Eye For Film >> Movies >> Men Behaving Badly - Six Pack (1991) Film Review
Just in time for Christmas, comes this six-series boxset of Men Behaving Badly and, with the high level of laughs involved, I urge you to rush out and get a copy now before Santa snaps them all up.
The first ever sitcom to jump channels - from ITV to Auntie Beeb - this is a comedy gem which deserves a place in anyone's collection. Things could have been very different, though, had it been left up to ITV. Originally intended as a star vehicle for Harry Enfield - back then, right on top of his game - the first series and, indeed, subsequent ones, are based on the premise of two blokes - orgininally Gary (Martin Clunes) and Dermot (Enfield) - in a flat and their on-off relationships with girlfriend Dorothy (Caroline Quentin) and neighbour Deborah (Leslie Ash). Things didn't go too well for the fledgling comedy, however, and, as the ratings failed to make the grade and Enfield showed signs of wanting out - and quick - ITV decided that one series was enough.
It was only thanks to the talent of producer Beryl Bainbridge that MBB survived. She touted it to the Beeb, they got in a new flatmate for Gary - Tony (Neil Morrissey) - and a comedy standard was set, as Gary and Dorothy pursue the rocky road to partnership, while Tony moons after the unattainable Deborah.
During the first two series, the comedy relies very much on the sit, rather than the characters, but as the series progress the characters develop so that the situations used to gain the humour seem less contrived. Hitting its stride in the third series, writer Simon Nye barely puts a word wrong during this and the following two.
By series six, a slight feeling of jadedness begins to creep in, as Dorothy and Gary inch towards tying the knot, but despite lacking some of the sparkle of earlier episodes, there are still enough laughs to warrant giving it house room. As the epitome of the laddish aspect, which characterised the Eighties, and also as a fine example of the heights British situation comedy can reach, this boxset is a must.Reviewed on: 04 Nov 2003