Three men dress up for all the roles, kind of like Monty Python or Little Britain. The situational absurdities here however, are pushed way way way and over the cliff. Some of this is actually quite cringe worthy, and definitely will not be everyone's cup of tea. Though if you prefer your coffee as pure unadulterated diesel fuel poison, then perhaps you may also prefer this very black and dark as night British comedy. I know I do. My wife and I rewatch these episodes quite often, and several lines have become catch phrases around the house. Give it a try. You'll either laugh out loud or you melon will melt! These three genius blokes have gone on to create a few other shows too, which are most likely only available Region 2.
BBC's best ever sitcom? I think so!
Review Lover | At a place... | 12/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Absolutely Fabulous, Fawlty Towers, Only Fools and Horses, Dad's Army, Are You Being Served?, Nighty Night and a whole host of other shows have proven to the world, time and again, that the greatest sitcoms come from merry old England. With a few notable exceptions, our British brothers and sisters seem to have nailed with microsurgical precision the art of getting television comedy right.
"The League of Gentlemen" began life as a series of short radio broadcasts, and featured a whole host of grim characters in macabre situations, and, thanks to the foresight of the Beeb and the unbelievable talent of the show's four creators - Jeremy Dyson, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith - the show came to television, with mind-bendingly brilliant results.
Comedy isn't really a suitable genre in which to bracket "The League of Gentlemen", since it's not as laugh-out-loud funny as, say, Ab Fab or Nighty Night. Similarly, it's just too damn funny to be labeled as Drama, but since it's got more than its fair share of horrific moments too, it's also got a finger in the pie of the Sci-Fi/Horror genre. On paper, then, "The League of Gentlemen" should, by all accounts, have been a terrible mess.
In actuality, it's the polar opposite - brilliantly crafted and thoroughly watchable, with more black comedy and more riveting characterisation than anything in recent memory. It's oddly endearing how the one-joke characters such as Herr Lipp and Barbra the transgendered taxi driver come to life with sympathetic scenarios, designed to turn these otherwise-throwaway charicatures into real, memorable parts of the story. And they're just secondary to the antics of the main body of heroes - people like Tubbs and Edward, proprietors of the Local Shop for Local People (seriously, you'll remember that line forever!), Pauline the Unemployment Retrainer, and Judee Levinson and her downtrodden maid Iris Krell - are so well-acted and so damn riveting that you'll want to see them over and over again.
This really is the only "League of Gentlemen" DVD to buy, it's got all three seasons of the show, and a whole host of truly excellent extras to mull over, once you're done with the episodes. Sound and picture quality are very, very sharp and for the price, you're getting more than your money's worth.
Wickedly Funny British Series...
David Demchuk | Toronto, Ontario Canada | 04/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have all three series plus the Christmas special as released in the UK and love them -- I'm very glad to see they're being released in North America at last! If you've never seen them, The League of Gentlemen (three of whom perform, with the fourth remaining behind the scenes) have created a fictional northern UK town called Royston Vasey, and play all of the townspeople - male and female. The characters and their stories are all intertwined, and are united by a macabre vision of small-town life influenced by countless horror and suspense stories. Cursed veterinarians, wishing toads, mobster newsagents, mysterious meat from the local butcher and "a local shop for local people" are just a few of the highlights. Enjoy!"
Gabi Knight | Seattle, WA | 08/10/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The BBC knows how to do it--comission a number of episodes and extend the show no further than those given episodes. The result? Fresh, original shows that never get stale and are usually exciting and totally engrossing. The League of Gentlemen is characteristic of such fare but is so different (and better) than anything you'd ever see on American network television. Once you're through the first two episodes, you'll see how the characters really start to develop and how deep and thought out the plot really is. More than just a showcase of grotesque characters, this show is a masterpiece, especially when you take into consideration that all of the members (except for one) perform all the characters they create. This is one show I can't stop talking about!"
The League of Gentlemen - The Collection
Harold Fisher | Wales | 04/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A warning - This is not anything to do with the film 'The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen'. This is something else, something far more interesting, exciting, scary, original, twisted and frankly far more absurdly hilarious. It is a comedy proggramme based around the fictional town of Royston Vasey, a refuge for the weird, psychotic or just generally insane... The first two series are like sketch shows based around a central theme, with very strange characters in nearly every scene. For example Tubbs and Edward with the now immortal phrases "Hello, hello, what's all this shouting, we'll have no trouble here!" "This is a Local Shop for Local People, there's nothing for you here!" and "They are not children... they are MONSTERS!", and these are just one set of characters. More characters include Papa Lazarou ("You're my wife now...."), the Denton's, Pauline and Mickey and so on and so forth. The third series are in the format of episodes, each one focusing on a paticular set of charcters, keeping the whole thing as fresh as a daisy. The Christmas Speicial, however, is a darker affair. It is equally is fantastic, but darker in every respect of the word...
I recommend this product to anyone with a sense of humour worth speaking of, and if you do not laugh, then you really do NOT have a sense of humour at all!"
Truly Macabre, Yet You Have to Laugh
Karen V. | Manassas, VA United States | 10/23/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First let me say, this series is NOT FOR CHILDREN! This is truly a series where you don't know whether you should be disgusted or laugh hysterically. It's dark and perversely funny, and if you don't have a somewhat "sick" sense of humor it's definitely NOT for you.
The series pokes fun at the oddities in life, ranging from a really bad Veterinarian to a Transsexual Taxi Driver with a botched operation. There are bored housewives, inbred shopkeepers, over-the-hill musicians, a butcher who serves mystery meat to his "special" customers, a seemingly "man's man" who finds he's attracted to the same sex, a screwy Mafioso, and many more bizare and unusual characters.
The series focuses on the everyday lives of the individuals, their involvements with each other, and the inane fear of "outside" influences coming in and changing local customs and ways of life. It's a dark parody of small town life and the extremes some will go to so progress and change will be stalled, or at the very least, waylaid.
I consider myself a pretty average person, and found there were times I wanted to turn the DVD off, but couldn't because I couldn't believe what I'd just seen, and wanted to see what happened next. The only reason I didn't give 5 stars is because I thought some scenes really were disgusting, gross, and offensive, even though I couldn't help laughing. "