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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've had a lot of compliments in my time Don...
For me, writing a review for "Nighty Night" is essentially like writing out a Valentine's day card for your one true love - no matter how hard you try to express your love, no matter how much you try to avoid cliches in the name of sincerity, you always feel that somehow, words just aren't enough.

Briefly, "On discovering her husband Terry has cancer,...
Published on 9 Dec 2006 by Deanne Dixon

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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good in small doses
I enjoyed the original series on TV, but watching it all in one go it gets a bit repetitive. However, you can't really fault the cringe-factor throughout, and the superb observation, especially the little scenes at the hairdresser. Clever stuff but needs to be watched in small chunks.
Published on 11 April 2006 by H. F. Day


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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've had a lot of compliments in my time Don..., 9 Dec 2006
By 
Deanne Dixon "deanne9499" (Sunny South Shields) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nighty Night - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
For me, writing a review for "Nighty Night" is essentially like writing out a Valentine's day card for your one true love - no matter how hard you try to express your love, no matter how much you try to avoid cliches in the name of sincerity, you always feel that somehow, words just aren't enough.

Briefly, "On discovering her husband Terry has cancer, beautician Jill Tyrell is eager to move on and find new love. It comes in the form of a bearded doctor, Don Cole. Jill's only obstacles are Terry's return to health and Don's disbaled wife, Cath. But when Jill wants something, she will stop at nothing to get it".

I am going to stick my neck out here and say that, in my opinion, "Nighty Night" is the best programme I have ever seen. Rarely has a sitcom captured such polarity - with such an "unbelievable" leading character on the one hand, yet such a "believable" setting on the other. Throughout my first viewing of the series, I remember thinking that with each episode, the character of Jill became more extreme - from the somewhat "tactless" visit to the dating agency in the first episode when her husband is supposedly dying of cancer, to the audacity of buying raw meat and presenting it as Terry's not-so-dead body later on in the series: just when you think that Jill can't get any worse, she always does. Only a truly brilliant show can have you warming to such an unbelievably unlikeable character - only a truly brilliant show can make you laugh out loud so much, make you feel embarrassed for the characters (think of Terry's funeral) and even make you gag through the use of what, in the end, is only your imagination (think of the scene where Glenn supposedly has a "stool" in a plastic bag).

Despite Jill's supposed "unbelievability", the show still manages to remain "believable" through it's supporting cast of characters that we can all identify with. All of us know someone who is self-centred, thoughtless, and willing to go to any length to get what they want (though, unlike Jill, few of us know anyone who would kill to achieve their ends). Many of us can identify with the character of Cath - a woman with immense patience, always prepared to see the glass as being "half-full", far more tolerant of other people's misgivings than most of us would be. Some of us know a Don-like figure - oozing professionalism through their choice of career, but deeply flawed in their private life: no doubt, a few people reading this review have Glenn-like qualities - naive (and therefore vulnerable) but ultimately possessing a heart-of-gold. The only character I found it hard to identify with was Sue. When I watched "Nighty Night" the first time, I remember thinking that there was more to her than initially meets the eye. Although, on the surface, she seems to be morality personified (being the Vicar's wife and, ultimately, trying to protect Cath from Jill's overbearing presence), there was something about her that didn't quite sit right with me. For those of you who felt the same on watching it - I would urge you to watch the second series as it seems that Julia Davis deliberately left the door open for character development here.

I cannot finish this review without making two final points. Firstly, despite there being a truly outstanding supporting cast here, five stars should go to Julia Davis alone - not only for casting herself in the role of such a tyrant, but also for really capturing the essence of Jill through her mouth-watering one-liner's, choice of wardrobe and body language. Finally, the sound-track is well thought-out, with each song being specifically chosen to capture the spirit of the moment: look out for Gabrielle's "Don't Need the Sun to Shine", always played when Don does finally manage to get "some quiet time", also look out for the darkly ironic DVD-edited inclusion of "I'll Stand by You" at Terry's funeral - something which in the end, Jill never really did.
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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The blackest humour ever known to man...., 15 July 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Nighty Night - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Nighty Night is quite possible the sickest and funniest television programme to have ever been made.
It centres on Jill who is the owner of a suburban beauty salon. She has other things on her mind, namely the handsome doctor who lives in the house opposite with his wife, a wheelchair user.
Jill claims her hospitalised husband is dying of a terminal cancer and so descends on the life of the unfortunate neighbours and refuses to leave. She very quickly announces that her husband, who is alive, has passed away.
On paper, this probably sounds vile and to a large extent it is - but in a way that will have you laughing uncontrollably.
We can but hope that Julia Davis somehow manages to make a second series. Can't see how considering the ending, but we can live in hope....
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Had to have it, 8 April 2006
By 
V. Rowe "kiwivic" (Hamilton, NZ) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Nighty Night - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
This was shown late at night on satelite TV in NZ. I caught the final of series one and was immediatley taken with 'Glen'. It was not unheard of for my household to quote Glen ("doctors lie") and try to master his facial tic. We still try.
Sometime later I was browsing satelite TV and came across Glen again. I had stumbled on to episode 1 of the second series. I ended up watching this series and laughed my pants off. This was soooooooo briliant I just had to order the DVD of series one. All reviews I had read had placed series 1 as the funniest, so I was really looking forward to this. Series 1 is great, however series 2 is far more outrageous and funny in my book. Perhaps because I saw it first and it held it's own. Vague memories of the final episode of series 1 helped make series 2 understandable. So I am pre-ordering series 2 - got to have that too!
I love all the quotable quotes in this series and now get stange looks at work (as no one else has seen it). I rave about it at work to the point where people think I am nuts.
If you haven't seen this series yet, you need to make sure you do. This has got to be on the top 10 list of things to do before you die :-). Nighty Night is a very clever, well thought out comedy, with perfect timing and acting. Excellent visual gags support the precise and deliberate dialogue of the script. The more you watch it the better it gets. You can watch the same episode again and again and again and not get tired of it. When you go away it invades your thoughts, again getting funnier and funnier and funnier. I rate it up there with The Young Ones and The Office. Pushing boundries and getting away with it. (Although I found it difficult to find the Bruce situation in series 2 funny). I am sure the more I watch of series 1, the more I will rate it as highly as I rate series 2.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ., 14 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Nighty Night - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Loved this series so much when it first came on, has no choice to buy the boxset on here, and it's pretty cheap. I've already watched it several times. Julia Davis is a ledgend :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Life's Givers, 9 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Nighty Night - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
I didn't like this when I first saw it. Didn't like it at all. In fact, I pretty well hated it. The whole set-up seemed wildly implausible. Jill Tyrell, a fabulously incompetent hairstylist, has just been told her husband is dying of cancer.( "Why me? " she wails.) With slow-speaking Terry safely tucked away in hospital, Jill is free to grow as a woman. This means insinuating herself into the lives of her new neighbours Cathy and Don, her intention being to steal Don from Cathy. All the while she must contrive to keep from Terry the fact his tumour is actually shrinking and he is recovering. Terry, told repeatedly by Jill the tumour has "biggened", seems to accept this even though he is probably fit enough by now to be a trapeze artist. (Funnily enough the doctors never seem to discuss Terry's condition with him, especially as the news is good.) Terry must be the stupidest man on the planet, which is maybe why Jill married him.

Well, OK. A plausible impossibility is better than an impossible plausibility. My worry on first viewing was Julia Davis would yield to the temptation a lot of comedy writers yield to and try to make everything as darkly twisted and sick as possible - anything for a horrified laugh, and the whole series would collapse into absurdity. Character would be pulled out of shape by the accumulation of grisly events and the whole thing would be a kind of unholy cross between Carry On and the Marquis De Sade. On repeated viewing I'm happy to say this didn't happen, except for the one sticking-point for me, the character of Terry.

Actually I've met hairdressers like Jill (well, one) who always have some slick excuse for their negligence. In one funny exchange it's, " I think divorce has brought your eyebrows down, Mrs Horner. " (Eventually the poor woman ends up with a hairstyle like Richard III and jumps off a bridge.) Some of the scenes in the salon are hilarious. Jill is helped by Joy and Linda, the latter brilliantly played by Ruth Jones. Linda suffers from asthma, an uncontrollable appetite and is if anything even more incompetent than Jill. The health & safety inspection scene is a particular favourite of mine, with Linda whimpering as the inspector finds one hygiene disaster after another. In another scene Linda (whose own hairstyle resembles two charred cottage loaves stuck either side of her temples) is unwisely left to operate the tan blaster on a Mrs Wickstead. As Jill goes through the procedure, practically telling the customer the room is as confining as the Black Hole of Calcutta (just to put her at her ease), Linda keeps mumbling, " Ah..." , zombie-like. Then, as Mrs Wickstead is led off to her fate, she asks, " Jill, who is Mrs Wickstead? "

Much of the comedy around Jill derives from her appalling insensitivity, narcissism and shameless me-first outlook. Cathy, the new neighbour, has MS, and Jill shamelessly exploits her illness and her politeness to get what she wants. I cherish the episode where a 'girly afternoon out' foisted on Cathy by Jill turns into a grotesque obstacle course of negotiating gradients and bumps for Cathy in her wheelchair, while Jill drives blithely away in her car. A later dinner party piles on the agony: Cathy is vegetarian, so of course Jill has prepared a hideous meat platter consisting of tongue: cow, deer, sheep, duck, pig, auroch... Then 'prawns in a milky basket' that Jill charmingly likens to a 'panty-liner' while both guests are trying not to throw up. During the course of this evening Cathy gets locked outside (deliberately), urinated on by the manic terrier Michael, slapped (a blow aimed at Michael that somehow misses), and finally showered with dog-turds when she tries to find some Pepto-Bismol for her upset stomach. It is excruciating to watch, but very funny.

Most of the acting is first rate, but particular mention must go to Rebecca Front as Cathy, who is absolutely outstanding - every nervous laugh, accommodating smile, twitch of disgust at her oblivious husband's stellar crassness ( Cathy: " I just feel ugly, and old, and inadequate..." Don: " C'mon, darling, you're not...old ") is perfectly calibrated. She doesn't put a foot wrong. Mark Gatiss is also superb as the hapless Glenn Bulb, with his memorable tic of a gulping sideways yawn. And Angus Deayton, who on first view I thought to be a total nonentity, is actually very amusing to watch, taking Cathy for granted, slipping off to the pub from the church group whenever he can, ogling Sue (the vicar's wife) and flirting with his receptionist, Gina, who is Asian. ( Jill calls her "a dwarf with styes". )Along with the acting is a particularly well-chosen soundtrack, and such a relief from the bane of any good comedy, the laughter track. Gabrielle's Don't Need the Sun to Shine plays every time Don sneaks off for 'a bit of a quiet time' away from the church group Swallow's Fun & Friendship themed get-togethers; I'll never be able to hear Marillion's Lavender in quite the same way as it is the clarion-call to Jill's obsession with Don; The Pretenders' I'll Stand by You is poignantly used in the funeral episode, especially as standing by Terry is manifestly not what Jill has done; the opening of Elgar's cello concerto lifts the curtain on the funeral and counterpoints her murderous assault on Terry.

Black comedy is very hard to do; as I say it usually collapses under the freight of twisted humour it feels obliged to carry, but this series I believe mostly succeeds. It stands alongside the comedy greats ( Fawlty, The Office etc. ) quite easily in its scope and ambition and works principally because although improbable at some points ( Terry, Jill's funeral speech) the very restricted and restrictive suburban milieu offset the demented goings-on so well. So don't go by first impressions, as I did. Give it another try. It is well worth it.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly crafted pitch-dark comedy., 20 Jan 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Nighty Night - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
I've been a fan of Julia Davis since "Human Remains". She is an amazing actress, and even when she does small parts - "Love Actually" and "Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself" spring to mind - she fills them with such intensity they become unforgettable. Her first venture into a kind of more narrative comedy ("Human Remains" was, after all, a series of fake documentaries) is this detailed and demented soap opera, brilliantly structured, written, filmed and performed, which manages to break several comedic taboos and taking dark comedy to a whole new level. This is so refined that we almost forget we're watching a TV series. At its best, "Nighty Night" feels like the best indie comedy film that was never made. All the actors are amazing, but Mark Gatiss (from The League of Gentlemen) excels as the ultimate lonely weirdo. A TV masterpiece. Can't wait to see the rest of this story in season 2.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We'll settle up later. Otherwise it just gets nasty., 8 Jan 2011
By 
Crookedmouth ":-/" (As seen on iPlayer) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Nighty Night - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Who'd imagine that the BBC, a publicly funded broadcasting body would be as adventurous as they are with TV comedy? But then they have brought us such gems as The Office, Big Train and The League of Gentlemen, so perhaps it's not so surprising after all. Actually, there's a bit of a hint in those three titles, because if you want a good idea of what Nighty Night is like, they are as good a point of reference as I can think of. Imagine a bland, middle class, suburban setting (try The Good Life) populate it with the sort of grotesque characters one might find in The League Of Gentlemen and get them to perform the sort of cringe-worthy car-crash comedy of The Office and you're getting warm. Of course, the characters aren't quite as wierd as the inhabitants of Royston Vasey, but they are nevertheless pretty strange in a subtle, suburban way. Julia Davis does, however, take extreme pleasure in putting these charaters in situations far more discomfiting, humiliating and painful than anything you'd find at Wernham Hogg. So, if you liked The Office and LoG, then this brand of dark, uncomfortable, surreal comedy will be for you. If those titles left you cold, then you'll probably hate this.

OK, enough about what it's like. What's it about? Jill Tyrell is a scheming, devious (also rather dim) young woman who's mission seems to be to escape her marriage to her dull and (one-time) unfaithful husband and take a step or two up the social ladder. To this end she persuades her recovering husband (Kevin Eldon) that his cancer is terminal and closets him away in a hospice. She then pursues her sex starved next-door neighbour (Angus Deayton) to the chagrin of his disabled and religious wife (Rebecca Front), the local vicar and his wife (Felicity Montagu). In the meantime, Jill is fending off the somewhat physical advances of a deeply disturbed suitor Glen Bulb (Mark Gatiss) and also run a catastrophically dangerous beauty parlour. Hilarity ensues - yes it does! and despite the dark, malicious humiliating vein there are plenty of laugh out loud moments.

Jill: So was Rachel ever unfaithful to you?
Glenn: Oh no... I mean... she did have sex with someone else - her orthodontist, but brute force was involved. He was very drunk... technically it was rape, but he didn't press charges... She was a big girl, Rachel, she was a P.E teacher, my P.E teacher.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good in small doses, 11 April 2006
By 
This review is from: Nighty Night - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
I enjoyed the original series on TV, but watching it all in one go it gets a bit repetitive. However, you can't really fault the cringe-factor throughout, and the superb observation, especially the little scenes at the hairdresser. Clever stuff but needs to be watched in small chunks.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simply stunning!, 11 Nov 2007
By 
sean paul mccann "mccanns23" (ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Nighty Night - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Nighty night is a dark comedy set in the west country of England,it is written and created by julia davis who also stars as jill,a woman so evil,it is unlikely that she can be compared to anyone in tv before her.
The idea behind the show is that jills husband,terry,has been diagnosed with cancer,it doesnt look good for him,as soon as this is known,jill heads to a dating agency,thats callous hey,no other way of putting it.She heads out on date with a loser called glen,she leaves him sitting in the restaurant but he keeps reappearing,all the while,a new family move in across from jill,husband don,played with pomp by angus deayton,yes,the same angus,and his wife who has M.S who he spends alot of time caring for.Jill soon falls for don and stops at nothing and i mean nothing to get him,she wants his wife out of the picture.
The show is extremely cringe worthy,far more so that the office,jill is filled with spite and nasty jibes but all the while she is an anti-hero of sorts,and wait to you see what happens to her ill husband terry and what she does about that.
The supporting cast are all key here as well,all contributing fine laughs and head in hand embarrasment for them.This is excellently writtem,very dark,very sinister and very funny and awkward and who couldnt help but take to a show that has the theme tune to the classic film 'my name is nobody' as its theme,vital,yes,you heard me,vital.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly un-PC, 2 Nov 2009
By 
Charles Pooter (Brickfield Terrace) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Nighty Night - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Highly entertaining, brave, unexpected, with a superb cast including Mark Gatiss and Ruth Jones in supporting roles.

Very watchable.

Just one note of caution:- series 2 is not in the same league and is best avoided.
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Nighty Night - Series 1 [DVD]
Nighty Night - Series 1 [DVD] by Julia Davis (DVD - 2005)
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