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A New Series in More Ways Than One,
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This review is from: Nighty Night - Series 2 [DVD] (2005) (DVD)
The first series of "Nighty Night" is an unquestionable masterpiece: a six-part series dedicated to opportunist Jill Tyrell's quest to achieve her myriad goals by the most immoral means possible. From Don the married doctor to the upkeep of "Beauty by Jill" hair salon, Julia Davis's dark allegory on Western culture idealized the end result without consideration for the process. The finality of the first year's series run has found new life in this second DVD collection, yet the overall tone and comic edge is now manipulated into a programme of a different order. Davis's Jill has (d)evolved into a much more grotesque creation: a further hyper-sexualized abomination whose moral compass has only continued on its path southward. The usual suspects are all accounted for: Linda, the abused (but justifiably so) cohort who assists Jill in turkey baster fertilizaton and massage therapy when not prying trout from her front bottom; Cath and Don, a couple undergoing new age relationship counselling due to Don's infidelity and Cath's prudish lily; Sue, bereaved widow of Vicar Gordon, outfitted with enormous nipples she considers a gift from God; and a new cast of beach dwelling therapists to assist in the inevitable psychological trauma each encounters as orchestrated by puppetmaster Jill. The fine line between dark humor and farcical gross-outs gags is put to the test during these six episodes continuing on the first year's theme in an entirely more explicit manner.
The best way to approach this series is to disassociate it from its predecessor: all may appear the same, but the proof is in the eating as one unlucky octogenarian discovers in one of the series' more disgusting parables. Writer/actor Julia Davis took the more subdued concept of a woman compelled to murder and deceit as far as one could hope; here is where the story steps over the line. Humour abounds and ridiculousness ensues, but the general landscape is defined by the surreal more than the daily sadism initially offered (to quote a laudatory review). The jokes come fast and raunchy, but the hilarity stays consistent with the story arc to a degree that one can't dismiss it all as mere padding. No matter how off-colour the affair becomes, the characters stay true to their convictions (or lack thereof) while never lessening the extreme shock value afforded the numerous sight gags employed.
Does it go too far? Certainly. Are the characters bloated, over-exaggerated versions of themselves? At times. Is the series enjoyable? Undeniably. In the end there is still humour to be found and storylines of interest that make this series a worthy contender at an affordable price. Tread lightly here: be prepared for a different look at your favourite masochist, shot in another light but still as revolting as ever. And intriguingly so.