Men Behaving Badly: Season One

While Britain is on a roll these days thanks to the success of BBC America and BBC Canada (most notably with The Office), Anglophiles without the specialty channels will revel in the string of DVD releases the network has planned. Men Behaving Badly (which initially aired on BBC's rival network ITV) is one of the UK's most popular comedies, originally running from 1991 to '98. Portraying two straight men living together as lager swigging, women obsessed slobs, the show found a loyal audience with its witty one-liners and accurate study of male bonding. While the series only managed six episodes in each of its eight seasons (something unheard of in North America), season one definitely stands out, not only as the introduction but as the only season to feature one of the original lead characters. The show follows Gary (Martin Clunes) and his lodger Dermot (Herry Enfield) as they constantly find themselves in awkward situations with the opposite sex. Gary, who works at a fledgling security business, is dating Dorothy (Caroline Quentin), a woman he can't seem to go on without, nor stand. Dermot, on the other hand, is frequently looking for new work, while chasing skirts, including the one belonging to upstairs neighbour Deborah (Leslie Ash). The combination of the clever but disastrous Gary and Dermot (a child-like imbecile) is a winning formula, as they bask in their mannish glory of failure. While some jokes could be funnier, and would be if this wasn't more than a decade old, a lot of the comedic moments are smart and more provocative than most American sitcoms of the time. Most impressive is their ability to work in a Kylie Minogue reference (certainly out of date by today's standard) by simply uttering the words, "I should be so lucky." Unfortunately, the perfectly mindless Enfield left the show after one season, leaving Clunes to find another tenant come season two (Tony, played by the popular Neil Morrissey). Outtakes are also included for the hardcore fan, but contrary to what the actors think, the bloopers aren't much to laugh at. (BBC/Warner)