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TIT

'Men Behaving Badly - The Complete Collection'
(Martin Clunes, Neil Morrissey, et al / 7-Disc DVD / NR / (2000) 2006 / BBC Home Video)

Overview: Crack open a beer, grab your remote control and gorge yourself on an extra-large helping of bad behavior, British style. Whether making viewers chuckle or chunder, Men Behaving Badly undeniably and unapologetically became the British sitcom of the 1990s, rivaled perhaps only by Absolutely Fabulous. The antidote to the 1980s "caring and sharing" male, Men Behaving Badly made boorish behavior into a cause celebre. Flatmates Gary and Tony are unabashedly self-centered, rude and crude. They brag, belch, fart, swear, drink beer and fantasize about women with no shame. Here in this collection is every episode of the original British, era-defining series, ready to shock!

DVD Verdict: The pageant of boorishness and slobbery known as Men Behaving Badly launched itself upon an unsuspecting United Kingdom in 1992. The plots are built on contrivances like a chess match over opera tickets or an attempt at seduction via a synthesized flamenco guitar, but the humor always springs from the petty, careless, and generally inane behavior of Tony and Gary. In the very first six episodes of the series, Gary (Martin Clunes), the disgruntled manager of a security alarm company, struggles to break up with his long-suffering girlfriend Dorothy (Caroline Quentin) while competing with his aimless flatmate Dermot (Harry Enfield) for the attentions of their fetching new upstairs neighbor Deborah (Leslie Ash. Enfield left after this first sextet of episodes; Clunes and Enfield's replacement Neil Morrissey took the show to five more series, but Enfield's charming dimness makes this first series worth a look.

No matter which two guys it was, their lives centred on lager and girls! The former is easy to come by, both in canned form and at their local pub, The Crown, run by the unkempt and unhygienic Les (played by Dave Atkins), and later the socially-unskilled Ken (played by John Thomson). Gary is not afraid to look at other women, although he usually feels guilty if he goes much beyond ogling some Kylie Minogue publicity shots.

Dorothy is a nurse who lives with her parents and prefers not to move in with Gary, or marry him. She is devoted to him though despairs of his immature and inconsiderate nature on frequent occasions. Deborah is a restaurant manager who is attracted to Tony but put off by his own plummets into immaturity, usually when with Gary. That said, she is often jealous when Tony has a girlfriend. Eventually they get together in series six, but their relationship soon deteriorates into on/off status when Deborah grows tired of Tony's clingy behaviour, and later, his job as a postman.

The series was briefly remade for US television with a different cast. The American remake aired on NBC from 1996-1997; it starred Rob Schneider, Ron Eldard, and Justine Bateman. It took place in Indianapolis, Indiana. It didn't take off though!

www.BBCAmerica.com





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