8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Brilliant comedy if you ignore the first series,
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This review is from: The Complete Blackadder - All Four Series [DVD] (DVD)
Blackadder is quite possibly the funniest and wittiest comedy Britain has ever produced. Edmund Blackadder, with his sarcastic one-liners and constant scheming forms the crux of the series, and Rowan Atkinson is perfect in this role. His delivery of the lines and excellent comic timing really make the series; not to diminish hilarious performances from Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Tony Robinson, Tim McInnerny and Rik Mayall (look out for his two brief but brilliant appearances as FlashHeart.)
The first series is pretty poor and Blackadder is not particularly funny as a snivelling wretch trying to worm his way up the social ladder. It is in the second series as a shrewd member of the Elizabethan court that he really comes into his own. Thanks to Ben Elton's input, having recently joined the writing team, Edmund becomes a sarcastic, clever and much funnier character. Blackadder's dim-witted friends Lord Percy and Baldrick provide the slap-stick humour. Baldrick's obsession with turnips, the ever changing size of Percy's ruff, Blackadder's expedition with Captain Rum and Lord FlashHeart's visit provide the highlights of this series.
The third series, my personal favourite, is set in the Georgian period and Hugh Laurie shines as the Prince Regent. His stupidity, and the manifold ways Blackadder exploits this to take advantage of him, are always amusing. The series opens with a brilliant episode full of political intrigue courtesy of Blackadder and features Crazy Scottish McAdder and a superb turn by Stephen Fry as the mad Duke of Wellington.
The fourth and final series is set in the trenches of the First World War. Stephen Fry plays comedy legend General Melchett with his snivelling aid Darling played by Tim McInnerny. Hugh Laurie plays the dim George and is particularly funny as the defence for Blackadder when he is court marshalled. FlashHeart also makes a great appearance in this series, the better of the two appearances. The last episode is very poignant as the characters go over the top and finally bow out.
I would definitely recommend this series to anyone who likes classic British comedy. Though the DVD does not have any special features I don't think it really needs them, the comedy speaks for itself.