Little Britain: The Complete First Series

Little Britain: The Complete First Series
Britain seems like such an easy target for biting satire, but in many ways there's never been a more accurate portrayal of Britons than in Matt Lucas and David Walliams's brilliant sketch comedy Little Britain. From the ever-changing loose cannon narration by one of the greatest Brits ever, Tom Baker (aka everyone's favourite Doctor Who), to the recurring harebrained characters each week, it's quite simply the funniest sketch show since Saturday Night Live in its prime. Based on the highly successful BBC Radio Four series featuring creators Lucas and Walliams, it's quite remarkable to see how well this odd couple have put faces to their extraordinary characters. And while these characters are certainly extraordinary, they also represent British stereotypes bang on. Standouts include the stubbornly PVC-hugging Daffyd, aka the only gay in the (Welsh) village; Sebastian, the possessively and obsessively gay assistant to the Prime Minister (a well-cast Anthony Stewart Head); Anne, the destructive, grunting klepto; Ray McCooney, the piccolo-playing Scottish hotel aid who creates mystical concepts out of soup and a broken television; and the "so true its frightening" Vicky Pollard, an illiterate 14-year-old slapper who talks trash a mile a minute. The character profiles are as endless as the laughs, which never wane. As Anglophiles will know and accept that there are only eight episodes, however, Lucas and Walliams have prepped this two-disc package with so many extras you'll forgive Britain's short TV seasons. The deleted scenes are some of the best around, presenting properly shot skits that never made the cut but were certainly funny enough to. "How To Make" is a comprehensive featurette that gives a candid look at each character, hilarious off-camera antics and best of all, footage of the colourful Baker in the studio. A BBC radio interview with the two stars is even more enlightening, admitting that the show's inspiration is the trashy subjects on their nation's low-grade talk shows. "Best of Rock Profile" finds the duo impersonating the likes of U2, ABBA, Bee Gees and more, and new skits are included in a Royal Albert Hall performance that unfortunately suffers from some poor sound. All in all though, this is riotously funny stuff that contains some of the most original and unforgettable personalities television has ever witnessed. Plus: Jonathan Ross interview, character playlist, gallery. (BBC America)