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Reggie Perrin - Set 1
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After ten years as a marketing executive for Groomtech Industries, Reggie Perrin is dangerously alienated and frustrated. His boss doesn’t understand him, and his wife pays too little attention to notice. Reggie is left to find his own distractions wherever he can—on his daily commute, in the office, or at home in the suburbs. More often than not, his flights of fancy land him in hot water. But somehow Reggie always manages to extricate himself before disaster hits, preserving the respectable veneer of a successful city businessman . . . for the moment, at least.
This update of the classic British comedy was cowritten by the original series creator, David Nobbs (The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin), and Simon Nye, the write behind Men Behaving Badly. Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) stars as the often bewildered, sometimes infuriating, but always fascinating Reggie Perrin. Fay Ripley (Cold Feet) costars as Nicola, his long-suffering wife. Includes the complete Series 1 and 2.
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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.
Story begins with Reggie hating his men's body products job at Groomtech. Frustration follows him, explainable after meeting his associates. His suburban wife Nicola (Fay Ripley-`Cold Feet'), teacher, is almost sane. Then comes the Groomtech staff: hard-body sexy Jasmine (Lucy Liemann), Brainstormer brown-noser pair Anthony & Steve, barmy clueless receptionist Vicky (Kerry Howard) with a stunning performance, ego-head-brain-dead Chris the boss (Neil Stuke), not to mention Reggie's mom (Wendy Craig-`The Royal') and Nicola's dad (Geoffrey Whitehead-`Little Dorrit'). The Groomtech wellness nurse, Sue (Susan Earl) is a scream playing a counselor needing therapy. I found the cast excellent, slap-stick funny, absurdity through good lines of fast comedy dialogue enough for all. Joke's in dialogue flow fast, as in "Airplane".
A DVD set to just sit back and enjoy. A non-intellectual humorous experience at the gritty grin level.
12 episodes each about 28 laugh-packed minutes.
Limited summary for the whacky episodes for those that like details:
Season 1: Episode 1- Bored Reggie gets no thrill from being `Head of Disposable Razors'. Home is not much better so can the new sexy colleague, Jasmine, spice up his life?
1:2- Reggie's mom and father-in-law hinder his marriage relationship. As though Jasmine at the office is not enough.
1:3- Reggie guest teaches at his wife Nicola's school and invites her teenager class to visit his Bloomtech office. Imagine!
1:4- Groomtech global means Reggie and Jasmine business trip together in Finland. Is adultery with a sexy coworker on the itinerary?
1:5- Reggie, although skeptical, must provide CEO Chris with a new product to pitch to the Groomtech board of directors. That's about as easy as improving his personal sex life.
1:6- Reggies's stress & office dismay peaks at the office party. What's new on the horizon for Reggie after his big speech?
Season 2: Episode 1- Employment is needed in the Perrin house. Mom and Dad plan to do WHAT!?!?
2:2- Is baking bread & a farmers' market better than a return to the Groomtech office?
2:3- New Groomtech perks are a plus for Reggie--but not for wife Nicola stuck at home.
2:4- Success of `Grot' products is up/down like any useless products' market but leads to a surprising ultimatum. Romantic couplings also are up/down.
2:5- Reggie's visions of success for Groomtech blinds him to home failure. A Grot-oops!
2:6- Crisis is averted in favor of familiar calamity. MORE PLEASE!!!!!
I'm still laughing over all of the sudden violent fantasies visualized of what Reggie Perrin really wanted to do to people in his life. They are hilarious. Things we've all thought of doing. And the really screwball employees are ever trying to up-stage Reggie who's constantly, and comically, at odds with the train system, office staff, his wife, and his useless men's products. A ten-blade razor? No, but a 5-star funny adult comedy. Ending is wide-open for a continuation...so...MORE PLEASE!
The first six episodes and series/season are all that we expected: brilliant and uproariously funny. Great characters and situations. We gorged ourselves on them after starting to watch the first episode.
But the second six episodes/season are a big come down. Yes the same story line and characters continue sort of, but the whole second season seems to be searching for some direction while frantically trying to be as funny as the first season. It's as if the writers wrote Reggie for only one season and then had to scramble to put a second season together when it was renewed.
Martin Clunes fans should still enjoy Reggie Perrin.
But after being totally enthralled by the first season, we wound up with an empty deflated feeling after the second season.