Nighty Night Series One
If someone ever asked me personally how I'd
define the oft used genre "black comedy" I would instantly use Nighty
Night as a text book example. Black comedies are termed such due to the
nature of the humour used being dark, disturbing and usually with a
generous touch of the nastier sides of human behaviour. Nighty Night's
inconspicuously innocent title makes the content all the more brutal.
Written by Julia Davis (who also is the series' main protagonist) the 12
episode first season tells the story of Jill Tyrrell. Jill's husband has
recently (opening scene of first episode) been told her husband has
cancer, news which her husband Terry (Kevin Eldon) takes in his stride
and puts on a brave but hopeful front for his wife. However Jill takes
this news as a death sentence and instead of doing what any well
adjusted human being would do, she sets about removing him from her life
completely and beginning the grieving process,.. of which a big part of
is seducing her new neighbour's husband. Jill doesn't waste any time in
writing off Terry and moving on with her new life, regardless of how
many other lives she ruins in the process. Just how brutal this woman is
becomes more and more evident as the episodes move on, and they have an
unnerving way of shocking you with Jill's antics in every single one.
The story is expertly enacted through an amazing cast of UK "A list"
comedians. You'll be seeing a lot of familiar faces if you're a fan of
recent UK comedy series, aloof which are perfectly cast. Special note
needs to go to Mark Gatiss (from League Of Gentlemen) who's character of
Glenn Bulb never ceases to make a very lasting impression in whatever
scene he's in. The cast is relatively compact, but this allows great
intricacy and detail to be written into the episodes and goes a huge way
to giving the viewer a real involvement in how their lives play out.
From beginning to end this is a very funny show. The dialogue is quick
witted and always to the point. The humour becomes more and more
prominent after the first couple of episodes once you're familiar with
characters, but from the first episode, this doles out the darkly
written humour with a deeply venomous sting. This band of humour isn't
for everyone however, and I've definitely been witness to people who
found it completely distasteful and not entertaining, but that's why
there's movies like "Date Movie" being made.
If you enjoy the cringingly excruciating comedy of The Office and the
perverse bizarre of League Of Gentlemen then Nighty Night is definitely
going to be right up your alley.
Video: The 2004 BBC production is presented in a 16:9 widescreen aspect
and looks very nice indeed. There aren't any glaringly obvious faults
with the image, but it lacks the detail of more recent BBC shows.
It is very watchable however and never has any distracting picture
issues in any of the episodes.
Audio: The audio is what you'd expect from a dialogue driven TV show
form the last 5 years: its not going to be your new home theatre demo.
Some of the dialogue in a couple of scenes made me select the subtitle
stream just to pick up a couple of indiscernible words, but overall the
audio is very good and doesn't get in the way of the superb dialogue in
all the scenes.
Extras: Amazingly there are extras on this BBC TV DVD, to my complete
surprise. What's here is welcome, but not as good as it could have been
(like most TV DVD extras). There a few scenes that were cut from
episodes that provide some great moments, even in their unfinished form.
It looks like a lot of them were cut for pacing reasons, but viewed
after you've watched the entire series gives a few more details to some
of the more background characters. There are also some "blooper" scenes
which are very entertaining too.
By the end of watching the first series of Nighty Night you'll be left
feeling more than a little bruised and disturbed. This show reaches in
to some of the darkest territory TV shows have dared go in the name of
comedy. There are a few scenes that disturbed me as much as they made me
laugh, which really speaks volumes about how well executed this show is.
A must own for any fan of the blackest of the black side of comedy.