Brass Eye Series and Special [DVD] 
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All six episodes from Chris Morris's controversial spoof on current affairs television. 'Animals' includes Paul Daniels' impassioned appeal on behalf of a distressed elephant. 'Drugs' features a host of celebrities condemning the made-up drug Cake. 'Science' has Steven Berkoff warn the nation about the dangers of heavy electricity. 'Sex' explores the difference between Good and Bad AIDS. 'Crime' features more on-the-spot, up-to-the-minute reporting from newshounds Libby Shuss, Ted Maul and Alabaster Codefy. And 'Decline' examines a Britain in which pop groups record love songs to Myra Hindley and large companies encourage their employees to experiment with drugs. Also included is the notorious 'Paedophilia' special, which features Phil Collins speaking 'Nonce Sense'.
Chris Morris' Brass Eye is a brilliantly funny spoof on current affairs media that carries on where his previous The Day Today left off. The show ran for one single, contentious series in 1997, to be followed by an even more controversial one-off in 2001. While these episodes might cause offence to those not versed in Morris' satirical methods, and while one occasionally suspects his work is informed by a dark seam of malice and loathing rather than a desire to educate, Brass Eye remains vital satire, magnificently hilarious and, in its own way, fiercely moral viewing.
Brass Eye satirises a media far too interested in generating dramatic heat and urgency for its own sake than in shedding light on serious issues. Morris mimics perfectly the house style of programmes such as Newsnight and Crimewatch, with their spurious props and love of gimmickry. Meanwhile his presenter--an uncanny composite of Jeremy Paxman, Michael Buerk and Richard Madeley among others--delivers absurd items about man-fighting weasels in the East End and Lear-esque lines such as "the twisted brain wrong of a one-off man mental" with preposterously solemn authority. Much as the media itself is wont to do, each programme works itself up into a ridiculous fever of moral panic. Most telling is the "drugs" episode, in which, as ever, real-life celebrities, including Jimmy Greaves and Sir Bernard Ingham, are persuaded to lend their name to a campaign against a new drug from Eastern Europe entitled Cake. The satirist's aim here isn't to trivialise concern about drugs but to point up the media's lack of attention to content.
A response to the ill-conceived News of the World witch-hunt, in the wake of the Sarah Payne affair, the 2001 "paedophilia" special was the most supremely controversial of the series. It followed the usual formula--duping celebs such as Phil Collins into endorsing a campaign entitled "Nonce Sense", urging parents to send their children to football stadiums for the night for their own safety and mooting the possibility of "roboplegic" paedophiles--and prompted the sort of hysterical and predictable Pavlovian response from the media that Brass Eye lampoons so tellingly.
On the DVD: Brass Eye on DVD includes brief outtakes, such as "David Jatt" interviewing celebrities about breeding hippos for domestic purposes, an hilarious exchange with Jeffrey Archer's PA ("He's a very wicked little man") as well as trailers for the paedophilia special.--David Stubbs
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I do hope Chris Morris will raise his troublesome head above the parapet again in his contribution to exposing liars, hypocrites and cheats everywhere. The world is a less safe place without him. Haven't seen Brasseye since it was on C4. Doubt it has aged in any way at all.
The humour is a mixture of absurd, satire, ridicule and spoof...amongst other things. Getting the gullible celebrities involved in the pretend campaigns was the masterstroke for me........so many.....bless 'em. Bernard Manning as well, I bet Morris enjoyed that one. Genius.
What you're getting here is a DVD of fine television ranging from pranks on politicians to cock-ups on camera. This series (and special) is certainly not for those who are easily offended, however. There is plenty of well-crafted satire and genius comedy reserved for those who can appreciate it all.
With the same sort of idea as The Day Today, and absolutely not the same sort of idea as Jam, you'll be treated to some of the finest lines in British television's long history, as well as genius acronyms, character names and other observational comedy you won't find anywhere other than in Chris Morris's creations.
The Paedophile Special is completely over the line. Which is why it is worth your time to watch it over and over again.
Also included in this DVD are some extras such as "Me Oh Myra" extended, and the full simulated audio experience under the influence of Cake.
But Brass Eye wasn't just an expose of publicity-hungry rent-a-quotes. There were also absurd and shockingly funny sketches masquerading as genuine media reports.
There are few shows that can match the calibre of Brass Eye.
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