'Reggie Perrin - Set 1'
(Martin Clunes, Fay Ripley, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / (2009) 2011 / Acorn Media)
Overview: An update of the classic British comedy series, The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, after ten years as a marketing executive for Groomtech Industries, Reggie Perrin is dangerously alienated and frustrated. His boss doesn’t understand him, and his wife pays too little attention to notice. Reggie is left to find his own distractions wherever he can - on his daily commute, in the office, or at home in the suburbs.
DVD Verdict: I loved the original show, starring the always wonderful and now sadly deceased Leonard Rossiter, and I have to say I loved this show too! Of course, Clunes can only play the role of Perrin at his own pace, his own Clunesque status, but the fall and rise are both well played out, no worries.
With this updated version of the classic comedy being co-written by the original series creator, David Nobbs ('The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin'), and Simon Nye, the wordsmith behind 'Men Behaving Badly,' you knew from the off that the show was going to be cuttingly funny. And thankfully for all us fans of the original show, hilarious cut in scenes - where Reggie thinks of something else when someone is talking to him or makes him aware of something - are still there! Including the (and no to give it away) ugly, hard-shelled animals having slow, wrong-looking sex!
Here in the first set we have 12 episodes each series at about half an hour per episode, give or take. Therefore comprising the first two UK seasons of the show, a show that has yet to film a third season, the first episodes of the show presents us Reggie (Clunes) at work for Groomtech - where he is the Head of Disposable Razors.
He's bored at work, he's bored at home, and his job has only become more interesting when new (young) girl Jasmine gets hired in the office across the hallway from him. He's always late to work by 27 minutes, giving some lovelorn (funny) excuse for it being so, and doesn't communicate well with other workers: "Are you unhappy? No? Are you sure? Yes. Well, then cheer up you miserable bitch!"
As we progress through series one, his love life at home is suffering week by week. When asking his wife Nicola (Ripley) about breakfast in the morning, she gets the wrong end of the stick: "Full or continental? I'd rather not honey, I'm too tired!" Reggie's mother, the fantastic Wendy Craig is always popping in, and Nicola's dad also - usually for food and whiskey!
Back at the office and Reggie is trying everything to keep sane - implementing a ruling that there should be more plants in the office! He even heads a team - of just he and Jasmine - that goes to Finland to sell them on the idea of his continental razors. Whilst at the same time, nearly having an affair with her! But, slowly at first, quicker as the series rolls on, Reggie is losing his mind and when a series of in-house therapy sessions don't help, he finally breaks down and runs naked into the sea!
Come series two (something none of us Brits thought we'd see for (and) despite disappointing viewing figures for its first season, BBC1 Controller Jay Hunt went ahead with the second series regardless) and we find that Reggie didn't actually strip down after all, BUT he was on the beach and passed out! Getting himself together he goes back home - to a worrying slap around the face greeting from his wife - and tried to set about life unemployed! His hair isn't gelled back any more, his work clothes are a t-shirt and jeans, and he even contemplates a stab at the Good Life re: back garden self-sufficiency ... which lasts 3 seconds, quite literally!
Over the course of the opening second series episodes Reggie tries many futile, underling jobs with no success rate at all, but he's out there trying. Nicola is jealous of him and when the (single) new next door neighbor introduces himself to them, well, Nicola sees a way to feel wanted again, sadly.
He tried a farmer's market once he discovers he (thinks) he can cook bread in his kitchen, before his old company Groomtech hire him back - as they are going under due to his old boss's overall uselessness (and firing). Placing him in Chris' old position, although he keeps his own (old) office, Reggie slips back into the corporate world too easily for his liking and immediately starts to try and sink the corporate ship with stupid ad campaigns and such - for items named GROT, that come with smells such as Shed!
It doesn't work as the public LOVE the new line and suddenly he's plumped up the company's wealth so much on the stock market they decide to sell and make a profit! Reggie won't have that and so hires Chris back to undermine it all with a stupid Grot TV ad - which just sky rockets the sales thereafter!
Reggie, with nothing left, not even his pride, goes home to be with his wife, but finds her in bed with the next door neighbor and so reluctantly moves in with one of his younger co-workers, Anthony. In a funny scene he asks his wife where it all began re: the affair and she says at the swimming baths. To which he replies, "Ah yes, where else can you get covered in chlorine and kids urine for under ten quid?!" In-between all this, their parents marry each other also! Nicola, in turn feeling badly guilty about her act, serenades him at said flat with the same song, but Reggie says he needs time to think. Fair enough.
As we close out the set, Reggie (starting to look more and more like a young Michael Aspel, albeit with bigger ears!) collects his passport from the house, he doesn't know where he's headed, but the last scene is him sitting on the edge of his bed, suitcase at his feet, passport in hand, the future uncertain ... for him or the show, I guess! [RT] This is a Full Screen Presentation (1.33:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of a Behind-The-Scenes Photo Gallery from Series 1.