The Kumars at No. 42 (2001)
Menu Animation & Audio
Featurette-Sanjeev's Tour of No. 42
|Year Of Production||2001|
|Running Time||174:10 (Case: 173)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (100:42)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Lissa Evans|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||1.78:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.78:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English for the Hearing Impaired||Smoking||No|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Sanjeev is played by comedian and writer Sanjeev Bhaskar, who was one of the minds behind the brilliant skit comedy series Goodness Gracious Me. Goodness Gracious Me's final season was broadcast by SBS last year, and I for one would love to see it get a re-run soon.
The interviewees include some British television celebrities that are virtually unknown in Australia, but half the fun is gauging their reactions to the many left field questions. Once you have watched this show a few times, you will realise that regardless of who the guest celebrities are, it’s the excellent characterisation of the Kumar family that gives the show its substance. Sanjeev’s father Ashwin has a habit of launching into inane stories that lead nowhere, while his mother cannot go without asking guests about their kids, wedding or any other subject that could catch them off guard. Interestingly, the guests that survive the experience with their credibility intact are the ones that play along with the characters, and don't attempt to outdo them.
By far the most lovable of the characters is Sanjeev's grandmother (Meera Syal). She played a similar character in Goodness Gracious Me, but this grandma is much more cheeky, delivering many of the wittiest lines and showing the least respect for Sanjeev's show.
You may not have noticed, but this is the original concept, bought by Mary Coustas (a.k.a. Effie) for her "new" series Greeks On The Roof. So desperate are they to make sure people don’t discover this that Effie’s program is broadcast in the same timeslot as the Kumars – a very savage programming decision in my opinion.
Among the guests on these six episodes are: Richard E. Grant, Michael Parkinson, Minnie Driver, Stephen Fry and footballer Gary Lineker.
For a television program, I was quite impressed with this video transfer.
The feature is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.
The transfer is very sharp apart from the segments filmed inside the Kumar's house, which appear to have been shot with a soft focus. This may have been intentional, to help the viewer differentiate between the indoor and studio locations. A goodly amount of detail is evident, however there are virtually no dark moments in the feature. There was no low level noise present.
Colours were rich and showed no signs of oversaturation. All skin tones appeared accurate.
No noticeable MPEG artefacts were present. Aliasing was non-existent, as were film artefacts.
I sampled the English subtitles and found them to be accurately paced with the spoken word. Some English subtitles appear when the Kumar family uses Indian language. These are burned into the video stream, although they are brief.
This is an RSDL disc, with the layer change placed in a silent moment during the first chapter of episode four (100:42). It does not disturb the flow of the episode too drastically.
The audio quality is surprising for a TV program.
There are two tracks on offer, English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s) and a Writer's Commentary, Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s).
Dialogue was always clear, although on a number of occasions the Indian accents were a little difficult to understand. Audio sync was never an issue.
The music is credited to Morgan Pochin and has a distinctly Bollywood feel, matching the Indian atmosphere. The show's main theme is used as a transitional piece throughout the series.
There is no surround presence on this stereo soundtrack. I briefly engaged my Pro Logic II decoder, but it didn't do the track any favours.
There was good subwoofer response to the brief music, which contained some great low range bass.
|Surround Channel Use|
There are a couple of good extras here.
A collection of deleted footage from various points of the season. Some are entirely new segments and others are merely extensions of scenes we have already seen. A great reel of out-takes is also included at the end.
Various publicity stills and celebrity poses accompanied by a great audio commentary, courtesy of Sanjeev.
This is a very interesting and entertaining commentary, giving insight into almost every aspect of this series. The three men interact with each other, sharing many great stories about the guests and the production process.
A simple folded colour sheet listing the chapters within each episode, and detailing the extras available on the disc.
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
This title only appears to be available in Regions 2 and 4. Both releases are identical apart from some slight differences in the packaging.
The video quality can hardly be faulted.
The audio is great considering this was made for TV.
The extras are worth viewing more than once.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-525, using Component output|
|Display||Panasonic TX76PW10A 76cm Widescreen 100Hz. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Amplification||Denon AVR-2802 Dolby EX/DTS ES Discrete|
|Speakers||Orpheus Aurora lll Mains (bi-wired), Rears, Centre Rear. Orpheus Centaurus .5 Front Centre. Mirage 10 inch sub.|