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James May's Man Lab Series One [DVD]
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10,000 years in the making; 10,000 years of endeavour in science and the arts and humanities; and within one generation man has been reduced to a feckless, bed-wetting, parmesan shaving imbecile who revels in his own uselessness. Something has to be done. James May is the man to do it. He s on a mission to put the man back in human by exploring the world as it was, and the world as it should be, complete with its own bar, private cinema and electric-train toilet-paper delivery system. On the way, he ll learn about bomb disposal, how to build a kitchen (and a rocket), duel with pistols and swords, conduct a band of long-retired Grade 1 musicians, and much, much more. Features Celebrity Man Task in which hand-picked celebrities are invited to beat their own records in such jobs as changing a tyre, wall-papering a room and putting together flat-pack furniture challenges few can resist.
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Top Customer Reviews
For example the Bar. Basically a whole show could have been devoted to each project instead of doing most of it off camera. Kind of defeats the point really. Whats the point in making your own bar or kitchen or rocket or railway system if most of it is done off camera and does not feature in the programming? They could have just purchased a fitted kitchen and said "there we are, look we have now got a kitchen" etc.
Why bother making it if the making is not shown?
On the upside, May is humorous but the laughs are contrived somewhat. The whole feeling is of a great opportunity lost. Having seen series 3 as well, I was hoping the issues in series 1 would have been sorted, but series 3 is even more of a missed chance.
That said, it still gets 4 stars because its better than a lot of other stuff and quite fun to watch. But what a missed chance! This could have been a weekly show with odd characters dropping in, real atmosphere and a slowly evolving 'manlab' space and a devoted following. James can do better (ie Toy Story) and I get the feeling nobody really knew what sort of show they wanted
Full of useful, and some not so useful, experiments, challenges, and observations about men of the 21st century...and how devolved we have become to the point that most of us have no idea how to change a fuse!
Cant think of a more blunt, dry, host than Top Gear's James May. Hours of fun
One of the other DVD's I ordered had the disc sliding around in the case from the international shipping, but Man Lab was intact and perfect. I would like to comment for other US buyers that you will be so excited that the DVD cases are much easier to get into! They just have the plastic/cellophane wrapping and no clear tape on the ends like ours. I didn't have to scratch the case so I was already happy.
James is, as usual, quite entertaining in this show and tries to dispel his useless, clumsy, and unmanly persona that he displays on Top Gear. He does over-do it, at times, trying to look knowledgeable and well-rounded, but I think he knows that we know he isn't perfect.
Those of you who may swoon over James being gorgeous, you should buy this solely to see him in a white, old-fashioned shirt in the duel. You may wet yourself; be warned. And James in his glasses when he is judging auditions to be in his grade 1 band is equally is equally adorable. He looks to be really enjoying himself as a first-time conductor. It may be my favorite part of series one.
If you enjoy James in his other shows, definitely grab this one. He is in all of his geeky, technical, laugh-about, campy glory, here. And maybe you'll learn a thing or two.
Throughout the series, James teaches us everything from how to diffuse a bomb to how to serenade a woman. Some of it is actually achievable, which adds to the interest, whereas what isn't achievable (or in the instance of the bomb diffusing, advisable) is made satisfying by James' wonderfully dry sense of humour. At times it isn't just amusing, it's inspiring - inspiring us modern men that James so deplores to get up and do something useful with our lives. It's fascinating and funny, and a great watch. The only criticism? Only three episodes.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
came quickly everything about description was acurate (sorry if mispelt).Published 20 months ago by James Patchett
I liked this dvd it was interesting and also funny , so a good mix . I look forward to getting series two nextPublished on 5 Nov. 2013 by leah