TV Shows on DVD  - League of Gentlemen


In some grim and isolated corner of northern England lurks the town of Royston Vasey, where the local cab driver is a hirsute preoperative transsexual, the local butcher sells his special stuff to select customers and the local employment counselor thinks people are like pens: "If they don't work, you shake 'em. If they still don't work, you chuck 'em away!" But if you're not local, you should steer clear of the local shop, no matter how tempted you are by its precious things.

To call The League of Gentlemen a black comedy would be an understatement. Its bleak humor owes as much to Samuel Beckett as it does to Monty Python, so those who like their laughs served warm are in for a shock. The show is the most wickedly inventive comedy to come out of Britain since Eddie and Patsy staggered onto our screens in Absolutely Fabulous, and like that groundbreaking series it proudly ignores the boundaries of good taste. Part sketch comedy, part bizarre soap opera, the narrative jumps back and forth between more than a dozen major characters, all played by the three performers who co-wrote the show. These characters range from the odd--a vet who accidentally kills all of his patients--to the thoroughly disturbing, like Edward and Tubbs, the inbred proprietors of the Local Shop, who are willing to go to any lengths to prevent the building of a new road through their beloved town.


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