|Year Released||1991||Commentary Tracks||None|
|Running Time||143:21||Other Extras||Main Menu Animation & Audio
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||MPEG||None|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None||Dolby Digital||2.0|
|16x9 Enhancement||No||Soundtrack Languages||English (Dolby Digital 2.0, 192Kb/s)|
|Theatrical Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||
|Subtitles||None||Annoying Product Placement||Subtle|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
All of the very familiar characters which are a part of this series are introduced from the word go, with the sole exception of Tony, who replaced Dermot from Series 2 onwards.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this series, here is my very dry attempt at an overall plot synopsis. Gary (Martin Clunes) is a bloke's bloke. He shares a house with Dermot (Harry Enfield), who is also a slob. Both Gary and Dermot are real blokes, and proud of it, and this is the source of much of this series' comedy. Like all real blokes, Gary and Dermot have 3 things on their mind; sex, food and beer, preferably all at once. Gary has an ever-troubled but tempestuous relationship with Dorothy (Caroline Quentin), a nurse. Upstairs lives Deborah (Leslie Ash), an attractive woman who both Dermot and Gary fancy, but who does not reciprocate their attentions. The interplay between these four characters is the fundamental driving force of this comedy, along with a number of peripheral characters where Gary works, where Dorothy works and at the pub.
The honesty of the writing and the acting is what makes this series work. What you see on the screen are real blokes doing and saying what real blokes would do and say, much to the eternal frustration of the women involved in their lives.
This particular DVD contains all of the episodes that comprised Series 1 of Men Behaving Badly. It consists of the following episodes;
1. Intruders (24:06). In this introductory episode, all of the main protagonists are subtly introduced, and Gary decides that he wants to break up with Dorothy, but breaking up is much harder to do than he anticipates.
2. The Bet (23:42). Gary has been cajoled by Dorothy into acquiring tickets for the Opera, to prove that he is capable of spending money on her. Unfortunately, Gary got them from a photocopier salesman in return for some barbed wire. Dermot convinces Deborah to go to the Opera with him, and challenges Gary to a game of chess for the tickets. Who loses? They both do, when the truth about the tickets comes out.
3. Alarms and Setbacks (23:51). Gary figures that Deborah will fancy him if he can prove just how much of a handyman he is by installing a burglar alarm. It doesn't work.
4. Animals (24:10). Dermot works out the ultimate pick-up line for Deborah - simply asking her to go to bed with him. Things don't work out as he planned, however.
5. Sex And Violence (24:03). Deborah breaks up with her boyfriend, much to the 'disappointment' of Gary and Dermot. Dermot plans a special evening of 'commiseration' for Deborah which does not quite go to plan, and the reappearance of Deborah's boyfriend and Dorothy complicate the issue somewhat.
6. My Brilliant Career (23:29). Dermot loses his job and in a fit of pity, Deborah offers him a job as a waiter at her restaurant. Gary, Dorothy and Gary's workmates meet for a birthday lunch at the same restaurant, whereupon they discover that Dermot is not much of a waiter.
The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. It is not 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer is somewhat on the soft side, with fine details blurred and indistinct. Foreground objects are certainly clear enough, but backgrounds tend to be a little lacking in detail. If you are looking for a razor sharp and crystal clear transfer, you will not find it here. Having said that, it is by no means a poor transfer, but merely reflective of the limited resolution of the source material, and perfectly watchable.
What shadow detail there is is somewhat limited, and tended to exhibit some low level noise. However, since the majority of this series takes place in brightly-lit locations, the low level noise problem is limited to a few night-time outside shots only.
The colours were nicely colourful without being spectacular. There was a certain lack of clarity and sharpness about the colours which resulted in some minor colour bleeding, particularly with reds.
There were no significant MPEG artefacts, although you could readily see some minor MPEG artefacting in the backgrounds of paused images if you looked closely enough, mainly due to the inherent video noise in the source material. There were various analogue video artefacts, including quite frequent subtle vertical skips in the image and occasional tracking errors. The worst of these was in Episode 4 (Animals), at 4:09 where the bottom of the frame momentarily tears and breaks up.
This disc is Dual Layered, but no layer change was detected during any of the episodes, so it seems as if the layer change sensibly separates episodes from each other.
The dialogue is generally easy to hear, with the words always able to be made out. One minor exception occurs during Episode 3 (Alarms And Setbacks) in the pub, where some dialogue is quite muffled and a little hard to make out. There are no audio sync problems. There is a small audio dropout at 11:36 in Episode 3 (Alarms And Setbacks).
There is no music in this series other than the opening and closing theme by Alan Lisk.
There was no activity in the surround channels, and even the stereo presence of this soundtrack is limited to the opening and closing music and audience laughter. Otherwise, this is strictly a monaural experience. The subwoofer did nothing except laugh at the on-screen antics.
The video quality is good considering the source material.
The audio quality is utilitarian.
The extras are limited in quantity but very good
in quality and thematic appropriateness.
© Michael Demtschyna
(read my bio)
14th August 2000
|DVD||Marantz DV-18, using S-Video output|
|Display||Loewe Art-95 95cm direct view CRT in 4:3 mode, via the S-Video input. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital AddOn Decoder, used as a standalone processor. Calibrated with the NTSC DVD version of Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||2 x EA Playmaster 100W per channel stereo amplifiers for Left, Right, Left Rear and Right Rear; Philips 360 50W per channel stereo amplifier for Centre and Subwoofer|
|Speakers||Philips S2000 speakers for Left, Right; Polk Audio CS-100 Centre Speaker; Apex AS-123 speakers for Left Rear and Right Rear; Hsu Research TN-1220HO subwoofer|