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TV & sitcom DVDs - Nighty Night

BUY Nighty Night (dvd cover)
Nighty Night
Julia Davis, Angus Deayton, Rebecca Front
Written by Julia Davis
6 Episodes plus extras
BBC Television 2004
Warner Home Video 2006
171 minutes

Nighty Night is a wicked, caustic, fiendishly funny, brilliant British sitcom. It is the darkest and funniest television comedy I have ever seen. This comedy DVD is definitely a keeper. If you are tired of American prime-time situation comedies that basically force canned laughter down your throat every fifteen seconds although no one has said or done anything funny in the last three episodes and where there is absolutely nothing remotely edgy or controversial in any show, Nighty Night is definitely for you. Julia Davis is simply brilliant as Jill Tyrrell, a bitch on wheels hairdresser who learns her husband has cancer and, well, copes quite well with the news.

You immediately know what kind of woman Jill is when, learning her husband's tumor is malignant, says, "Why me?" By the end of the first episode of Nighty Night, Jill has set her eyes on Don, her next door neighbor, as a mate -the fact he is married and his wife has MS is not important-- and killed off her husband even though he is alive and well in the hospital. As a hairdresser, Jill's attitude would make any gay French hairdresser seem quite friendly. Nighty Night is really good stuff, the kind of television only Europeans, and sometimes Canadians, do, and nothing like the pre-masticated pap viewers are fed by American television conglomerates who jump the minute some little old lady with a bee in her control top pantyhose says "Boo!"

Nighty Night is also written by Julia Davis. There are so many brilliant one-liners and bits of funny dialogue in this British situation comedy you have to watch each episode twice just to get most of these great lines. A personal favorite, perhaps because it is delivered so well by Angus Deayton (next door neighbor Don) is when he is in bed with his wife Cathy and she says, "I'm just an ugly, useless, old thing!" and he replies, "You're not old." The many outrageously funny moments in Nighty Night include a blind date where Jill wears chaps over a g-string and then meets the same guy in a local sex shop, and episode two when Jill invites Don and Cathy over for supper and when Don tells her Cathy might be able to come if she rests that afternoon she makes a point of taking Cathy out for the afternoon to a local sandwich shop that is up two hills Cathy is left to negotiate on her own in her wheelchair. The great thing about this scene is that particular episode only gets better after that.

Episode Three of Nighty Night is particularly dark and funny as Jill continues her quest to seduce Don by talking Sue into a tantric abstinence program that will supposedly make her MS better. When that does not quite work out for her, Jill resorts to another fiendishly funny and bitchy trick. She also tells her husband his cancer is getting worse when, in fact, it is responding very well to treatment.

The next episode begins with Jill taking care of Cathy. She has now also set her sights on Cathy and Don's son, Dave, and convinced her husband Terry the reason the hospital is discharging him is there is nothing they can do for him and that is why she has booked him a room for two weeks (well, maybe three) in a local hospice. Jill is desperate for something to get in her pants and she will stop at nothing to get either of Cathy's men.

How dark is Nighty Night? By episode five, Jill is ready for Terry's funeral so she goes to the butchers to get some meat to put in Terry's coffin. It gets even darker and funnier when Jill's dog has his say. She thinks nothing of orally servicing Glenn (her blind date from episode one and a guy she keeps meeting at the local sex shop) so he will pay for Terry's supposed funeral. All is not well however as Jill's hairdressing business is going under and threatened by the health inspector. Terry's funeral is an over the top production number that would shame Princess Diana's.

Again, just when you thought Nighty Night could not possibly get darker Terry returns home where Jill locks him up in a cold bedroom after putting a diaper on him and giving him cold showers. Jill moves in with Glenn and when the vicar shows up asks Glenn to kill him, "How can we have a mature, balanced relationship if I've killed and you haven't?" Things get even darker and funnier after that.

Nighty Night, the best damn television situation comedy DVD I have ever seen. However, I still despise being force fed two BBC America infomercials before I can watch this great show.

Extras include out-takes and 8 deleted scenes.

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