Whose Line Is It Anyway?: Complete Series 1 And 2 [DVD]
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The funniest improvisational show to hit UK screens is finally on DVD! WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?: THE COMPLETE SERIES 1 & 2 features all 30 episodes from the show’s initial series produced from 1998 – 1990. Host Clive Anderson directs the action, assigning points at random and enduring quips about his disappearing hairline. The panel of four performers and comedians picked from a group of regulars including John Sessions, Josie Lawrence, Tony Slattery, Mike McShane and Paul Merton, with Richard Vranch on the ivories, and guests including Stephen Fry, Peter Cook, Jonathan Pryce, Sandi Toksvig, Griff Rhys Jones and Rory Bremner provide the fast-paced wit with their dazzling off-the-cuff antics. This DVD boxset includes countless unforgettable moments with John Sessions’ uncannily accurate pastiche of Charles Dickens, Stephen Fry and Peter Cook playing Film and Theatre Styles, Mike McShane as Scarlett O’Hara and Ryan Stiles as an insect in Party Quirks, and Griff Rhys Jones literally eating a sock!
Top customer reviews
Nice to see it back and it is blast from the past which some will love and some will just stare at blankly and go 'huh??', with so many seasons under their belt it is interesting and refreshing to see its birth and continuation and allowed mock the week, QI, buzzcocks et all the freedom they have now. It can be daft, inventive and surprising and you find yourself guessing what will come next...
Yes it is region 1 so you need a multi-region player, games console or PC but why give it one star for that?? the dvd itself and shows were great - that is like calling an album rubbish as it is only on vinyl or all food rubbish if it isnt green and available in one place...check out the hack sites to alter your dvd player or wait for the inevitable region 2 version (or there is always u-tu be...)
Great nostalgia, great host with his sarcastic yet encouraging demeanour and certainly better than the american version - but if you didnt enjoy it back then you wont now so stay away... I would have given it 4 stars but the harsh judgment on region made me bump it up one!
It's also wonderful to see how the programme first started off, the begins of such a great and wonderful show, and to see the very first, pilot episode where the contestants are almost quaking in their boots! Also, to know what they're like in later series is very funny aswell, just to see how sweet and slightly innocent they are on their first episode.
Long live Whose Line!
The show was based on improv, meaning the comedy could range from very high brow satire or intellectual humour, through to simple swearing and satire. Yet even with the vast scope of comic genres Whose line was always one thing: unbelievably funny!
Whether you are sat bemused at how John Sessions and Johnathon Pryce can act out a style you've never heard of ( I know as a child that that was a regular thing for me )or sat in awe at how Josey Lawrence or Mike McShane could make up perfect sounding song in a heartbeat, or just laughing out loud at the childish exploits of Tony Slattery, this show is just funny. If you don't laugh at this then you probably have a problem with your sense of humour.
Three pieces of warning for you though:
1, If you are a fan of the American version, this will feel very different. None of your annoying american audience screeching out delight at obvious jokes, the uk show at times can be very clever humour. None of listening to the inane ramblings of the deeply unfunny Drew Carey ( we know the points don't matter, you don't have to tell us every time!), but instead the host is a reserved and sarcastic Clive Anderson.
But most importantly, Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie are not residents in this show. When they appear, they are guests and obviously new to the genre. You may think that they are not as smooth as they are in the later episodes, and certainly not like they are in the american version, but the episodes benefit from this. My biggest complaint about the American show was always that the improv became repetative, and you could almost tell what Colin and Ryan (two of the best guests in the UK Whose Line )were going to say. The show lost its edge, and at times it felt like a poorly rehearsed sketch show. That is not something you could say about the british version. The British show could jump in any direction at any time, and that added to the genius of the show.
2, This is not the edited version shown on UKTV Gold 2 or Dave. This is the full version, without the cuts when the show gets rude. You would not believe how annoyed I get with the cuts on the freeview channels when you know the best joke of the show has been cut out. The full unedited version is great for comedy, but not so great for younger kids.
3, This is the first two seasons of the British show. As such some of the performers look nervous, and the flow is not achieved in the games until somewhere in the second half of the first series. Not that there aren't funny moments in every episodes, but at times it feels like no one knows what is going on. It is on the second series you start to see the show at its absolute best.
Whose line is it anyway? is a British institution. One of the funniest shows that was ever on tv. Buy this show and laugh for days. Although subsequent series are funnier, it is more than worth getting this edition to see how the show developed.
(This is a review based on viewing the Region 1 DVD, which may have some different features, but the episodes will be the same. )
This dvd encapsulates a journey from the humble beginnings of the show; in the pilot episode and a lot of the first series you can see the producers playing about putting different games in to see what would work and what wouldn't. This is the same with performers - when they found some comics who worked exceptionally well together, they used this to the best of it's ability; such as Paul Merton and Josie Lawrence (who already worked together onstage) or Mike McShane and Sandi Toksvig.
With a fine list of regulars including John Sessions, Paul Merton, Josie Lawrence, Tony Slattery, Sandi Toksvig, Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops and Mike McShane and an enviable list of guests including Griff Rhys Jones, Arthur Smith, Neil Mullarkey, Peter Cook and Stephen Fry the dvd set offers a huge amount of variety. Whilst some episodes are not as fluent or consistently funny as others, it is more than made up for in other episodes.
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