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Nighty Night Series One DVD Review - -

Feature 10.0
Video 7.5
Audio 7.0
Special Features 7.0
Total 9.0
Distributor: Roadshow
Running Time:
92 minutes
Rick Thorpe


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.


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