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The good bits are very good indeed
on 21 December 2006
Armando Iannucci is well known for his role in some of the best recent British comedy (Alan Partridge, The Thick Of It etc) but a lot of people seem to have missed this series. That's a shame as when he does his own stuff it's often brilliant, with a bit of a surreal edge. I watched most of the series when it was on telly and some bits stuck in my head for years so I was really pleased when it came out on DVD.
Each of the episodes is sposed to be on a particular theme, but you don't really need to know that! What is important is that some of the stuff in this series is genius. A common themes is people basically being rubbish and/or naff. The first episode has two brilliant bits - the witty bloke at a dinner party being literally fed his funny lines, and the 'tw*ts' bit (especially the bloke singing his song about Princess Anne's birthday). Other highlights are Armando The Great Adult, and when he does a comedy slot at the end of a conference using powerpoint slides to get across his jokes.
Sometimes - a bit like his Observer column! - the joke doesn't quite work or it goes on too long. So it's definitely a hit & miss DVD. But the best stuff is so good it's worth ploughing through to get to. And the extras are pretty good too - the commentaries are pretty funny. One word of warning - if you don't want to know the result of the Arsenal-Barcelona Champions League final don't listen to the commentaries...