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Kumars at No. 42
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Six episodes from the series--featuring guests such as Richard E. Grant, Fay Ripley, Claire Sweeney, and Stephen Fry, as well as the \"Christmas Special\"--are included. 173 min. total. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English stereo; Subtitles: English; deleted scenes; audio commentary. **6 episodes on 1 disc. 3 hrs.**
Winner of the British Comedy Award, this very funny series puts a fresh spin on the talk show format. Live from No. 42, it's Sanjeev (Sanjeev Bhaskar), a self-styled talk-show host who interviews actual celebrities from the home TV studio his very indulgent immigrant parents have constructed in the family's backyard. Sanjeev considers his show to be "the perfect blend of Indian flavor and English refinement," but the meddling of his chutney-maven father (Vincent Ebrahim), doting mother (Indira Joshi) and sassy put-down artist grandmother (scene-stealer Meera Syal) puncture any delusions of grandeur. When actor and celebrated wit Stephen Fry arrives on the Kumar doorstep, the grandmother greets him, "Tell me, what's an erudite, sophisticated gentleman like yourself doing on a stupid show like this?" The Kumars at No. 42 is partly scripted and partly improvised. Much of the comedy comes from the guests' pre-show interactions with Sanjeev's family, who continue to kibbitz during the on-air interviews from a sofa onstage. The more game the guest, the better. Actors Richard E. Grant and Minnie Driver are clearly having a ball. Many of the celebrity guests are not popularly known in America (Roy Winstone, from Sexy Beast, appears to be Britain's equivalent of James Gandolfini), but Sanjeev gives them a proper introduction. The Kumars at No. 42 would seem poised for an American remake (one attempt, The Ortegas, featuring an Hispanic family, was quickly cancelled in 2003). Note to network casting directors: try Andrea Martin as the grandmother. --Donald Liebenson
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Very British but also very Indian, this talk show is great fun, and there is never a dull moment in the mad cap Kumar household, especially when Sanjeev, who is the talk show host tries to bring some culture and refinement to the table only to be thwarted by his well meaning but totally inappropriate family.
Well worth watching if you like British comedies with a ethnic slant.