14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another wonderful rendition of Wodehouse's Characters
There are not a lot of glowing words I say about this DVD collection that haven't already been said, but I will try. Having read numerous books about the characters of Jeeves and Wooster, and listened to BBC radio collection performances, I have to say all the characters seem to hit the mark in bringing P G Wodehouse's creations to the screen. I have laughed a lot...
Published on May 11 2003 by Peter Smith
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sorry to rain on everyone's parade, but...
Firstly, let me make it clear than I consider P.G. Wodehouse to be the greatest writer of the English language of the 20th century, bar none. Consequently much of the atmosphere and wit of the original books will be lost in any transition to TV. This is a given and doesn't influence what I have written below.
I am also a big fan of both Hugh Laurie (even though...
Published on Aug 21 2010 by Deryk Barker
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another wonderful rendition of Wodehouse's Characters,
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What ho!,
This review is from: Jeeves & Wooster: The Complete Series (DVD)P.G. Wodehouse wrote funny stories. Obscenely hilarious comedy stories about dim young aristocrats, overbearing aunts and very clever servants.
And of all his creations, the most memorable is the ill-fated and blue-blooded Bertie Wooster and his megabrained valet Jeeves, immortalized by Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry. "The Complete Jeeves & Wooster" brings together all their madcap, bizarre little adventures in England's upper echelongs, with many a disastrous engagement and stint in prison.
Bertie Wooster (Laurie) is in need of a valet, and after a wild night out, the low-key, brainy manservant Jeeves (Fry) is sent by an agency to deal with Bertie's everyday needs.
But Jeeves doesn't just fold Bertie's hankies and give him hangover tonics -- he keeps Bertie out of all kinds of trouble. Predatory young beauties, ditzy idiot pals of Bertie's, and domineering aunts trying to marry him off, Bertie is always in hot water -- and Jeeves always is on hand, with a plot cooking in his impressive brain, to haul his hapless employer out.
Among the many problems they have to tackle: a stolen cow creamer, a little book of insults directed at an amateur Hitler, a starvation tactic that ends in disaster, American millionaires, a flirtation with fatherhood, scandalous memoirs, Bingo Little's countless infatuations, the havoc wreaked by mustaches, pearl necklaces going missing, and many compromising situations that begin -- or end -- unwanted engagements.
"The Complete Jeeves and Wooster" is quite faithful to Wodehouse's original stories -- some stories are combined and others are separated, but they draw heavily on his kooky, bizarro prose. Not to mention a sort of alternate between-wars England full of glamour and a merry-go-round of oft-broken engagements, with Jeeves as the calm in the storm's eye.
The only problem is that the stories set in New York just don't have that delicious British flavour that the rest of the series does, although they're still quite funny. That, and the cast changes continuously.
But those small flaws don't keep the series from being hilarious, from start to finish. Every episode is a hopeless tangle of infatuations, overbearing aunts, mixups, blackmail, newts, meddling aunts and young women ranging from devious to airy-fairy -- often all of the above. And yet somehow Jeeves manages to untangle it by the end. And Wodehouse's dialogue is handled in a brilliant manner ("Because he is a butterfly, who toys with women's hearts and throws them away like soiled gloves!" "Do butterflies do that?").
Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry are perfectly cast as the endearing bumbler Bertie Woosterand the dryly witty Jeeves. Though Bertie's lack of clothing sense (and a trombone) often annoys Jeeves, the brainy valet clearly does have affection for Bertie, and Bertie appreciates Jeeves' ability to save him from fates worse than death (such as marriage to the horribly hearty Honoria or the wispy, fairy-loving dimbulb Madeleine).
"The Complete Jeeves and Wooster" is a simply brilliant stretch of what-ho-what-ho comedy ("You can't be a successful dictator AND design women's underclothing") and deliciously twisting storylines. Not to be missed. Ever.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jeeves & Wooster - highly recommended,
This review is from: Jeeves & Wooster: The Complete Series (DVD)The superb acting and comedic timing of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie bring the beloved characters of Jeeves and Wooster to life. The valet is always aiding the kind-hearted but "mentally negligible" employer in zany schemes. Shenanigans abound in London, the countryside and New York City. The music, fashion, design and gentility of this era are wonderfully presented. For those who say it's impossible to put Wodehouse on the screen, I say "pish". Well done BBC! The 23 episodes you'll want to see again and again.
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent series, poor DVD quality,
This review is from: Jeeves & Wooster: The Complete Series (DVD)I never watched Jeeves and Wooster before and I loved the series. I was quite disappointed with the quality of the DVD's - picture is not very sharp, particularly in some of the earliest episodes. After I got used to the poor picture I was entertained by the content thoroughly, so I suppose if picture quality is not a huge deal to you it's very worthwhile.
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good, Sir!,
This review is from: Jeeves & Wooster: The Complete Series (DVD)Sophisticated, witty and oh so tongue-in-cheek.
Fry and Laurie really have this down pat without getting stale.
Every episode is hilarious!
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most(ly) Impeccable, sir !,
Rare is it for one to find a comedy that deftly blends the best elements of all three 'brow aesthetics' into a humor-vehicle that is at once escapist and illuminating. *Wooster and Jeeves*, an A&E adaptation of the P.G. Wodehouse serial-novels of the same name, achieves this exceptional distinction. With its natural dialogue (culled directly from the source material), impeccable comic timing and excellent acting, along with an extremely refreshing variation on the standard development-of-conflict/culmination-of-tension sitcom-structure, *Wooster and Jeeves* towers over the dross and diminished returns of mainstream H-wood offerings, exposing the implicit poverty of ultra-recycled miscommunication-muddling, senseless slapstick, lowest-common-denominator joke-dialogue and imbecilic 'shock' theatrics. This is one for the archives.
*Wooster and Jeeves* centers around one Bertram Wooster (Hugh Laurie), an archetypical English wealth-scion of the flapper '20s (i.e. a playboy and all-around fop), and Jeeves (Stephen Fry), his sophisticated valet. Bertie has devoted his existence to simple pleasures: afternoon excursions to the local gentleman's club for drinks and nine-ball; the occasional golf-game in the countryside; learning all the newest tunes on his piano (and, distressingly, a trombone). But this peaceful existence is constantly threatened by his relatives and school-chum companions, who endeavor often-as-not to involve him in their half-witted shenanigans (often via blackmail), or seek to marry him off so as to be 'molded' into an upstanding citizen. Luckily Bertie has Jeeves, his upper-crust manservant of philosophical bent, photographic memory and astonishing reliability, to help him wriggle free from these various entanglements/entrapments: "you're a rare bird, Jeeves!" Bertie invariably exclaims upon hearing the elegant, simple solutions his valet conjures. Indeed, compared to the lassitude and loathsome irresponsibility run rampant in Bertie's circle of the privileged (...peacocks, puff-adders and/or prunes), Jeeves is a pillar and a paragon, far more cultivated in his education and moral fortitude than any of the noble-rank he so impeccably serves. This could be considered a cliché, and with good reason - but we must remember that clichés often have a strong basis in reality, and such is the case here. Wooster & co., born with the silver spoon firmly placed in mouth, have never had to struggle for anything: thus, stressful occasion is usually invented or invited, for excitement, a 'lark', a means to obtain the suffering so key in delineating character and defining pleasure, whereas Jeeve's fortitude is all self-made, stamped upon soul and sinew through years of willing trial.
But I digress. The one thing I like most about *Wooster and Jeeves,* aside from the top-notch writing, acting, set-design and dramatic construction, is the fact that it sidesteps the typical tension-build of very nearly all comedy. In the usual spate of sitcom and other 'brow-aesthetics,' a situation is introduced, complications ensue, and with an unhealthy over-reliance of miscommunication, the tension is milked and milked until 'release' - long after the outcome has been thoroughly predicted by the jaded audience. In each episode of *Wooster and Jeeves*, however, the writers have combined several of Wodehouse's short stories, therein threading events, character-arcs and complications into a sinuous storm of tension/release. Rare is it for an uncomfortable situation to wear out its premise: not only are conflicts dispatched in a speedy and sometimes surprising manner, they often mutate into different, contrasting developments...an incredibly refreshing twist. This show is *not* milked, and there is (almost) always enough material to fill a 45-minute episode.
Until, that is, the fourth season. All that makes this series extraordinary is astonishingly reputed in the disastrous return-to-America episodes, which stretch credibility well past the breaking point and simply are _not_ up to snuff with the prior three seasons. The Empire State Building climax of 'The Once and Future Ex' borders on disgusting parody; the castaway epilogue to 'Bridegroom Wanted' is humorous only in a surreal 'what were they thinking?' sort of way. Everything returns to normal (more or less) once Bertie and Jeeves reach England, though the spark of the show is discernable weakened afterward and even the return of powerhouse personality-clashes like that of Finknottle and Spode come of more like copycat comedy when compared to their predecessors.
Regardless, this box set is well worth the lucre. Five stars.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!,
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Jeeves & Wooster: The Complete Series,
This review is from: Jeeves & Wooster: The Complete Series (DVD)Brilliant! Refreshing language and funny situations. Similarly as the other british series Yes, Minister (as well as Yes, Prime Minister), the servant is smarter than the master. That is the reason of such enormous success of all the series, which follow the real life situations.
Slightly confusing is the appearance of different actors in certain roles (aunt, few girlfriends). And for me as a foreigner, I should perhaps take two or three stars off the evaluation for NOT HAVING ANY SUBTITLES. Not only foreigners (who sometimes need subtitles for better understanding), but also people with hearing impaired would love to watch these series! Regretfully, the producers of this video were not thinking about this group of customers.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great entertainment, bloated packaging,
I am taking away one star for the bloated DVD packaging.
I have 2 reasons for buying DVD's: #1. I can't get videos any more; #2. DVD's of Complete TV series' are generally more compact than videos.
It was with some annoyance therefore that I realized the "Complete Jeeves and Wooster" set, which I bought to replace my old videos (which in turn I fobbed off on my sister), actually occupies more space than the videos, taking up 4 inches on my shelves. Each DVD case could easily hold 2 disks. British productions for some reason all suffer from this problem, which probably explains why they cost twice as much as American sets.
Compare with the Complete Third Season Law & Order SVU, approximately the same viewing time, which occupies only one inch of space (& cost half as much ).
When you have thousands of books and hundreds of videos, space is an important consideration.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get it... but beware!,
Look, just get the series, then kick back and enjoy. Watch it again... and again... etc. Then if you can pull away from your set long enough, go cancel your cable subscription because it's so addictive and everything else will seem 2nd rate. Getting Jeeves & Wooster was like finding the perfect champagne; it always goes so well on the palette. Even my 15 year-old daughter thinks it's a riot!
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Jeeves & Wooster: The Complete Series by Stephen Fry (DVD - 2009)
CDN$ 74.99 CDN$ 43.51