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People Like Us - Series 1 [DVD] 
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The complete first series of the spoof documentary series. Hapless investigative reporter Roy Mallard (Chris Langham) has an unfortunate knack of being a fly in the ointment rather than a fly on the wall. In 'The Managing Director' Roy looks at the work of a hi-tech business who are currently in the middle of negotiations with a Japanese company. 'The Estate Agent' finds Roy spending a day with a Sussex estate agency where relationships between the staff are more than a little strained. In 'The Police Officer' Roy ends up in hot water when a fairly routine day observing PC David Knight (Tom Goodman-Hill) results in a suicidal rescue mission. In 'The Solicitor' Roy's inimitable style causes trouble for the husband-wife legal team at Broadbent & Broadbent. In 'The Photographer' Roy spends a day getting to know Will Rushmoore (Bill Nighy), a local photographer who hopes to put on an arty exhibition at a big London gallery. Finally, in 'The Head Teacher', Roy stumbles into the internecine warfare that rumbles among the staff of King Edward VII Comprehensive in Ashford.
The spoof documentary has long been a source of television comedy, but few series can claim to have hit the target as accurately as the BBC's People Like Us. The six episodes of the first series offer moment after moment of well observed, thoughtful and hilarious humour. Taking the fly-on-the-wall documentary genre as its inspiration, it focuses on the everyday lives of a range of different people: businessman, teacher, policeman, photographer, estate agent and solicitor. The comedy walks the line between the observational and the absurd (much of the dialogue is similar to that used in The Day Today) but mixes the two to perfection.
The man behind the camera is the hapless Roy Mallard, played by Chris Langham, but he is seldom seen. It was the type of role that Langham was to reprise in the film The Big Tease but for now, People Like Us remains his finest hour. Have fun also spotting the number of actors who would go onto greater things in the likes of Smack the Pony and Rescue Me. --Phil Udell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Interviewer: How long have you worked here?
Worker: About 16 years.
Interviewer: And did you imagine you'd be working here for 16 years.
Worker: No, I really have been working here.
Well written and performed brilliantly, it helps cement your faith in British comedy.
The use of language throughout is subtle, dry, and quite brilliant. A photographer who it's suggested might have a physical attraction to his younger female lodger (and model) is "already hard at work" - the nuance employed in this series is impressive.
Aside from Chris Langham, who wrote for The Muppet Show and starred in Not The Nine O'Clock News and The Thick Of It, the supporting cast is an unbelievable array of talent, some of them in tiny roles:
Sarah Alexander (Green Wing, Coupling)
Mark Heap (Green Wing, Spaced, Brass Eye)
Julia Davis (Brass Eye, Jam)
David Cann (Jam, Brass Eye)
Jessica Hynes nee Stevenson (Spaced, Twenty-Twelve)
Tom Goodman-Hill (Ideal)
Emma Kennedy (This Morning With Richard Not Judy, The Smoking Room)
Owen Brenman (One Foot In The Grave)
Jennifer Hennessy (Psychoville, The Office)
Rebecca Front (The Day Today, The Thick Of It)
Simon Greenall (I'm Alan Partridge 1 & 2)
Felicity Montagu (I'm Alan Partridge 1 & 2)
Vicki Pepperdine (Getting On)
James Lance (I'm Alan Partridge 1, The Book Group)
Tamsin Greig (Green Wing, Black Books)
Bill Nighy (Shaun of the Dead)
Melanie Hudson (The Armando Iannucci Shows, Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge)
Tony Gardner (The Armando Iannucci Shows, The Thick Of It)
Kim Wall (Heartburn Hotel, Big Train)
Dave Lamb (Goodness Gracious Me, Come Dine With Me narrator)
Beth Goddard (Gimme Gimme Gimme)
Peter Gunn (Heartburn Hotel)
I should have bought this years ago.
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