word, gesture and look delivered by Brydon is perfect, he clearly immerses himself in his character and completely becomes him. The incredible intimacy created between the viewer and Brydon is very intense; we spend the entire programme literally looking into his eyes as he delivers his story inches from the camera, completely stripped bare with no supporting artists or set to hide behind. The true genius of this programme is the immense combination of humour and tragedy. Many of Brydon's storys and lines are hugely funny. At the same time, much of this show is bleak and very painful, culminating in a central scene where Keith goes to Eurodisney which had me in floods of tears. I am so happy to have discovered this glorious series, it is the work of an unbelievably talented man. Keith Barrett is a character who is impossible not to like, do not be surprised if you find your heart breaking for him by the end. Whatever you do, watch this wonderful series and treasure it.
on 15 December 2003
Whether you find this series funny is entirely dependant upon which side of the comedy divide your tastes fall on. If you find yourself laughing at Lenny Henry, the sketch show, or My Family (the sitcom on BBC 1 with Zoe Wannamaker) then please stop reading, and go and have a coffee or something (I hope you don't burn yourself). However, if you like the Office, the league of gentlemen, or phoenix nights then you have come to the right place. Or rather you have come to the best place, for Marion and Geoff seems to mature into someting very touching and profound, a series in which the source of comedy is a simple man who is achingly unlucky. The components of the character are perfectly balanced, his continual optimism pitched against the backdrop of his acute loneliness. The form of this series (Keith talking to the camera in his cab like a diary entry) forces the viewer to engage, it is very hard to get side tracked on to anything else. But it is the writing and the acting that are just exemplary. It is only when you listen to the commentary you realise how many lines are inserted for 'gag' purposes, for the end result is seamless and everything seems believable within the character. Blick and Brydon skilfully manipulate the mood of Keith so every episode will have its (realtive) highs, and of course, its quite terrifying lows.
One of the other reviewers compared the writing to Shakespeare, no, not quite. But, when you sit down at Xmas full with turkey, Only Fools and Horses, and Celebrity Fit Fame Idol Pop Gaylords, steal upstairs away from your relatives, and watch an episode of Marion and Geoff. It will be like taking a very cold, but reconstituting shower.
on 19 April 2013
I got this after reading Rob Brydon's autobiography, 'Small Man In A Book'. I remember seeing the original series and feeling very sorry for Keith in the series. When I saw the DVD thirteen years after, I was blubbing my eyes out! It's said that art imitates life and after this, I wonder about what was left out of the book regarding his first wife and how much of this fed into the series in a disguised form.
Why did Marion let Keith go as she did? Did Rhys and Alan, his two little smashers (though they may be somewhat bigger now), find the teddies he left out so carefully for them? And was the embracing of the Eeyore and Tigger toys symbolic of bipolarity - the depressive side and the manic side coming together?
The disc also includes the insert done for Comic Relief and Rob's commentary.