When I heard of a potential remake of the revered show "The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin", I wasn't sure what to expect. I wondered if Clunes' performance could rival that of the remarkable Leonard Rossiter, whose original 70's version of Reggie was quite madcap in his nervousness, agitation, and over-the-top fall from the fable of a perfect "working life." And to my amazement, he not only matched the excellent performance of Rossiter, but also gave it a greater edge, in my opinion, of a true midlife crisis tale in the modern era.
From delegating authority to his two bumbling, crawling underlings at Groomtech (who are well-meaning chaps, just a bit ditzy), to his in-office therapist (who is extremely ditzy), and his gorgeous co-worker Jasmine, the character of Perrin finds himself in an area that many of us are familiar with; the trappings of a senseless, moribund office environment, with the gearshift stuck in neutral within a mid-management career. Oh, and his boss Chris Jackson (paying homage to the original 70's boss "C.J."), is pretty much clueless and void of any real ideas or leadership. And in the beginning, Perrin finds himself feeling the same way, but as the series progresses, you'll see his true "out-of-the-box" thinking take hold, and the shows gets funnier with every episode.
In addition to his mundane life at the office, his personal life is just as uninteresting. Without giving away too much of the plot, Perrin finds himself face-to-face with the humdrum boredom of everyday married life, temptations, daydreaming, etc., all portrayed in a very dark, albeit comical level. Same routine, same house, same train rides to work (which are usually late), same dull job. You see where this is going.....and eventually that trend will need to be broken. Hang on for a wild ride as Reggie gives two fingers up to the establishment and forges his own trail.
This is truly one of the best remakes I've seen in awhile. Well, I guess it's a remake in a way, but this series takes us on a darker journey than the 70's version did, so in many ways it's a brand new glimpse into the life of a familiar character. It's definitely up to the standards of other fine British comedies (Chef, Are You Being Served, Alan Partridge, As Time Goes By, etc). The DVD set will contain 2 discs (series 1 and 2), and here's hoping the BBC will commission more to come. The series so far has been left cliffhanging, so perhaps if enough fans purchase this set, the further adventures of Reggie Perrin will continue.