on 24 June 2011
This is not a DVD that you would put on for Saturday night all-round family entertainment. The humour is often dark, the atmosphere dreamlike and hypnotic in places thanks to the ambient soundtrack, visual effects and deliberately sedated style of speech used by the actors in many of the sketches. The combination makes for compelling and often intense viewing. Imagine David Lynch trying to do comedy and you've got a rough idea of what to expect. Topics covered include incest and infant death, so if you're buying this as a gift just be certain they'll appreciate the dark humour.
If you like Chris Morris then you should like this, but be warned that it is quite different to The Day Today and Brass Eye. Whereas those were more accessible to a wider audience, this is definitely something that not everyone is going to appreciate. However, for those with a taste for inventive, challenging, cutting edge humour with a dark surreal twist it's a must buy. Five stars.
on 4 July 2003
The DVD is well worth owning if you've seen and enjoyed the show. Chris Morris clearly oversees the DVD production - it's chock full of extras, all of them bizarre and confusing like the show.
You can watch deleted scenes and rehearsals, see 3 different versions of every episode, have subtitles (which, in this case, are hilarious, methinks), read the comprehensive music and cast credits, watch Adam and Joe's mickey take of the show, watch two scenes with audience sound and some other stuff I haven't had time to look at.
It's a really wicked DVD production, though I don't know about anamorphic doodaa and framing and suchlike. It all looks good with my big blue eyes.
Buy this if you like Jam. If you don't like Jam, like Jam.
on 21 August 2009
Very dark humour indeed.
This comedy series has a very different feel from almost any other thing I've watched. The whole thing is unique and definitely needs to be seen.
The only worry is that some people will not find this funny at all. They'll be very disturbed by some of the scenes.
Worth checking up on youtube to see some of the scenes before you buy - it's very possible that you won't like it.
on 22 September 2011
As a long time resident in Japan, I've been out of touch with British comedy for years. Fortunately I've been able to hear about the alternative comedy scene via "You Tube" of all places.Illegal clips of many comedians and shows revealed to me that British comedy didn't die out after "Monty Python's Flying Circus" or "Fawlty Towers". My joy of discovering the alternative scene of comedians is beyond words. Thus, after checking out many of the comedians and shows on "You Tube", I gradually got down to a list of "must haves" to buy on DVD. I narrowed it down to Stewart Lee, "Ghost Train", "Look Around You" and to the Chris Morris productions "Brass Eye", etc. But for me the most challenging and "enjoyable" is the "Jam" DVD. This ambient dark comedy DVD is quite shocking at first view. Some of the themes are weird and off worldish. The camera work creates an eerie other worldly dimension that brings out even more the insane situations of the people featured in each skit. Repeated views will surely lure a viewer into this zany world and to want to watch it all the more. But beware, you'll need an open mind to get around the off kilter comedy. Stories about sex, murder, lizards, rapists, et cetera may not seem ideal comedy themes, but stick with it, and you'll be guaranteed a worthwhile purchase.
on 28 April 2003
I have been waiting for a release of Jam on video or DVD since it first aired. It became a cult show amongst all my friends at university at that time, many of us already familiar with Chris Morris' work on The Day Today and Brasseye, and with the previous radio version Blue Jam. But when Jam came along it really hit a nerve with its surely darker than legal level of comedy. The hugely controversial Paedophile episode of Morris' Brasseye now seems, stylistically at least, quite tame in comparison. Many may find it confusing that Jam is considered comedy at all, with its unsettling atmosphere of psychological torment and disfunctional brutality, and maybe it goes too far, but there is nothing else like it. Comedy is naturally disruptive, and Morris is really pushing back the boundaries with the absurd world of Jam, proving himself one of the foremost innovators working in television. Except now he's made the My Wrongs short film and will probably be the next David Lynch.
I also met him once and he's really nice, he wasn't in slow-mo or swearing at children or anything. So be really clever and buy the DVD.
on 18 January 2007
this dvd is special, the cd it is based on is better, even more crazy and with great music interludes from warp records including squarepusher. but morris has made it a great show for tv with wonderful cinematography, namely the colours and slowed up sketches, almost trying to be the opposite of benny hill. you have to be into dark humour to enjoy this as i cannot think of much comedy which is darker, think of 'the aristocrats' joke and it's somewhere close.
the finest bit of this dvd is the extras. with his releases before, notably the day today and also brasseye, extras have been in abundance with interresting pilots, music, etc... with this dvd morris does a satire on dvds! instead of lots of 'bonus' material he has a personnal dig of it all, making disc 2 just the same as disc 1 but with different colours making then a bit more pastilfied(is that a word?). with the actual extras just being all types of versions of the episode but unwatchable! ie episode 1 a miniture version in the middle of the screen or episode 2 miniture but moving! my favoufite has to be the speeded up version of one of the episodes which lasts about 5 seconds. hilarious!
on 1 July 2012
I can't believe I missed out on Jam for so long, after being a long time fan of Chris Morris's other work. I'd seen a few clips on YouTube when I finally decided to buy the DVD, and I wasn't disappointed. The dark, trippy nature of the show, weird video editing (even weirder in the Jaaaaam version, also included), excellent ambient background music, all contribute to feeling like you're on some kind of drug with mildly disturbing effects while watching it. In fact, I found it most fun and immersing to watch while slightly intoxicated on a combination of alcohol and completely legal green plant material. As to the extent of the darkness of the show, new sketches often surprised me in how very sick, wrong, and disturbing they were in concept, and how I was in fits of laughter despite feeling like this was something no decent person should laugh at.
And that's kind of the point - Chris Morris's philosophy has always been that there should be no taboo subjects in comedy (I mean, look at the Brass Eye special, paedogeddon), and that maybe if you look at one of these taboo subjects like rape, incest, child abuse, lizards, murder, and suicide from a comedic perspective, you might discover something new about the subject. That, and that making something funny needs to take priority over trying to make any kind of point or social commentary - if you make something funny that happens to make a valid point, you've succeeded, but if you try to make a point and fit humour around it, you're likely to fail. Which, apparently, is why he's not fond of being called a "satirist". Anyway, if you can handle the darkness of the sketches, then you'll probably love this show - and I'm highly bothered by several of the aforementioned topics, like child abuse, incest, and lizards, having been a victim of at least two of those things (I still can't see an iguana without bursting into tears), but I still very much enjoyed Jam in spite of that.
on 11 February 2007
After having had this show recommended to me, i went out and bought it. It doesn't let you down. the sketches are just the warped fantastical merriment that I savour. Stand out performer has to be David Cann as the bizzare Doctor. perhaps the most disturbing thing on this disc has to be the House for Sex Sketch: the ending is utterly ghaslty! The only beef I have with this show is the music; compared to the radio show, it feels uninspired.
on 30 April 2003
This splendid set is not going to make Chris Morris any new fans. Jam is not easy viewing. The atmosphere is surreal nightmare-logic, the pace glacial, the subject material for the sketches generally concerned with death, perversion, corruption, brutality.
And it's marvellous. Absolutely fantastic. The sound mix is particularly crisp and disturbing, the distorted visuals crystal-clear and the overall atmosphere of vague unease that watching Jam first time round brought about is amplified many times by the superb presentation.
Much kudos to the performers, especially Kevin Eldon and Amelia Bullmore. This must be difficult and occasionally disturbing stuff to do.
on 15 March 2009
i'm a fan of dark humour. and this is the darkest. not a show for the fainthearted or easily upset, this show makes fun of abortions, murder, rape, suicide, sexual accidents leading to death.... everything.
saw this on TV very late one night in the UK and laughed until i cried. the rest of the people int he room were horrified. this gives you an idea of what the "average" person would respond like.
more obscure and dark then Big Train or Brass Eye, this show is warped, in a beautiful and sick way.