Well, it's time for another visit to Whitbury New Town Leisure Centre, the sports facility with more than its share of problems. Most caused by the manager, Gordon Brittas. I have to admit, I started buying these DVDs because I'm a fan of Chris Barrie. I kept buying them, because they are watchable, if not great. But the sixth series finally seems to have gotten the formula bang on. I know others disagree with me, but I personally found Helen Brittas' constant whining and gurning a pain in the butt that often had me reaching for the mute button. In this series she has calmed down a bit, and only cries in small doses, which I find a relief. The actors still seem to be enjoying themselves in their roles and this shows and the series flows a bit better. There's the usual mishaps like tropical diseases never seen in Britain and minor plans turning into a disaster. The most notable being when Brittas decides to computerise the leisure centre and, as always, takes things a little bit too far. Another highlight is Brittas being interviewed for what he thinks is a local feature on TV about the leisure centre, but is actually one of these fly on the walls exposition films. Brittas, determined to make a good impression, gives everyone scripts to remember, and hires a replacement for Colin who is a little kinder on the eyes. For me, the best episode was Gavin Featherly, RIP, where Gavin appears to have killed himself on a group trip to the beach. Everyone believes he has drowned himself because Brittas made him write to a record company to admit to copying a tape, and he gets a letter demanding money to cover his copy. This episode is far more open about Tim and Gavin's relationship, and it features in this episode when, having decided to hold Gavin's funeral without his body, Gavin's parents meet everyone, and Tim finds out Gavin's parents don't know who he is. Brittas also finally finds out he is the father of Carol's twins, which I thought he already knew anyway. The DVD includes a Christmas special which is just as good as the series. In it, Brittas makes the gang go on a team bonding excercise, but Colin has given everyone cards, and Helen finds one she thinks is addresssed to Gordon from Carol, so she spends the trip trying to kill Carol for having an affair. Gordon also finds himself the victim of many assassination attempts after sacking the regular Santa Claus!! Only on Brittas. On the whole, the episodes by themselves are really just more of the anarchy everyone expects from the Brittas Empire, and there's nothing really original in it. But because the cast seem to work well together, and Helen has quit making me want to clean my ears with a cheese wire, the series as a whole is far better to the previous ones.
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