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5.0 out of 5 stars The Nines
Hot on the heels of the brilliantly macabre Psychoville comes this, Shearsmith and Pemberton's warped anthology of twisted tales, which is set (as the title suggests) in a variety of houses or rooms bearing the number 9. From suburban shenanigans to skeletons in the vast closets of crumbling country mansions, the pair present a variety of stories - rich in the League of...
Published 1 month ago by Scaroth, Last of the Jagaroth

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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars As much fun as eating a horseshoe.
I love all their other stuff but this series stinks. I tried to like it but it's just a sort of rubbish 'Tales of the unexpected'.
Published 1 month ago by Mr. R. Whalley


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5.0 out of 5 stars The Nines, 28 Sep 2014
This review is from: Inside No. 9 [DVD] (DVD)
Hot on the heels of the brilliantly macabre Psychoville comes this, Shearsmith and Pemberton's warped anthology of twisted tales, which is set (as the title suggests) in a variety of houses or rooms bearing the number 9. From suburban shenanigans to skeletons in the vast closets of crumbling country mansions, the pair present a variety of stories - rich in the League of Gentlemans' trademark pitch-black humour.
Opening offering 'Sardines' is easily my favourite - with a raft of outstanding turns from the likes of Anna Chancellor, Tim Key, and Timothy West, whilst far and away the most disturbing for me was the final tale: 'The Harrowing'. Other scenarios include foul play in a theatre dressing room, the tribulations of a pair of incompetent burglars, and what (only this comedy team could envisage) might happen when a celebrity visit to a sick child goes bizarrely wrong.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Genius!!, 25 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Inside No. 9 [DVD] (DVD)
Superb writing and acting again from the brilliant Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton.. Completely different stories and characters in each episode, which makes them more like mini plays which each work brilliantly.. I have always been a huge Reece and Steve fan since the wonderful 'League of Gentlemen', and think they are the most talented writers and actors we have around today.. In two words, pure genius..!!
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovingly crafted masterpieces that get inside your head, 15 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Inside No. 9 [DVD] (DVD)
*Includes spoilers*

`Inside No 9' comes from the brilliant imaginations of Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton. The pair are touched by genius & have been responsible for some of the best British television (`The League of Gentlemen' & `Psychoville') of the last 20 years.

Their new work is an anthology series of self-contained episodes - with the action confined to just one room or at the most, one building. These are merely logistical constraints because the six stand-alone stories are wonderfully imaginative, interwoven with intrigue, twists & turns, menace, compelling characters, dark hued motives & black hearted deeds. With admirable breadth and depth, they are all very different in feel, tone & atmosphere but unified by an overarching sensibility of wanting to wrong-foot and surprise the audience, demanding our full attention to what is taking place on screen. You have to totally immerse yourself in each story. Their riveting, captivating quality ensures this is precisely what you do.

The principle link connecting these disparate episodes is that of an all-encompassing knife-edge balancing act between comedy & drama, humorous & tragic. It is the unique essence that characterises Shearsmith & Pemberton's work - a delicate, difficult thing to achieve (without it seeming forced or bolted on), the shift between the two turning in a hair's breadth, but Reece and Steve are its masters. No-one else on TV is doing what they do & doing it so brilliantly. They are true television auteurs.

The realm of dramatic explorations balanced by the comedic tone in the `No 9' stories include the trauma of childhood abuse & the lasting damage done unfolds as a traditional parlour game is played; a heartbreaking descent into mental breakdown and the haunting realisation that what keeps us from the gutter is gossamer thin; people's venal greed, the commodifying of celebrity & the selfish manipulation of children by adults; the choreographed perfection of a silent burglary, mixing Laurel & Hardy mishaps with Ortonesque farce; the nagging insecurities & professional jealousies of the acting profession, played out against a Shakespearean metadrama that ends in personal tragedy; meditations on art & religion as a nightmarish horror mounts, tempered by the gothic comedy of an Addams-like brother & sister.

All are deeply impressive & highly skilled pieces of writing. Reece & Steve's work is distinguished by meticulous care, attention to detail & a genuine love of what they create. They `plough their own furrow' & write what entertains them, undiluted by what is `in' or `out' and against the swell of the mainstream. Shearsmith & Pemberton's writing is the very antithesis of hack work, defiantly rejecting all that is clichéd, compromised, lazy & mediocre - their `own thing' is what matters. `Inside No 9' evokes the 1960s-1970s golden age of writers & writer led TV programmes - Rod Serling, Nigel Kneale, Roald Dahl & `Play for Today', in which originality & creativity were a part of the TV schedules to a far greater extent than they are today. In recalling a television age where writing was supreme, as a series 'Inside No 9' is - for all intents & purposes - a collection of plays or playlets. The writing is extraordinarily precise, focusing the scenes across real time or limited time, restricting the action taking place to a fixed space & concentrated on a relatively small number of characters. Viewing each No 9 is almost like settling down in a theatre auditorium to watch a beautifully written & performed play.

The `No 9' episodes are enacted by an array of superb actors (no doubt attracted by the sheer quality of the scripts), none more so than Reece & Steve themselves. Individually they are brilliant actors & together they have an incredible chemistry.

Shearsmith & Pemberton surpass themselves with each new creation & `Inside No 9' shows them at the very top of their game. It is a magnificent achievement, the culmination of hard work, years of experience and natural born talent - a labour of love that has borne six masterful examples of their craft. Reece and Steve are wonders of our television age & we are very lucky to have them.

These stories repay watching again & again. Having the DVD (& please can consideration be seriously given to a Blu-ray release in the future) means you can cherish them - and their intricacies, subtleties & mesmerising character interplays. Watching truly great work just lifts the spirits. One can see the love with which 'Inside No 9' was made and in turn it generates love - from all those who watched it & fell in love with its brillance - in the way only exceptional creative work does.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant stuff!., 16 Jun 2014
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K. Cairns (Scotland.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Inside No. 9 [DVD] (DVD)
Have been a big fan of Reece and Steve for many year's and this little gem is no exception of how brilliant these two are at both writting and acting.
Even if you've never seen or cared for their other work togerther, I know without a doubt that if you saw this then you would love it, it also seem's slightly more accessable for newer viewer's to get into and enjoy than perhaps TLOG and Pychoville. Cant wait for the second series!.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More underrated genius from Shearsmith and Pemberton, 8 April 2014
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This review is from: Inside No. 9 [DVD] (DVD)
Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton are easily the most hard done by and ignored creators of the contemporary British comedy elite. Whereas the works of Ricky Gervais and Steve Coogan are studied by fans and critics alike and given wide coverage, the one half of 'The League Of Gentlemen' are cast aside often. League HAS been hailed as a sitcom/sketch masterpiece but it still does not get the recognition it deserves, and neither did their fantastic follow-up project 'Psychoville'. They call to mind Matthew Holness' shows 'Garth Marenghi's Darkplace' and 'Man to man with Dean Lerner', two brilliant series both side-tracked (mostly due to lack of advertisement, which is essentially what let down Psychoville) but have since developed cult status. Mark Gatiss, a member of the quartet of the League of Gentlemen, even went on to make a huge impact with the massive hit Sherlock, co-writing the show (also acting as Mycroft Holmes). Shearsmith, in acknowledgement of their underrated works, said even BEFORE the last episode of the second series of Psychoville aired that there would be no further series, saying that he and Pemberton were proud of the show but it was a shame that "nobody watched it".

'Inside No.9' received much of the same ignorance, and was not advertised well at all. It did get some cracking reviews, but it was a show that, again, many missed. However, even five minutes in to the first episode, you just end up asking yourself the baffling question 'Why?' No.9 is a real treat, in part their most mature and developed work. There are still deranged and sadistic characters and moments, like a dog being lobbed at a window and then stabbed repeatedly by an umbrella, but it is always executed in the most darkly comic fashion.

The second part of the series (the last 3 episodes, there are six in total) do stoop in brilliance, so it is not all perfection. But the first three episodes are huge acts to follow.

'Sardines', the show opener, is a marvel in awkward acting and English middle class snobbery. Set nearly entirely inside a closet (obviously) the guests of the manor shove and cram in and await the other guests to find them, thus ending the game (which, in typical horror fashion, CLEARLY will not end well). This is the first time you realise what a sitcom treasure trove this show is, as in the closet are cast members of shows like I'm Alan Partridge, Green Wing, Dinnerladies, The IT Crowd, Gavin and Stacey and The Thick Of It. Shearsmith and Pemberton played all the characters in League, the majority of the characters in Psychoville and a handful in No.9. So an all-star cast, including Adam Deacon, Gemma Arterton and Tamsin Greig, appear throughout the series.
The second episode, 'A quiet night in' has Shearsmith and Pemberton break in to a luxury home (playing useless, haphazard robbers) to steal a priceless painting. It is a silent episode, only one line being spoken throughout. The antics and physical comedy are like a violent version of Laurel and Hardy, and it is masterful to reach such heights in only half an hour. The tension builds and builds.
Also, an honourable mention must go to the third episode, 'Tom and Gerri', which is a rewarding psychological horror that keeps you guessing and pulls about three twists in a matter of minutes. The acting is superb in this episode.

However, there is a dip in quality in the second half of the series. 'Last Gasp' is an absurd and interesting idea, but it moves at a strange pace and does not seem to really go anywhere. Certain strands turn in to tangents, and a lot of time you are worrying the show will plummet. However, you cannot ignore that the themes of greed and money worship are great satire (the characters try to sell a balloon containing a dead musicians last breath on ebay). It just doesn't seem to go many places.
The fifth episode, 'The Understudy', is a bit clichéd and contains a somewhat obvious twist, but again, the performances are pitch perfect. It is very watchable, just not classic Pemberton/Shearsmith. The horror doesn't mount too much either.
'The Harrowing' is half special, half okay. This IS classic Pemberton/Shearsmith, and is set inside an old mansion inhabited by creepy homeowners who resemble vampires. It is very tense and chilling, containing many motifs of classic horror movies. However, the ending, in which you are expecting a twist or an escape by a big character who is in the clutches of her enemies simply does not come, and instead you feel slapped in the face as the ending could not be bleaker, but does make you wonder whether this story will be worked upon or picked up in the second series.

But then again, this show is impactful even in the less-great moments. The music is a character in its self, moving the plot along and creating tension like no other show, the acting is spot-on, the style of Tales of the unexpected is riffed on perfectly, each No.9 is very different and makes you excited to see what will happen in the following episode, and the writing is impeccable, with some very humorous and quotable lines. The cast are great, but sometimes the big comedy names feel shoehorned in just for the sake of them being part of it (a notable example being a tiny cameo by Julia Davis, the creator and star of the phenomenal Nighty Night, among others). Also, the characters are rich as always and have backstories and large personalities that are a lot to fit in to 30 minutes, and after that episode ends you're not going to seen them again (a lot of effort for a one time affair).

Still, these are minor niggles in another astonishingly good project by the creators. Don't ignore this like everyone else, and let's hope that series 2 will get the advertising it deserves to boost it's popularity, and that people watch it. Hey, they could even disprove the three series curse of 'The League of Gentlemen' (the third series being one many fans did not enjoy) and make more additions of this ace comedy that will be as memorable as the very first moment they set up (Local) shop as Tubbs and Edward.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly Fiendishly Funny, 5 Mar 2014
This review is from: Inside No. 9 [DVD] (DVD)
An inspired mix of Tales of the Unexpected, Thriller (70s supernatural/murder series) and their own unique weird and wonderful writing and production talents.
We don't get as much of their familiar bizarre grotesque characters so typical in The League of Gentlemen or Psychoville, but we are treated to slow-burning sinister plots featuring - on first impression - harmless everyday individuals, with the stories becoming progressively creepier as each episode twists on.
Absolutely, darkly, glorious.
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5.0 out of 5 stars So funny, sometimes rather shockingly, 24 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Inside No. 9 [DVD] (DVD)
Can't believe I missed this when it was on TV. So funny, sometimes rather shockingly.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection, 21 April 2014
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This review is from: Inside No. 9 [DVD] (DVD)
Loved all of these and thought 'a quiet night in' was as close to comedy perfection as I've seen-brilliant entertainment!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good entertainment, 15 April 2014
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This review is from: Inside No. 9 [DVD] (DVD)
I loved it on tele so am enjoying it again, second episode was so funny! would recommend it to anybody. How can anything with Reece Shearsmith & Steve Pemberton be anything but entertaining?
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A completely brilliant series, 2 April 2014
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Gary H (Surrey, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Inside No. 9 [DVD] (DVD)
I totally loved this series when it came out on television and buying the DVD set was an absolute must. It had me in tears of laughter & silenced by surprise on almost each and every episode.
For me this series is like Forest Gump's box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get next.
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Inside No. 9 [DVD]
Inside No. 9 [DVD] by David Kerr (DVD - 2014)
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