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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Write that down.
Humour is a very subjective thing; I, for instance, do not find "The Office" at all funny. Whether anyone reading this will find "Look Around You" as funny as I do I can't say, but I think it's one of the finest things ever to have been broadcast, for what it is - eight ten-minute programmes. Peter Serafinowicz takes his ludicrous "experiments" absolutely seriously, and...
Published on 26 Feb. 2004 by S. J. King

versus
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hit and miss
There are some classic sketches on this DVD, but once you've watched it through once or twice the humour dissipates and you're left with something you won't watch again.

This series is definately better than the 2nd, so if you are planning to buy one get this.
Published on 8 Aug. 2009 by R. R. Clayton


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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Write that down., 26 Feb. 2004
By 
S. J. King "zh84" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Look Around You : Complete BBC Series 1 [2002] [DVD] (DVD)
Humour is a very subjective thing; I, for instance, do not find "The Office" at all funny. Whether anyone reading this will find "Look Around You" as funny as I do I can't say, but I think it's one of the finest things ever to have been broadcast, for what it is - eight ten-minute programmes. Peter Serafinowicz takes his ludicrous "experiments" absolutely seriously, and Nigel Lester's commentary similarly betrays not the slightest sign that he is reading out a spoof - even when he has to say things like "The gas was allowed to mafipulate through the water for five minutes." The programmes perfectly capture the style of those dreary Schools Programmes on science we saw in the late 70s and early 80s, and - if you didn't pay close attention - you might almost believe it was for real. Until you notice the ants building the igloo, that is. "Thanks, ants," as Nigel Lester says, politely. "Thants."
The DVD is very well presented, and allows the usual writers' and director's commentary as an alternative to the original soundtrack. From this I learned how the show was first conceived: Robert Popper and Peter Serafinowicz produced a one-off parody programme on "Calcium" basically to amuse themselves, and the BBC eventually took it up and commissioned the series we have now enjoyed. "Calcium" is included on the DVD; the interrogation of "intelligent calcium" is perhaps the highlight, though there are many other things to cherish. You also get a series of mock "Pages from CEEFAX", with news, farming, financial and sport reports which combine realism and madness very much as the programmes do; a quiz for what you have learned from each episode, with suitable punishments should you do badly; and a parody test card ending with a few seconds of animation from a cartoon that I wish went on for a whole five minutes. Until we see a complete edition of "The Hexagons", though, I just have to repeat their names - Moffaty, Gideon, Vincent, Slingsby and Wilson - to make myself laugh.
Highly recommended.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank God I'm not the only one!, 9 Mar. 2004
By A Customer
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This review is from: Look Around You : Complete BBC Series 1 [2002] [DVD] (DVD)
I watched Look Around You when it was on television 2 years ago, and tried in vain to get others interested in it, but the concept of "funny Open University" was just a little too weird for most of my friends.
And that's about all I can say about it: it's funny Open University. It captures exactly the tone, the process, the genre of programming for schools that I remember (avoiding) as a child and teenager. And yet, it's incredibly funny, without going "hey, look at the stupid people with their hair and clothes of the 70s" that this type of comedy usually reverts to. The comedy comes from the both the set pieces and the reverence it is obviously paying to the original programming.
The DVD itself is very good, with nice extras including the Little Mouse video in its entirety, but its the commentary that gets me every time. Listening to the commentary makes me want to hear the original soundtrack and listening to the soundtrack makes me want to hear the commentary. It's a nice vicious circle.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just look around you..., 4 Feb. 2005
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This review is from: Look Around You : Complete BBC Series 1 [2002] [DVD] (DVD)
This DVD was a bit of a lucky find for me and I'd recommend it to anyone for a bit of entertainment.
The episodes are short but full of jokes and the odd bit of information. The programme parodies outdated school Chemistry videos, mixing the true with the absurd in an outrageously deadpan manner. The narration is true to life and brilliantly funny, the visual comedy is sometimes fantastic and the general feel of the series really captures that class of humanity, the scientist.
Every episode has many little touches of genius, from the pointlessly meticulous descriptions of experiments reminiscent of school science ('An experiment was carried out to demonstrate the cogniscient properties of Intelligent Calcium...'), to the understated but crazy statements about what we do and don't know, to the ridiculously outdated theme tune and the various glimpses into the lives of the scientists carrying out the experiments. One example is the tantalising view of a scientist's hand getting increasingly burnt as a result of reaching repeatedly into a beaker of boiling water, but where all the acting is done by the hand, with no shots of the scientist's face. Each episode begins with the same format of looking for clues about the topic of the 'module' (always impossible to guess) and various references to 'copybooks'.
This series is beautifully done - every moment seems to be perfected to the point where you can slip into believing that you're watching a genuine science programme until the narrator says something ludicrous or just funny. The menu is superbly accurate to the scienctific style, even down to the terminology (with such functions as 'view modules' and 'view specific module') and while the other special features are not particularly arresting, the double-length 'advanced module' on Calcium is great.
This insightful and seemingly polished series has many brilliant moments and is something I find myself watching again and again, and I would really recommend it to any comedy fans.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Benediction of our Lady Margaret?, 7 Nov. 2003
By A Customer
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This review is from: Look Around You : Complete BBC Series 1 [2002] [DVD] (DVD)
This show has mafipulated (for 5 minutes) to the very besselheim of my being, so that when I hear the word 'sulphur' I can't help but think about the benediction our lady margaret, or the tetrasulphination of dihydrometazene.
This is an example of the most wonderful, wonderful parody, lovingly and knowingly created. You can tell the makers had a wail of a time writing the scripts, and the narration is perfect.
I'm of course overjoyed that the shows are on DVD, but the DVD itself is a bit disappointing in my opinion with no scene selection possible, and very bog-standard extras [not including the excellent calcium module of course!]. Still, the commentary by the writers and director is very interesting, and a welcome addition.
I leave you with one of my favourite parts, what MATHS stands for:
Mathematical
Anti-
Telharsic
Harfatum
Sinomin
If you're a fan of intelligent and witty parody, with a touch of the surreal, you'd better buy a Harrington 3000 and play this DVD on it!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thants, 20 Oct. 2003
By 
Mark Crosby (Manchester, Lancs United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Look Around You : Complete BBC Series 1 [2002] [DVD] (DVD)
The DVD is faultless. It's one of the most original DVD productions I've seen, with the late 70s education TV theme carried throughout it; right down to authentic Ceefax Subtitles and the Look Around You quizzes, as they would be done on a BBC Acorn micro. If you've seen the programme, or even if you haven't, you must get this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars look around you, 27 Mar. 2004
This review is from: Look Around You : Complete BBC Series 1 [2002] [DVD] (DVD)
just fantastic. this captures the feeling of those end of term lessons where your teacher would show you a video for a treat. imagine that, plus more or less constant laughter.
this dvd is basically full of brilliant puns, slapstick, and subtle visual gags. anyone who did science o levels or gcses between 1980 and 2000 needs to watch this. blinding.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thants and blants, 11 May 2004
This review is from: Look Around You : Complete BBC Series 1 [2002] [DVD] (DVD)
This has got to be the best comedy DVD of all time. No kidding. Non stop laughs from beginning to end. Totally freaky, unbelievably silly and spot on parody. I have shown it now t0 about 50 people and every one of them has been rolling on the floor.
A masterpiece. Absolute genius.
Just buy it - it'll change your life!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this!!!!!!, 11 Sept. 2006
By 
S. G. Warner "pictobug" (Elgin, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Look Around You : Complete BBC Series 1 [2002] [DVD] (DVD)
Not much more to add to what's already been said, other than this is absolutely superb. I got mine today and (honestly) shed tears of laughter watching it....

"What ARE birds?.....We just don't know!"

For God's sake, if you have anything approaching a sense of humour, get Look Around You.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks Amazon. Thamazon., 31 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Look Around You : Complete BBC Series 1 [2002] [DVD] (DVD)
Experiment one. An experiment was devised to determine if the feel and sound of the programmes for schools of the 1970s and 80s could be replicated perfectly in the presence of dry and extremely surreal comedy.

Learn how to create whisky by mafipulating nitrogen through water and why you shouldn't eat moth apples. Find out what causes the dreaded Helvetica Scenario and observe trained ants building an igloo.

Be sure to watch it a few times as there are blink-and-you'll-miss-it sight gags everywhere, especially with the labels, and make sure to view the extras, especially the near-perfect recreations of Ceefax pages.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 29 Nov. 2006
By 
@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational a... (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Look Around You : Complete BBC Series 1 [2002] [DVD] (DVD)
I saw this on telly a few years ago and it captivated me, ten minute shorts with as much humour as some half hour shows. Fantastic!

Spoof TV has been done (not quite to death) over the last few years, but this remains unique and intelligent.

The stylistics are perfect, down to the graphics, clothes and hair-do's. This will take you back to when the teacher wheeled in the TV to watch a schools TV show.
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