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Welcome to Royston Vasey!,
This review is from: The League of Gentlemen - The Complete Collection [DVD]  (DVD)
It's most probably the case that if, like me, you're a huge fan of The League Of Gentlemen then you've got everything that's in this box-set already when it came out first time around. So I think that this collection of the 1st, 2nd & 3rd series along with the Christmas Special is for the people who perhaps have never really got into The League & are now becoming curious to see what all the fuss is about. So welcome to the wierd & wonderful world of Royston Vasey - You'll Never Leave!
This show is one of the most original, innovative, intelligent, dark, scary & damn right hilarious televison programmes ever produced. Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton, Mark Gatiss & Jeremy Dyson have created a whole world for which their characters belong to.
If you watch this set in its correct order then you will notice how better it gets with each installment.
The 1st & 2nd series essentialy turn the whole idea of the sketch-show on its head & feels more like a surreal soap-opera than a series of repetitive & meaningless sketches. The characters are imaginative & often grotesque yet you love them all instantly. There's Tubbs & Edward who run the "Local Shop for Local people" & kill any strangers that enter, there's demon butcher Hilary Briss who's sideline in 'Special Stuff' has grave consequences for the town & then there's Papa Lazarou, circus leader & serial bigamist. These are some of the more extreme creations but there are many more inhabitants that will have you in fits of laughter.
Then came the Christmas Special, an hour-long feature of absolute genius. It takes the horror element of The League to new heights yet keeps the hilarity intact. Bernice the vicar is the central character this time & she is visited by three of the other characters on Christmas Eve. There's Charlie, who keeps having the same nightmare, Matthew, who is haunted by memeories of a trip to Duisberg when he was younger, & Dr Chinnery, who believes he is under a curse. Each story rakes up horrific memories for Bernice & leads up to a genuinely surprising yet scary finalie which see's the return of a much-loved & much-feared character...
The 3rd series has recieved major criticism from some people but I feel they perhaps just fear change. Gone are the days of the sketch-show format, gone is the laughter-track but here is the most engaging TV series in years if not ever! People may argue that it just isn't as funny & whilst I agree that it's not packed with as many laughs as the previous series, this is far superior due to brilliant story-telling, wonderful acting & sheer intelligence. It's better to watch in one sitting as a three-hour film & that's not hard to do as every episode is totally engaging & leaves you wanting more. The climax is amazing.
This set is packed full of extras. Funny character bios, fascinating documetaries & the ever-brilliant Local Gossip (commentaries) to but a few of them. There's also a fair few easter eggs hidden within that are well-worth finding for some extra special treats...
All in all, The League Of Gentlemen are the most exciting & fresh comedy writers around &, along with the sell-out live shows & full-length movie, this box-set is proof of their utter brilliance. If you havn't already got everything in this collection then what are you waiting for? BUY BUY BUY!!!