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Four mis-matched university students share a house in North London: Neil, the hippy; Mike, the cool person; Rick, a would-be anarchist studying sociology; and Vyvyan, the punk medical student who is prone to extreme violence. Together with their bastard Russian landlord, the world of these "bachelor boys" is surreal and violent, but ultimately hilarious. Written by
Alexander Lum <email@example.com>
There was never anything quite like The Young Ones and there never will be. It's almost impossible to copy this outrageously bizarre and far-fetched TV show anyway. It's even impossible to exaggerate how crazy it was. Do I have to say I totally love it? each episode is crammed full of eternally quotable dialogue, wonderful physical comedy and insane, unexpected plot developments. The Young Ones takes place in a universe where absolutely ANTHING can and WILL happen. Rick is undeniably the best character tho. He and Vivian get into the stupidest fights and argue over the dumbest of things. Neil the hippy is also consistently amusing in his many failed attempts to off himself. Mike hardly ever had any funny lines but thankfully no episode really ever revolved around him. Plus a Bolowski family member (always played by Alexi Sayle) pops up in each episode to add to the mayhem.
What makes the show priceless are the totally irrelevant and senseless intercut scenes. Check out the episode 'CASH' for the best example of this. And, in an effort to raise the budget from 'sitcom' to 'light entertainment' the show had a musical performance each week from the likes of Jools Holland, Madness and Motorhead. They never intrude tho as they are cut over madcap montages.
It speaks volumes of the youth of 80's Britain and has a lot to say about the politics of the Tory Government at the time. All four play penniless students, surviving on lentils, who are completely unconcerned about their exams or coming bottom in the whole world. This is mainly channelled thru Rick (Mayall co-wrote the show with Ben Elton) who is the most studenty of them all, a wannabe anarchist and people's poet. Vyvian is a hard, hardcore Sex Pistols-like punk/thug who thinks nothing of having steel stars stuck onto his forehead or chopping his fingers off for a laugh. Neil smells. And has no quibbles picking up dead pigeons off the street to cook for dinner. Mike is a ladies man, despite the fact there are precious few ladies around him. All four get on like a house burning down. Or exploding like a cigar thrown into fart gas.
The show was shot on early 80's video with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. the picture quality is not the best but it's always looked like a TV show so it's perfectly adequate. The sound is Mono but that's all you need to enjoy.
The extras seem cool but they're not really. There is a bonus episode from Filthy Rich and Catflap and one from Bottom (the episode 'Smells' in which Ritchie and Eddie try to lure two lesbians with foul-smelling pheromone spray). The 15-minutes long 'Creating the Young Ones' is quite superficial and deserved to be much longer. And where are the new interviews with Edmondson, Ryan and Sayle? The same applies to 'The Young Ones and the 80s'. Why wasn't it longer? Five postcards of all the main stars are also included in the set. And you must buy it.
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