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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
18
4.2 out of 5 stars
The Smoking Room: Series 1 [DVD]
Format: DVD|Change
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on 13 December 2005
This is a downbeat, hilarious comedy detailing the kind of various oddballs that inhabit each and every office smoking room in the country. Each of the main characters are excellent, from scrounger Annie, big-mouthed but sweet Sally, dowdy but lovely Janet and the permanent resident of the smoking room, Robin. It's well thought out and doesn't have canned laughter either, which is always a plus!! For £15 you can't really go wrong.
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on 14 April 2017
Strange offbeat sitcom set in the mess room in some company. Each of the characters comes in and out over the day for a smoke and they have a chat and that is it. It is ok but that is all that happens hence it is called the smoking room.
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on 1 February 2006
This is one of the best BBC sitcoms made in the last ten years. It can take a couple of episodes for the viewer to atune to the slow burn of this show but they'll be duly rewarded with some laughs in the most unexpected places. The actors playing the bunch of incongrous addicts are about as good as it gets. I loved it.
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on 2 March 2009
This is a gem of a sitcom which arises out of the simplest of premises: work colleagues are forced into a kind of alliance/friendship because they smoke so have their own special room. As there's a strict rule of no shop talk they fall back on trivialities but inevitably their characters are revealed anyway. Well worth watching from an acting point of view, especially as the cast includes Robert (Peepshow) Webb and Paula Wilcox, veteran of 70s/80s sitcoms and a fine comedy actress theatrewise to boot (I saw her in The Beaux' Stratagem with Anna Carteret at Hammersmith yonks ago). Jeremy Swift puts in a great, all-too-recogisable performance as the likeable middle-aged work worn down by the job but holding on - just - and don't worry that you'll miss the daughter of Annette Crosbie playing the PA to the imperious
Siobhan Redmond (bit of a spesh of Redmond's - see also The High Life), don't worry: you won't, as the voice is uncannily like her mother's.

And if, considering the programme as a whole, you think: "The Office", you'd be right and not right. The innovations brought in by non-audience-based sitcoms like The Office and The Royle Family probably (I imagine) didn't harm The Smoking Room's chances of being commissioned, but this is much more ensemble than Gervais's sitcom - every regular in the room gets a turn each episode. But finally it's the writing that powers all this, and as it comes from the BAFTA award winner for Best New Writer for 2005 - you could say this was a case of "Lift up your head, Brian Dooley."
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VINE VOICEon 19 April 2009
This series was premiered on BBC3 and subsequently aired on BBC2, but I didn't manage to catch a full episode at the time, so I'm making up for it now by watching the DVD. The series charts the humour derived from a set of diverse characters thrown together in a smoker's community in their place of work. The characters are well formed and very believable - for example the maintainance man who'd rather smoke a fag than rescue people trapped in a lift, a world-weary security guard, a workshy young bloke trying to hide his sexuality and an over-sensitive larger lady. The scripts are nicely peppered with one liners and you'd have to watch it at least twice to get some of them, however it's still amusing. The actors are good too and it's nice to see Paula 'Man About The House' Wilcox and Annette Crosbie's daughter whose voice is almost identical to her mother's - spooky!
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on 3 April 2006
Having not seen this show before buying the DVD I was relying upon the reviews here in Amazon.
All I can say is thank you everyone very much, this is one of the best comedies I have seen in years.
There is a fair amount of swearing, but if you turn the sound off when Len comes into the room you will miss a lot. The star of the show, if there is one, is Robin, who doesn't actually seem to have a job as all he does is smoke, but the other characters are so well played that to a great extent they are all stars.
My own favourite characters are Janet, a non-smoker who is the PA to the worst boss you can imagine who tends to end up in the smoking room, Heidi, a woman so boring no-one noticed that she was on maternity leave (a particular favourite bit was her french kissing a stuffed Panda), and Annie who is completely self obsessed, but never seems to have any fags.
Anyway buy this, you won't regret it
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on 13 February 2006
Subtle, clever, articulate, deadpan, black. If these are your ideas of good humour then this show is a winner for you. Unlike most new(ish) comdey, this doesn't rely upon zany, loud over-the-top, unbeliveable characters. Instead, the people portrayed here are like many that you know, except that in most cases they have a fag on the go. From sexually insecure Robin, to man-mad Annie. Foul mouthed but good hearted Les the security guard to the acerbic, vicious, friendless boss Sharon, this series is superb and gets better with each viewing as many jokes are missed first time around. Definitely worth buying, and using my BBC Points of View persona, why oh why oh why hasn't the excellent second series been shown on BBC2 yet?
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on 13 April 2009
Incredibly funny, especially for anyone who remembers the "smoking room" in their place of employment prior to the smoking ban, whether you're a smoker or not. I seemed to recognise every character from amongst my colleagues over the years.
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VINE VOICEon 1 March 2006
There are some who say the BBC has not made a decent comedy save "The Office" in the last decade. These people have plainly either never been near a telly in the last five years, or have theirs permanantly stuck on BBC1 - for "The Smoking Room" is one of many fantastic ones which has arrived through the medium of BBC3. Why the BBC fills up channels 1 and 2 with repeats and rubbish and then purports to need a new channel for anything good is beyond me, but that's not the point. The point is that, for the (scandalously low) number of peopple that have watched it, this is a true gem.
At first it appears rather sterile, set, as it is, entirely in an office smoking room - yet the array of characters is so bewilderingly thorough that I lose track of how many there are, and they are all - in their own, utterly unintentional ways - hilarious.
For me, the star of the show is Robin (played by Jeremy from "Peep Show"), the manic-depressive closet-gay whose frustration, despair and desperate attempts to hide the truth pepper each episode. But others may give the crown to Len, the foul-mouthed security guard known to his own nephew as "Uncle ---Off"; or to Clint, the guy who is upposed to fix things but thinks it acceptable to leave people stuck in a lift while he has his next fag break, and has the intellectual capacity of an amoeba; or even to poor old Barry, the crossword addict who is hilariously inept at crosswords. I could go on.
The show also ingeniously introduces new characters gradually, meaning it never gets dull. Some even don't smoke - for instance the prattish Gordon, who embarasses himself at rtegular intervals, and the terminally dull Heidi, a smug new mum who no-one even noticed had gone when on maternity leave.
Because of the wealth of characters and back stories, the show never gets dull despite the limited setting, and could conceivably run and run for a while to come. I hope it does.
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on 7 February 2006
This is a brilliant comedy that gets funnier with every viewing. There are so many subtle jokes that are easy to miss at first because everything and everyone is so deadpan and the jokes aren't signposted like in most sitcoms. It won't be to everyone's taste and I know some people who can't see what is funny about it. There's lots of black comedy and some bits are really random. If you're on the same wavelength, however, it is one of the funniest programmes for a long time.
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