Blackadder: Possibly the best British television comedy
The BBC television comedy that became part of the British culture
Yesterday, my brother was at my home for a couple of hours. I was later told that the two of us had been talking in another language. We hadn't really but I can understand the confusion. When Blackadder fans get together they can't help but pepper their conversation with 'Adder-isms'.
We know all the quotes
We do, really. We can quote almost every episode word for word. The nicknames we give to people are often derived from this program. Insiders will understand that we don't go out to eat, we go for a 'Miggins'.
Rowan Atkinson at his best
For some reason that is completely beyond me, some people associate him more with a series called Mr Bean. This is mildly funny but not worth watching again. (Suffice it to say that my eight year old granddaughter grew out of it ages ago). If you want to see the real deal, you need to see Blackadder.
All episodes on DVD
Blackadder, on the other hand, is a series that can be watched, enjoyed and chortled at time after time after time. You'd think, wouldn't you, that after watching VHS tapes over and over until they broke, we'd have had enough? But it never fails. That's why it's so wonderful to have the whole thing on DVD.
So, what's it about?
Well, apart from the specials that were made, there were four series, all set at different times in history. But all follow the fortunes (and misfortunes) of Edmund Blackadder and his servant, Baldrick.
Which is the best?
Hard to choose, you decide when you've seen them all, but I think that if I had to pick one, I'd say the Elizabethan era. Part of the reason for this is that the script writing seemed to have an extra sparkle in some ways, the Edmund character is particularly imperious and also the the characters of Queen Elizabeth and 'Nursey' add an extra value. It's also the first of the series to feature the fabulous Stephen Fry.
Try before you buy
Now I'm not going to give too much away here, but here's a wonderful introduction into the brilliant world of Edmund Blackadder.
Oh and do avoid a common faux pas that annoys aficionados.
The Black Adder was series one only - the full series is called Blackadder.
Take a look and see if it's for you.It's a great gift for the Brits or Anglophiles in your life.
If you like historical humor then there's nothing to beat Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie in P.G Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster series. We watch this often. My only criticism is that two or three stories from the books are often combined in the same episode but that doesn't change the completely brilliant dialogue and the zany plots.
Actor Stephen Fry was simply brilliant in Blackadder. See him below in another of his fabulous roles.
Jeeves is the ultimate arbiter of taste. When his 'young master,Bertie Wooster, make any attempt at being fashionable, you can guarantee that it will be against Jeeves' wishes.
In the clip below, you'll see a compilation of scenes in which Jeeves is horrified by unsuitable garb.
In the books and television series, when Jeeves objects to a hat, a jacket or even his master's moustache, he will find a way to ensure that Bertie disposes of the offending item.
All part of the fun and games in the world of Jeeves and Wooster.
The video below will give you some idea and whet your appetite.
More British comedy reviews
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- The Young Ones: British comedy classic
The Young Ones, once seen as being rather subversive, is now a British television classic. It'snow available on DVD so we can watch the mayhem all over again.