The Kumars At No. 42 is without a doubt one of the more accessible British TV sitcoms for a North American audience. It is an interesting concept that allows an audience not familiar with some of the guests on this fake chat show or talk show to still very much enjoy the humor and funny situations presented here. It is not the first time BBC Television uses the chat show sitcom format, just thing of Knowing Me, Knowing You for example, but The Kumars At No. 42 is fresh, entertaining, very funny at times, and basically a family riot on screen.
The concept is the Kumar family has built a television studio over their garden to that favored and only son Sanjeev can have a talk show of his own. When Sanjeev (Sanjeev Bhaskar) has people over for a chat he literally means a chat. Unfortunately for him, his father, mother, and Ummi (grandmother) play the Ed McMahon part and constantly interrupt Sanjeev and his guest to ask irrelevant but much more original and hilarious questions of their own.
What makes the show and The Kumars At No. 42 so funny is the improvisation skills of the fake Kumar family. The guest, such as Minnie Driver, Stephen Fry, and Richard E, Grant are real but they are put in a situation where they have to do more than their usual experience on a talk show as Vincent Ebrahim, Indira Joshi, and Meera Syal (who is an absolute riot as the grandmother) ask the kinds of questions they have never, ever been asked before.
Perhaps the best segment on this DVD is the one with Minnie Driver. This may be because some of the guests on this show, such as Big Brother celeb Claire Sweeney or Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, will be unfamiliar to a North American audience, but it is mostly because it is visible Minnie Driver is doing her very best not to crack up at the Kumars' antics and questions.
The Kumars At No. 42 is one of the few BBC television chat show based sitcoms that have crossed the pond that you do not have to be an Anglophile to understand and enjoy. This DVD features various episodes from the first and second season of this hit comedy.
Richard E. Grant & Michael Parkinson
Fay Ripley & Minnie Driver
Gary Lineker, Mel B, & Claire Sweeney
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen & Ray Winstone
Richard & Judy and Lorraine Kelly
Stephen Fry & Lesley Garrett