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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Nathan Barley: Series 1 [DVD]
Format: DVD|Change
Price:£8.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 23 November 2007
I love Nathan Barley, i laughed myself stupid when i first saw it. The episode with the "13 year old" model is brilliant, i couldnt believe what i was seeing. However, all of the episodes are equally very funny. Julian Barrett & Noel Fielding are fab in the Mighty Boosh, but here Barrett is much darker in charector. He thinks Nathan is total idiot but the annoying thing is everyone else thinks Nathan is kinda cool (Fielding plays a over-the-top dj). Some great ideas in this series, which makes it a total one-off in more ways then one (you will never play rock/paper/scissors in the same way again). All culminating in a final episode... which i am not going to give away. Very, very funny.
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on 6 July 2013
Charlie Brooker is good; combine Brooker with Chris Morris and you have something special. Nathan Barley highlights all that is wrong with the shallow, vacuous, hype-ridden nonsense that is so much of popular culture. The satire is targeted with skill and aplom, the targets well chosen and comprehensively attacked. It is, simply, genius.
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on 25 April 2011
I'm a longtime Chris Morris fan, and more recently a Charlie Brooker fan - living in Portugal, I wasn't aware of his Guardian column and his TV-bashing TV shows. I entered Brooker's world via Dead Set (not because it was written by him, but because I'm a zombie fan), loved it and started looking for his previous work. Nathan Barley was the only Chris Morris work I hadn't seen, so, being created by the two geniuses, it became essential. I was not disappointed. And the truth is - Nathan Barley ends up being as much a horror epic as Dead Set. It deals with zombies - just another kind of zombie. And the frustration and anguish that Dan Ashcroft feels (an amazing performance by Might Boosh's Julian Barratt) is just as suffocating as being surrounded by the living dead and feeling you're the only sane person in the world (although responsible for the dawn of the idiots, which makes it even more tragic). A masterpiece which manages to be hilarious and deeply disturbing!
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on 12 August 2016
rude but funny
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on 2 April 2013
This program is not only hilarious but also a quite clever take on modern society. With the likes TOWIE and Made In Chelsea the subject matter or the rise of the idiots has never been more apt. Julian Barrat is brilliant in it as is Dan Clark. The skeptical and pessimistic outlook on modern society is typical of Charlie Brooker. Anyone who liked How Not To Live Your Life starring Dan Clark and Black Mirror written by Charlie Brooker will I'm sure appreciate this program. Occasionally the low budget of the show shines through but to me that just adds to its charm. I've always believed that this program was a bit ahead of it's time (a cliche i know) as most people who claim to be sitcom connoisseurs that i have spoken to have never seen this. All in all worth a watch you will not be dissapointed.
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on 16 October 2016
This is a criminally overlooked show.

Chris Morris managed to satirise the hipster culture in a delightfully funny manner - and long before that subculture went mainstream.

By all accounts, the show was Morris' swipe at the execs he worked with at Channel 4 (the people who put this show out). They didn't realise they were the object of mockery until it was too late, and so the show was virtually buried.

But this really is a show to watch. If you're a fan of any or Morris' other work (Brass Eye, The Day Today, Jam etc) then you'll love this. So too will fans of The IT Crowd.

For the price, you need to watch this.
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on 26 January 2006
Chris Morris advances on the agitprop satire of Brass Eye, and the ambient weirdness of Jam, with the wonderfully caustic and gleefully vicious Nathan Barley. As others have noted, 'Barley' is probably Morris's most-subtle creation yet... a seemingly conventional sitcom about life in the world of the media, with cutting edge magazine publishers, idolised DJ's, crusading digital filmmakers and techno-wiz-kids all standing in as the centre of attention, complete with their own annoying txt-speak characteristics, daft costumes, anti-establishment opinions and ever-so-trendy idiosyncrasies. However, the joke here is not what is written into the scripts (though, more often than not, this is incredible funny!!), but rather, the notion that these kind of characters - which do exist in real life - will no doubt buy into the whole joke, watching each episode eagerly before going into the office the next day to confront their friends with the usual, "hey, did you see that bit on Barley last night... wow, that's so like me!!!", etc, etc.
Morris, writing here alongside Charlie Brooker, is to television what Luke Haines is to pop music... someone who can work within the confines of an industry, gathering acclaim and a legion of devoted fans, whilst simultaneously trying to bring said industry down from the inside!! Morris and Brooker seem to have a genuine contempt for the characters that they write about, and - as with Brass Eye and The Day Today - the joke sometimes becomes so scathing and so accurate, that you actually forget that you're watching a satire (a notion continued by Morris's faux-edgy directorial style, which has swerving hand-held cameras and random zooms to, I would hope, rip the piss out of all of these trendy new TV shows that want be challenging - in a Dogme-style sense - so bad, they can practically taste it!!). Some of the media pastiches are fantastic too, like the so-chic it hurts art gallery that consisted of nothing more than pictures of celebrities urinating, or the Russian underground website, which includes pay-per-view downloadable clips of "tramp marathons" and tooth-pulling competitions, complete with armed police threatening anyone refusing to take part with assault rifles and teargas.
The madness of the show works because Morris and Brooker tend to anchor the shows to the character of Dan (The Preacher Man) Ashcroft, a cynical and fairly down-to-earth sort, who seems at odds with the backslapping and self-congratulatory cretins who populate his office. As a result, the jokes work because we can relate to Dan's anguish at being celebrated by these fools, who find humour in irreverent spreads on child molestation, have chainsaw ring tones and have a unhealthy habit of composing raps while they get it on with the opposite sex (Nathan's seduction of Claire is absolute comedy genius... "yeah, well plastic, man!!"). My favourite gag would have to be Dan unintentionally creating a new trendy hair-style when he falls asleep under the paint table. "What's it called?" asks Nathan. "Errr... Geek Pie" replies Dan. Cut to Nathan on Japanese TV promoting said hair-style without a shard or irony or good humour.
Most of the jokes work on multiple levels, often acting as an out-and-out parody of the kind of pretentious, novelty, tabloid-bating nonsense that seems to be continually spat out of these nu-media outlets (digital television, on-line publishing, underground advertising, or remnants of the shallow mid-nineties art scene, etc)... but then, there's also the integration of the characters, the disgust and contempt that Dan has for his colleagues, and the sheer genius of the word play used by these bizarre caricatures (typical Barley invitation, "you should come dollsnatch, it's gonn'a be Mexico!!"... all this and more from the man who gave us "fact me till I fart"). The cast is great, padded out with characters form The Mighty Boosh and the brilliant Garth Marenghi's Darkplace (when can we get this on DVD??), so you know the timing and delivery will be pitch perfect and the plausibility spot on.
Nathan Barley may not scale the comedic highs of Morris's more on-the-nose satires like The Day Today and Brass Eye, but it is, nonetheless, very funny, not just in the way the jokes are constructed, but in the believability and plausibility of the characterisations and the recreation of that kind of self-conscious, self-styled universe. Morris (and Brooker) should be commended for taking a risk with this serious, creating something that almost passes for a normal sitcom, but with that much loved/much needed Morris contempt always lurking, just beneath the surface.
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on 31 December 2010
One of the great new modern pleasures is taking a (calculated) gamble on a CD or DVD and having it pay off. This was one such occasion for me.

Despite the hip names attached to it this show somehow got little mention on its TV release but is now finding a fanbase on DVD.

With Chris Morris now in the world of movies a second series will now never happen but this is a fine testament to how good he could be on the small screen. Add Charlie Brooker, Nicholas Holt and Julian Barrett to the mix and the result was almost inevitably funny.

Buy it.
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on 23 August 2015
Probably a LOT more relevant now than when it was first released, a satirical look at digital media, and a parody of Shoreditch/Dalston stereotypes
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on 22 August 2011
NATHAN BARLEY does a great job at identifying and ridiculing the "Idiots" -- the trendy, twerpish, internet-savvy pranksters who live at the cutting edge of cool, or so they think, and who never suspect that they are the closest thing to chimpanzees that the human race has yet produced. In this scenario they work at a magazine called 'Sugarape', where they ride little plastic tractors, wear party hats, and are but a short step away from eating bananas and swinging from the ceiling too. So far so good. It's nicely observed, like a Harry Enfield sketch.

Less successful are the brother and sister who act as the show's 'straight men'. He is a journalist at Sugarape who sees the idiots for what they are; indeed, he's the one who originally classified them. She's a filmmaker who wants to make a documentary about homelessness. I don't quite know why, but these characters simply didn't work for me. For one thing, there is nothing funny about them. They feel like they belong in a different show. Also, the idiots are portrayed in such an over the top way, that the viewer hardly needs a straight man to react to their imbecilities. And it's so obvious that these knuckleheads peddle the worst sort of tat, that to juxtapose their work with that of an earnest, socially-conscious film-maker seems heavy-handed.

In real life, trendy idiots like Nathan Barley are a minor nuisance. What they deserve, surely, is a light-hearted slap-down in the style of ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS. The problem with NATHAN BARLEY is that it's angrier than it needs to be, and far less funny than it could have been. Watching it, I couldn't help wondering if Chris Morris and Charlie Brooker, being trendy pranksters themselves, were suffering from the 'narcissism of small differences.'

The Nathan Barleys of this world simply don't matter. They are redundant by definition. To go after them with a sledgehammer is a waste of time.
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