One way of getting good value out of on-line DVD rental is to hire television series, particular comedy; you usually get at least three hours for your disk and you can dip in and out of it as opposed to having to have the time and concentration for a ninety minute film.
We just worked our way through all the episodes of The Fast Show, which was nice. That show was such genius; some of the individual sketches fell short of the mark, but the whole thing moved on at such speed at it didn’t matter. And at the same time it wasn’t unintelligent; mocking an entire musical genre one minute (Jazz Club), then a parody on Krapp’s Last Tape, followed by another round of childish sexual innuendo. Paul Whitehouse is such a superb actor that some of the sketches are a pleasure to watch just for him, regardless of whether he gets a laugh out of you. Brilliant!
My favourite characters were Ted and Ralph. Nobody gets that.
We recently watched all three series of The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin. I had never seen any of this before and it was quite an education. I thought it was a family tradition which had us identifying the colour of the phone we are speaking from, declaring “I won’t” when someone wishes us a nice day at work and beginning sentences with “I didn’t get where I am today by…”
My nickname at school was Neil as in Neil from The Young Ones (it was because I had long hair, right?) which we have also revisited. That was... variable. Rather like Blackadder there was an almost embarassing contrast between the things I laughed at when I first saw these things on telly as a child and what I laugh at now. With Blackadder there are even more things to laugh at, with The Young Ones perhaps everso slightly less. Everso...
We have also watched a number of comedy television series which we either missed when they were on telly or that have been on since we abandoned the television signal. I can only remember Little Britain and Black Books just now, both of which had their merits.