As a child, I watched the BBC's Tomorrow's World avidly every Thursday night. This was also the night for sweeties, fizzy pop... and Top Of The Pops.. I recall those late 1970's childhood days with a gentle nostalgia.. And that phrase is the key to the humour within both series of Look Around You. Gentle nostalgia - but brilliantly executed.
I was disappointed to read so many poor reviews of this series. I feel that many viewers just totally missed the point. With Look Around You the humour is in the detail. The incredible, spurious scientific and medical references, the little glimpses into the characters of the presenters, the clunky computers with strange names. We meet characters like the BBC's bespectacled "Computer Jones" who seems to chime with a memory of a chap who actually used to present a BBC computer show in the 80's. A lot of the things you see in Look Around You are very subtle pastiches of half-remembered inventions and characters from the past. This is a series which would be best understood by viewers like myself who remember what T.V. was like in the old days!
This rendition of a 1980 popular science program is perfect in every respect. Each episode is themed: Sport, Computers, Music etc. Within each theme the ideas explored are both surreal and hilarious. Totally impractical devices are presented as if they were incredible advances for science. In the shows' grand finalé and an amazing feat of technical wizardry, "His Royal Highness Sir Prince Charles" presents an award to the winner of the Look Around You invention competition looking exactly as he did in 1980! You have to see it to believe it.
The erudite humour of Peter Serafinowicz shines through the peculiar and stilted 1980-style presentation. This man has a gift for the twisted phrase; the ability to bend reality just enough to make it very, very funny indeed.
If you like the new flavour of modern British comedy then you will love both series of Look Around You. In my humble opinion some of the best-ever Brit comedy is now being produced and Look Around You is a fine example. Many are the souls who cry for the "good old days" of Monty Python and Dad's Army but, if you know where to look, there are fresh and brilliant comedy shows on British T.V. You just have to open your mind to something new. Rob Popper and Peter Serafinowicz (the writers) have earned the right to be regarded as heirs apparent to the great comic legacy we have in Britain.