Lead Balloon : Complete BBC Series 1 [DVD]
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Jack Dee stars as Rick Spleen, a successful but world-weary stand-up comedian who spends too much of his time hosting corporate events in the BBC comedy sitcom, Lead Balloon.
Rick and Marty, his American co-writer, spend their days arguing, drinking too much coffee, and devising work avoidance strategies.
Further distractions are provided by Magda, Ricks home help, his show-biz agent wife Mel, their teenage daughter Sam and her feckless boyfriend Ben.
Lead Balloon is co-written by Jack Dee and Pete Sinclair. This DVD includes all six episodes in series 1.
Episode 1: "Rubbish" - Rick fronts a lame government TV recycling campaign which backfires spectacularly. He falls out with café-owner Michael over a homemade fruitcake, and has a full-on row with unhinged baby-present shopkeeper Maureen.
Episode 2: "Wayne" - A teaspoon crisis in the Spleen household leads Rick to petty theft. Meanwhile, Rick's sleep is disturbed by the paperboy, Wayne, who is very punctual, very noisy and has a brain the size of a walnut.
Episode 3: "£5,000" - Rick gets in a punch-up at an awards ceremony and ends up with a black eye. Marty is preparing to pitch a programme to the BBC and Michael is delighted that Rick has accidentally sponsored him a small fortune for his Skipathon.
Episode 4: "Allergic" - Rick discovers he may have inadvertently killed one of Britain's best-loved entertainers, but he's preoccupied by a missing shoe-organiser. Meanwhile Rick prepares for upcoming appearance on topical news panel show Bullet in the News.
Episode 5: "Pistachio" - Rick buys himself a scooter but worries that it makes him look gay. Hosting the Air Conditioning and Climate Control Awards goes disastrously, and a trip to the local dry cleaner ends in a heated argument.
Episode 6: "Fatty" - Rick is publicly humiliated on TV by daytime chat-show host Adam Green. He also has an unfortunate encounter with an acquaintance at the gym, and Ben manages to destroy Rick's brand new DVD player by taking the back off.
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Top Customer Reviews
But this works. Jack Dee plays it deadpan, which has always been his main strength IMO, and the rest of the cast offer some solid support. Michael from the café is suitably annoying, much to Dee's chagrin.
Very clever, very dry and very black at times - but watchable over and over again.
I don't understand why it wasn't prime time tele.
Jack Dee is Rick Spleen a jobbing comedian who mostly does the corporate circuit and spends most of his days writing
funny scripts for his next gig with a world weary American writer named Marty (Sean Power).
Every day Rick lunches at the same cafe with its neurotic host Michael (Tony Gardner), and every episode
something always goes wrong for Rick.
At home Rick has a wonderful down to earth wife called Mel (Raquel Cassidy) and an eastern european cleaner called Magda, played brilliantly by Anna Crilly. The set is completed by an annoying neighbour and a teenage daughter who manipulates Rick for money and favours.
This is a gentle show with gentle but clever humour. If not laughing out loud you'll find yourself always smiling as poor, downtrodden Rick desperately tries to win, just once.
I loved this series, without a doubt Jack Dee's finest work. wonderful entertainment.
It's easy to look down on Balloon as a poor man's "Curb" if you want to apply some intellectual snobbery but trust me on this - you would be wrong. Sure the show gives Larry & his genius a nod, but the dialogue is razor sharp, the character interplay is witty & well observed. In short it is highly watchable & very funny. An essential gem in any comedy collection. My vote for best new comedy of the year.
Series 2 has a lot to follow.
Anyway, it's beautifully written and acted, particularly the supporting cast who pretty much steal the show. (Magda, the "cleaner" along with his daughter and her boyfriend, and cafe owner, Michael, are great).
I didn't find it laugh out loud funny, but it's wry, witty and clever, with a few "David Brent" moments slong the way. No laughter track. Recommended.
I like seeing Jack Dee do something a bit away from his stand up stuff but still with elements of his comedic ways. I also applaud him for trying something different.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great first season focusing on the life of a grumpy second rate comedian and his family. The episodes are simple but well done and full of funny observations and quirky character... Read morePublished 2 months ago by L.W
So funny! hadn't watched it since it was originally on TV but partner had never seen it at all so wanted to show him. He loved it too! Now we need to get the other series'.Published 16 months ago by Kitty
Amazing love this series, Jack Dee is a genius and all the cast are fab!Published 22 months ago by mo
I have seen this many times and decided to buy for a christmas present for a family member, they loved it. Jack dee is brilliant in this and its a very underrated comedy.Published on 30 Jan. 2014 by Darren Richards