Hardware-Series 1 (2003)

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Released 6-Jan-2006

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2003
Running Time 137:30 (Case: 180)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Ben Kellett
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Martin Freeman
Peter Serafinowicz
Ken Morley
Susan Earl
Ryan Cartwright
Ella Kenion
Peter Heppelthwaite
Tony Way
Stephen Powell
Howard Karloff
Steve Oram
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $29.95 Music Richard Attree
Richard Halladay
John Connor


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (320Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.75:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    English television comedy has produced the greatest television comedies in the history of the medium including such classics as Fawlty Towers, Blackadder, Red Dwarf and many more. This series is a new one from the creator of Men Behaving Badly, Simon Nye, starring one of the actors from The Office, Martin Freeman. Both of those series are quality comedies but neither quite make the upper echelons inhabited by the shows I mentioned earlier (in my opinion). This show is a good quality situation comedy but is certainly not a great one. It is amusing and worth watching but doesn't quite have what it takes to become a classic.

    The show revolves around the four employees of a small independent hardware store called Hamways Hardware. The employees are:

    The other important characters are Anne (Susan Earl), Mike's girlfriend who works at the cafe two doors down run by her best friend (Ella Kenion). Most scenes takes place either in the hardware store, in the cafe or at home in Mike and Anne's flat. The show has some similarities to Men Behaving Badly as much of the humour revolves around the guys and their interactions with each other, customers and women. The disc includes all six episodes from the first season, which was nominated for a BAFTA award in 2004.

    The episodes are:

  1. Nice (23:22) - This is the best episode of the series. Kenny tries to help Steve get a girlfriend. Mike treats a customer badly and the customer attempts suicide.
  2. Naked (23:23) - A funny but silly episode in which Rex decides the boys in the shop need new uniforms and Anne's mother comes to stay with Mike & Anne. Things get complicated when she makes a pass at Mike.
  3. Bondage (23:10) - Mike is bored with sex with Anne so she suggests bondage but he lets his hardware store ideas get the better of him.
  4. Finger (21:07) - Mike refuses to build an ironing board for Anne so she decides to do it for herself. Steve has an accident at the store.
  5. Women (23:07) - Mike gets a job offer to work for the DIY superstore which they loathe. They decide to try and attract more women to the store.
  6. Hutch (23:21) - Mike & Kenny offer to make a guinea pig hutch for a foster home and Rex's wife leaves him.

    A fun sit-com which doesn't really have the quality of writing required to push it into the upper echelons.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is good.

    The feature is presented in a 1.75:1 aspect ratio 16x9 enhanced which is probably the original aspect ratio or close to it.

    The picture was reasonably clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise. Shadow detail was OK but no more. There was light grain throughout.

    The colour was very good with no issues to report.

    The only noticeable artefact was some mild aliasing on some shirts and walls.

    There are subtitles in English for the hearing impaired. The English subtitles were clear and easy to read and in yellow.
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is good.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo soundtrack encoded at 320 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The music by Richard Attree is a bit over the top and an instrumental version of The Beatles' song 'A Taste of Honey' is used as the theme.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used in any noticeable way.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    None.

Menu

    The menu was very simple allowing for episode and subtitle choices.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    I cannot find any evidence of this series being available in other regions.

Summary

    A fun situation comedy from England set in a hardware store.

    The video quality is good.

    The audio quality is good.

    The disc has no extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Monday, March 20, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer

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