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The Book Group: Series 1 [DVD]
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A comedy drama which revolves around a group of friends who meet at a book group with the intention of making new friends as well as reading a few books. Unfortunately it doesn't quite work out that way...
Episode 1 - On the Road
Clare's book group starts to assemble. She meets Kenny, a handsome guy in a wheelchair who wants to be a writer; Janice, the frustrated wife of a Scottish footballer; and eccentric student Barney, to whom Clare is strangely attracted...
Episode 2 - The Alchemist
Kenny has an admirer at the leisure centre where he works, but does she know he's in a wheelchair? Meanwhile, Fist decides to follow some advice from this week's book - and leave her husband...
Episode 3 - Magical Realism
Kenny is writing a book in which a beautiful woman who looks a lot like Fist shares a cabin in the hills with him. Clare is also writing a book, in which a handsome professor who looks a lot like Barney falls in love with his student, a lovely American woman not unlike Clare.
Episode 4 - Bedtime Stories
Clare discovers Barney's on drugs, and decides it's her mission in life to save him. Meanwhile, Janice sleeps with the famous thriller writer, Martin Logan, and can't wait to go to confession to tell her priest, a big fan of the author.
Episode 5 - Dark Alley
Janice is hosting the book group and having an affair with Martin Logan, the author of this week's book. Martin doesn't want to join the group so he sits upstairs. And listens...
Episode 6 - A Little More Living
Barney has died of an overdose. His brother Lachlan arrives to tell Clare - and there is an instant spark between them. Meanwhile, Kenny's literary fantasies intrigue Fist and Dirka - but can he deliver in the flesh?
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When I first saw this on hulu, I didn't think too much of it and didn't like Claire. As the series progressed, I got to know the characters and wanted to meet up with them again and again. After a year or so, I decided to review the series and this time found myself watching it over and over, notating memorable lines. It grew on me. I decided to get this so I could avoid the adverts and fussy player on hulu. I haven't regretted it.
The extras are nice, and include the writer's commentary, one must activate on the menu, that is insightful. A short 18 minute interview is conducted with a few of the cast that is additionally interesting, but that's it. There is a short question and answer part to the extras from an audience where the writer, Annie Griffin, gave a talk that is transcribed, which I found unusual and only moderately interesting. I'd like to have seen outtakes of the complicated filming of the actual book group meetings.
It is filmed in a widescreen aspect ratio, and you will have to adjust the viewer on your widescreen telly so that it will present 16:9 without the letterbox-for-1:33-screens black borders. It would have been nice for this to have been formatted for widescreen televisions as that is the way it was filmed. The quality of it is good, but would have been nicer with a finer transfer. Maybe its my player. To watch the scene at the lake with the Professor in Claire's book on blu ray would be extraordinary.
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A story of disparate characters, with superb acting and marvelous vignettes of urban Scottish life.Read more