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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 8 December 2012
Coming along before The Office, The Thick Of It, Twenty Twelve and so on, this series seems almost forgotten, which is a real pity. Shot, like those later shows, as a spoof documentary series, there's not an episode here that isn't great. Chris Langham plays the role of interviewer of professionals as they go about their daily business. Langham is never seen on camera, though fleeting glimpses of reflections or parts of his body can sometimes be seen, and has the unhappy knack of offending people, misunderstanding them or being misunderstood by them, or all three. His character is generally pitiable in some way, with running gags including repeatedly spilling drinks all over his trousers, or the utter incredulity of his interviewees that he is actually married. But it's the deadpan delivery of most of the script, and the hapless "professionals" who seem anything but, which make it so brilliant. All the episodes hit the mark, but particular favourites are the bitter and incompetent estate agent, the headteacher (living with 2 people who work in schools it's worrying how so much of what was farce in 1999 is now reality in 2012), and the policeman. The gag in the latter with the fax machine is absolutely hysterical...

A second series followed and is now available on DVD at last. It is also excellent, if not quite scaling the heights of the superb first series.
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on 28 December 2011
I don't know why these are not regarded as one of the all time greats of television comedy. Each episode usually contains at least one well meaning but incompetent person, who makes you laugh. But it's a more gentle humour than The Office or even Fawlty Towers, without the nastiness and squirming embarrassment you often get from David Brent. The fly on the wall aspect is wonderfully done, with Chris Mallard getting in the way or mumbling ineffectually in the background. It would take too long to review each episode individually, but all of them are excellent. All I will say is that if you like comedy which is cleverly conceived and written with first class acting, it would be hard to find better than this. A pity I can't give six stars.
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on 21 January 2012
Although now over ten years old, these 30 minute comedy shows are still well worth watching. Pre-dating The Office format in their use of the pretend fly-on-the-wall conceit, each film deals with a different occupation (teacher, estate agent, businessman etc), with an out-of-shot interviewer following the subject round as he or she goes about their daily work. The dreadful, at times quite Excruciatingly meaningless script, and the lack of canned laughter only serves to increase the joy. Quite sophisticated in their time, no less watchable today.
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on 22 March 2003
Dry, subtle, and packed with more comic quips per second than any other. Viewing on DVD is especially worthwhile as it allows for discovery of just how much wit goes into these episodes. Every character, every line, flawless.
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VINE VOICEon 18 April 2003
I simply have to agree with all the reviews below. This take-off of the fly on the wall documentary is hilarious. The hapless interviewer Mallard, who we never see, gently amuses without ever seemingly trying. My favourite in this set of six episodes is The Police Officer, where he accidentally upsets a copper on the beat, then helps out at a suicide attempt...
I can't wait for series two on DVD. The Airline Pilot...'Don't touch that'...!
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on 14 May 2008
If you enjoy a good mockumentary, I warmly recommend People Like Us. It is hilarious, perhaps second only to Spinal Tap itself.

One of the brilliant things is the narration. On the surface it sounds just like the typical BBC narration, but if you really listen to it, it is chock-full of the most hilarious manglings of the language.

I hope they bring out Series Two soon.
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on 6 August 2011
A wonderfully observed comedy series, where a single word or the tone of voice used, can be utterly hilarious. Brilliantly observed, written and performed. Pity that the controversy surrounding Langham will prevent the BBC airing the show again, but the 2nd series is now on DVD so we can at least still enjoy all 12 episodes in their finery.
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on 12 March 2017
"In the outside world outside, lessons have finished and all the pupils have gone home, with the exception of those who are still here."

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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on 13 October 2012
This has to be one of the greatest, yet most underrated, comedies of all time. Its profile reduced even further with the conviction of Chris Langham, when PLU seemed to just vanish. Now this DVD is available, and what a delight it is. Played totally straight, these mock-documentaries can easily fool people into believing they are real, until one of the multitude of subtle word-plays tips them over the edge.
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on 22 July 2004
People Like Us was a superb TV spoof documentary. Since buying it on DVD I've watched at least three times. Absolutely hilarious!
Chris Langham as Roy Mallard is fantastic with his off-camera poorly worded descriptions and commentary.
My favourite episodes are: The Estate Agent; The Policeman and the Photographer - in no particular order. I loved the clueless female police constable thinking the woman had been bashed around by her boyfriend when they'd been having sex. Her comment to the camera is hysterical - I won't spoil it by writing it here.
A DVD that never gets old. Can't wait for series 2...
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