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Beautiful People - Series 2 [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
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All six episodes from the second series of the BBC sitcom following the trials of camp 14-year-old Simon (Luke Ward-Wilkinson), who is doomed to be brought up in suburban Reading circa 1997 when all he wants is to live life among the 'beautiful people'. Surrounded by his ever-so-slightly dysfunctional family, Simon's grand attempts at being outrageous all too often fall on stony ground, propelling him to take ever more drastic actions. The series is based on the childhood recollections of writer and style guru Simon Doonan.
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Dumped by his boyfriend, Simon is no longer a window-dresser in New York but back in Reading with his family - they appreciated more now than when he was fourteen. Prized possessions again prompt memories of that teenage angst - for viewers almost nonstop laughter guaranteed.
Best friend remains Kylie, they to practise dance routines in the playground - Simon labelled "freak" not because of that but because, unique in the school, his parents are married. Actually they are not - they pushing their luck a bit when the wedding photograph produced as "proof" has their faces superimposed over those of Charles and Diana. (Flash to Simon plaintively clutching the banister bars and singing "Where is love?" from "Oliver!".)
This is just the start. Prepare for a rich succession of hilarious surreal moments (not to mention a very dark sequence featuring Kylie and his brutal father). Song and dance routines abound (guest stars include Elaine Paige and Dannii Minogue), sometimes the whole family involved - mum, dad, heavily pregnant sixteen year old sister Ashlene, blind Aunty Hayley.
Throughout, there is much to savour - not least, Simon and Kylie's secret Saturday job in a boutique. This abruptly comes to an end when Aunt Hayley not only enters to be measured for a bra but also mistakes the shop window for a dressing room. With so many jokes, several are bound to be missed first time round (title of the song played by the musical toilet seat; name of the church - "Our Lady's By The Zebra Crossing", etc.). Somehow interwoven are the European Song Contest and the Turner Prize (Simon witheringly informing the family it is NOT named after Tina but Anthea).
Sadly there are only five episodes (the running time quoted on the cover is inaccurate) and no extras. Five stars are still justified. The show is in a class of its own - totally uplifting with a talented cast, vivid imagination and wonderful script.
Thank you, Amazon reviewers, for alerting me - I one of the many who would otherwise have missed a very real treat.
In series 2 the writing is sharper, wittier with totally tremendous campery and elements of pathos - the original make you laugh and make you cry syndrome all rolled in to one. More is made of the supporting roles in series 2 and that just adds to the variety. The acting is again totally superb.
This is a real gem for BBC2 and I'm surprised it wasn't aired on BBC3. Watch it, love it, enjoy it.
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