Nighty Night (TV Series 2004–2005) Poster


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Savage brilliant black comedy
lee-wilson27 June 2006
I can understand why some people review this show here and call it "rubbish" because it is not easily watchable. It takes you out of your comfort zone and is not banal safe comedy that often seems to often thrive on television. The main character Jill is a savagely cruel person, when her husband is diagnosed with cancer she drops him off at the hospital and goes to a dating agency to find a new man. When a couple move in next door she thinks nothing of wearing the disabled woman down physically and emotionally to get at her husband. You get the idea. Many of the lines are superbly witty in an outrageous "she can't say that" type of way. Interestingly Julia Davies has both naturalistic supporting characters like Cath and Don the couple next door and exaggerated broad comedy characters that inhabit Jill's world without the mix of the two jarring in any way. It is easier to watch a second or third time if you give it the chance, then you seem to be able to concentrate on the savage humour without feeling too much pity for the put upon characters involved. Superb.
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A guilty and wicked pleasure....
Eli-5320 January 2004
This show is billed as coming from the makers of Alan Partridge, but whilst Alan is a complete imbecile, the awkward situations he finds himslef in are often ones caused by his inflated ego and at the end of the day whilst he is a nasty chap, he isn't evil. Now lets come to Jill, the main character in this wicked (but very entertaining) new dark dark comedy. She is pure evil. Whilst her husband lies in hospital apparently dying of cancer, Jill tells the world he's dead and decided to start dating. In the first episode she meets her new neighbour Dr .Don, played by Angus Deayton ( the Beeb did say they'd find him new roles post the HIGNFY scandal!) who's married to Cath (the brilliant Rebecca Front of The Day Today - a show from the same creators) who happens to have MS. Jills nastiness ensues and you really squirm watching her ( a mix of David Brent and Alan partridge at their worst with a much more EVIL edge). The show is a guilty pleasure as you'll laugh at the nastiness and then feel really bad later on! BBC3 airs these shows and they do eventually come to BBC2 ( like Little Britain) and when it arrives, make sure to catch it. It's not your typical sitcom, but who wants typical??!!??
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Dark, disturbing and hilarious!
Ian Jackson29 March 2007
Nighty Night is a very unique comedy, combining dark humour, social observation and a large dash of discomfort. The show revolves around a self centred, manipulative female by the name of Jill. We follow Jill as she tries to convince her husband that he is dying and then proceeds to steal the heart of her neighbour. The only problem is his wife, a wheel chair bound, kind hearted lady by the name of Cath, who is more than an easy target for Jill's ways. With superb characters, such as the simpleton Linda, the sensual Sue, and the freakish Glen, and daring but hilarious antics (Jill goes to extremes from pretending to give 'afterlife workshops', to convincing her husband that he is dying, to being 11 months pregnant) Nighty Night is disturbingly funny. If you like shows such as The League of Gentlemen, Little Britian and Strangers With Candy, then i think you will enjoy this show.
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Both uproariously funny and extremely uncomfortable
TheLittleSongbird8 February 2010
Whether you like "Nighty Night" is dependent on whether you like this sort of thing. I will grant you this, it is not easy to watch at times, it is very dark, often unsubtle, heartless and extremely vicious. But there are some very funny parts too, thanks to the stellar performances and the deliberately over-the-top writing that is most likely to shock people with the amount of depth it goes into. Plus it is very unfliching at how cruel the characters can be to one another. There are times when we find the characters unsympathetic, with the exception of perhaps Cathy and Terry but I personally think that was intended.

The performances are stellar. Julia Davis throws herself into this, and gives a genius turn as Jill, an "evil" neighbour and an incompetent hair stylist. Angus Deayton is also superb as Don Cole, who is facing a very difficult situation, as is Rebecca Front as Cathy, a really sympathetic character that we constantly feel sorry for. Overall, clearly this isn't for everyone, but I for one find it entertaining. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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Clive-Silas30 December 2010
(The following review was originally published 20 Jan 2004 as the first review of this title to appear here. Deleted after a user request, it has been edited and re-submitted.)

"Nighty Night" details the life and loves of the most self-absorbed woman on earth, Jill Farrell, played by series creator Julia Davis. In the first scene she sits in the hospital with her husband Terry (the surprisingly normal Kevin Eldon) and they have just been told the test results. She bewails her fate, crying "Why does everything have to happen to *me*!" Her husband turns to her, comfortingly, and says, "Look love, it'll be OK. It's really not that bad. It is ME who's got the cancer!" In the second scene she is at a computer dating service. Not content with whoever they may come up with for Jill to go out with between hospital visits, she also sets her sights on neighbour Don, (Angus Deayton), a doctor whose wife, Cathy (Rebecca Front), is a victim of Multiple Sclerosis.

Davis has specialised in playing these kinds of women in recent years, most notably in Rob Brydon's "Human Remains" and Chris Morris's "Jam". Jill is all entirely her own work and she has really plumbed the depths of the human psyche to create a woman who cares for nothing and nobody but herself, to a psychotic degree. Instead of "Nighty Night" perhaps the programme should have been called "Nicely Nice", because it is people's niceness, or at least their desire that things remain nice, that allows Jill to get away with the most appalling insensitivity and self-regard.

The characterisation of Jill is perfectly done, as are the characterisations of the other people, from poor confused Terry (not realising that he isn't getting any visitors because Jill told everyone he'd already died), Don who is caring for Cathy, but obviously doesn't really "care" for her any more. Particularly brilliant is Rebecca Front's performance as Cathy, caught between dissatisfaction with her straying husband, outrage at Jill's antics but paralysed - not just physically - by her inability to make a fuss. These are fantastically well observed. Other characters, such as Stefan, Jill's putative blind date, and Linda the asthmatic girl in Jill's beauty salon who loves to massage feet, are more exaggerated but well performed.

This is not laugh-a-minute hysterical comedy by any means, but continues the uncomfortable black comedy trend hinted at by Steve Coogan's characters, and more wilfully pursued by Chris Morris and Rob Brydon (with all of whom Julia Davis has previously acted.)
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Worthwhile watching, but only for the right people.
imdb-161563 November 2006
One has to categorise this show as as satirical comedy, and indeed the first season begins humorously and playfully enough. After just a short time however, the personality disorders portrayed must inevitably lead to a rather more uncomfortable experience. Jill is nothing other than a psychopath, blatantly unaware of the extremity of her behaviour. The other characters all incredibly tolerant and unbelievably sympathetic to Jill's activities. Whilst the humour is maintained throughout, it is hard not to feel that genuine personality disorders such as these surely do exist around us in the real world. Of course the events are all extremely exaggerated, and that forms the basis for the humour. Were the show a little more subtle, then it would probably be billed as a psycho-thriller. I personally enjoyed it very much, as I find extreme humour quite entertaining. However, I would not recommend it for the squeamish, or prudish, or the particularly emotional. The second season even surpasses the first in extremity, if not in humour. I have knocked off points for plot, repetition, and incredibility.
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Be Careful Now! (Rude Words Warning)
tgtround28 July 2006
What do you say about a female character who is utterly selfish and has absolutely no redeeming features? The Guardian newspaper described her as a "t*rd in leather trousers" which is along the right lines.

Julia Davis both as a writer and an actress has gone where many men would fear to tread and has brought us a comedy so black it's positively shiny. A hilariously politically incorrect comedy this series examines the winners and losers in life and suggests that those out for themselves can succeed over the decent and altruistic.

This series is definitely NOT for those of a nervous disposition or who do not wish to enter the belly of the beast that is modern society.

The rest of the cast are excellent and special mention must go to Angus Deayton for playing a doctor with a private life far less interesting than his own and to Ruth Jones for enthusiastically playing a character who is constantly humiliated.
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Love it
aussiesurferbloke6 December 2006
I love this series. I bought 1 and 2 on DVD and watch them over and over. It never fails to make me laugh. I think it gets funnier the more you watch it. I bought it over 6 months ago and Im still watching it. The character Linda is hilarious as is Glen Bulb and Jill goes without saying. Its not to everyones taste but if you like your humour black and politically incorrect with no canned laughter then you will like this. A few lines reminded a little of 'Kath an Kim' ( the funeral scene), perhaps Julia Davis was a little influenced by them. 1 was better than 2 but I still love both and hope they bring out a third one. The second series was a bit hard to stomach at first but was still brilliant. Many people don't 'get' this show, I think its partly due to the accents, I had to rewind many times to try and hear what they were saying.

"Shall we settle up now otherwise it just gets nasty" LOL
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The best, but darkest comedy in years!
MysteryFilm9 December 2006
I recently bought the 2nd series of Nighty Night and re watched the first series. I have never laughed so hard in such a long time! This is the darkest or darkest comedies and excellently performed by all cast.

Jill Tyrell is one of the nastiest characters ever brought to life and played so well be the amazingly talented Julia Davis. Rebecca Front gives such a great performance as the hapless, suffering neighbor Cath that you genuinely feel for her and then want her to actually stand up for herself against Jill!

I really hope that a 3rd series comes along soon and I also hope that the Americans when making their version do not miss the vital comic dark moments!
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Nighty Night is total comedy
sterathbone20 September 2005
Me and my wife saw the very first episode and loved it we went on to see the whole 1st series we have watched it numerous times and don't get tired of it, Julia Davis is a very talented woman we laugh at the same things each time we repeat episodes!!! We took to calling each other gill and have our own catchphrases like "hi Kath" "NO GILL!!!!!!" and "hi Katharine wheels" sad but its class. Loving the second series and already hope there's a 3rd! Its not only side splitting funny the sound track is great too loads of foot tapping tunes too Well done Jill keep up the good work from 2 very happy viewers Ste and Anna Rathbone from Widnes in Cheshire!
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Sexy and vicious comedy from Julia Davis
Red-Barracuda6 April 2015
Nighty Night truly is an example of black comedy of the very darkest kind. It's a comedy show full of decidedly savage humour that is pretty far removed from treading around the niceties of politically correctness. It features one of the most deliciously amoral central characters ever created for TV in hair stylist Jill Tyrell. She is an astronomically self-absorbed and manipulative sociopath who will stop at nothing to get her own way. She pretends her husband has died of cancer so she can date other men and do other things. She targets new neighbour Don as a future partner and treats his wheelchair-bound wife Cath, who is suffering from MS, atrociously with a mixture of passive-aggressiveness and outright cruelty. Jill is played to perfection by Julia Davis who also wrote the series. Davis achieves the somewhat rare feat of using her sexuality to elicit many of the laughs – which is not something that you see very often for some reason. Despite her characters monumental obnoxiousness this is a somewhat sexy yet hilarious performance. The writing is very good and the talented cast all put in excellent turns. Angus Deayton plays the under-stated Don, Rebecca Front is great as the put-upon ultra-nice Cath, Kevin Eldon is once again very strange as Jill's unfortunate husband, while Mark Gatiss is indescribable as the disturbingly odd Ken Dodd lookalike Glen Bulb. The series is unusual in that some characters are played naturalistically while others are patently absurd.

There were two seasons in this series and it would only be fair to say that the first one is clearly the better, although the second is still pretty funny. Season one is far more focused than the more cartoonish season two which went more for gross-out humour a little too often for my liking. The change has probably got a lot to do with the fact that Julia Davis spent three years working on the first season and considerably less time putting together the second one due to the BBC commissioning another six episodes. Season one is a suburban comedy with a more recognisably realistic set of circumstances and characters, while season two goes hell for leather into increasingly more absurd territory set around a health farm.

But irrespective of comparisons between the two seasons, this is still excellent stuff. I really wish Julia Davis had been given the reigns to devise more TV comedy on the strength of this quite fearless and inappropriately hilarious series. Despite being definitely an ensemble piece, this is ultimately Davis' vehicle given her inspired central character and the fact she wrote it all herself. In addition, I also was somewhat amused by the use of some decidedly unfashionable 80's tunes from the likes of Marillion and Heart and as for the scene where Jill takes Cath on an unwanted trip up the high street sound-tracked by the metal anthem 'Rock You lie a Hurricane' by the German poodle rockers The Scorpions - too funny!
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Cringe Comedy goes even darker and sexier
Screen-77 December 2005
If you liked the "cringe comedy" of "The Office" but it you could go to even deeper levels of discomfort, try "Nighty Night." Julia Davis is ABSOLUTELY FEARLESS in her role. In my mind, she might be the best comedian on TV today.

Instead of an Office, its Jill's beauty salon which is a perfect setting for someone who is as totally self-absorbed as Jill. If I taught a course in psychology I'd make this series required viewing for the unit on borderline personality disorder.

If you are as infatuated with the actress Jill Davis as I am, you might also want to check out "Human Remains" where she plays a very different character in each episode. She's just amazing.
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a wickedly funny pleasure
nobbytatoes19 November 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Jill has found out that her husband Terry has cancer. While Terry is in hospital, Jill moves on with life, like Terry's cancer hasn't happened; yet she'll easily use it to gain pity and a use it as guilt. Jill runs a hair dresser shop; its very shoddy and customers are always complaining about their cuts. Jill also has new neighbours; Cathy and Don. Cathy has multiple sclerosis and Don is a doctor. Jill becomes madly in love with Don, thinking that Terry is dying she might as well move on. Every second Jill tries to push Cathy and Don apart; so she can squeeze her way through and take Cathy's place. Not to long, Jill finds Terry's cancer is receding and is almost cured; but she doesn't tell Terry and stuffs him into a nursing home; she then tells everyone that Terry is dead, using it to get closer to Don and to push Cathy further away.

Nighty Night is a dark, wicked, brilliantly disturbing comedy about one woman who will do literally anything to get what see wants. The comedy is so dark and perverse and sexually rampant. Jill is one of the most awfullest person i have seen in a series in a long time. What she does to Don and Cathy; especially Cathy, is just so sickening, but its some of the funniest stuff i've seen in a series for a long time. Jill's attempts to temp Don are side splitting; showing up on the door step in her underwear, doing the basic instinct crossing of the legs flashing her private parts. Terry's 'funeral' is one of the funniest moments of the series.

Julia Davis wrote and stars as Jill; and she hits every note perfectly. All the acting is great. Rebecca Front was brilliant as Cathy and same with Angus Deayton as Don. Kevin Eldon makes Terry so sympathetic, you just feel so sorry for him. Ruth Jones is side splitting as Linda.

Nighty Night is one of the best comedy shows i've seen in a long time. It's dark and perverse and isn't afraid to push the boundaries of good taste. If you love Little Britian and I'm Not An Animal, you'll love Nighty Night.
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Is this comedy?
hexa-224 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Don't get me wrong I like macabre humour, Little Britain is really funny because it's so bizarre. Now this show isn't even funny. After ten minutes I thought I was watching some reality show! Neither my wife or I had cracked a smile much less falling about laughing. That was when we made the decision to change channels and watch a Lifestyle show about funerals (which was much funnier) This show was on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation channel and I suspect the mandarins there must have a different sense of humour to the rest of the population. A person would get more laughs pulling out their fingernails with a pair of pliers than watching this crock.
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Favourite Scene
ofarrells10 June 2006
My favourite scene in series two has to be the last episode where Jill disguises Glenn as a sailor and brings him to the pub where Don and Sue are planning their getaway. Over the radio you can hear Glenn's description being read out as he has escaped from prison and Glenn tries hard to look like his hair isn't curly and his teeth aren't so prominent. Jill tells Glenn that he needs to go to the toilet, he says he doesn't need to but she replies that she can smell him from where she's sitting... she asks Don to go in with him because he wearing a nappy, Don goes in after him, both look awkwardly at each other. It cracks me up every time... I hope there's a third series.
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Nighty Night Locations
clivergreen-14 March 2007
Under details for this Television series it says that the location was Walton-on-Thames, however series 1 was mainly filmed in Hersham, Surrey. UK, The church scenes were filmed in St. Peters Church, Hersham, The hall was the Hersham Women's Institute Hall and outdoor scenes were filmed in Hersham. The restaurant scenes were filmed in Cobham Surrey, while Jill's hairdressers was filmed in Byfleet, Surrey. To my knowledge no scenes were actually filmed in Walton-on-Thames! The second series was filmed in Cornwall, UK where there is also a village called Hersham consisting of six houses while the main Hersham has population of some 18,000 people.
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ElWormo17 May 2017
I decided to very belatedly give this series a whirl because (a) I remember it getting some great reviews at the time, (b) it's produced by Steve Coogan's company Baby Cow, and (c) although I'm not too familiar with her work I have found Nighty Night creator Julia Davis funny in a few things i.e. as the co- presenter in the notorious BrassEye Special, and in the excellent Amicus spoofing episode 'And Now The Fearing' from the otherwise patchy Dr Terrible's House Of Horrible.

Well I needn't have bothered. Despite being billed as dark, edgy, risqué, dark, twisted, perverse, and dark, Nighty Night is deeply unfunny in exactly the same way that happy-clappy innocuous fluff like Not Going Out and Benidorm are deeply unfunny. Okay the themes and subject matter might be refreshingly uncomfortable for a sitcom, but the humour is laboured at best and patronisingly obvious at worst. The opening scene says it all. "Why me???!!!" squeals wife after doctor reveals cancer diagnosis. But wait. Husband turns to her... "It's *me* that's got cancer!". Get it? Did you get that amazingly dark hilarious twist and see what they did there? It basically carries on with that level of comedy, rinse and repeat. How other reviews are comparing this to a masterpiece like The Office is beyond me, I lasted less than 2 episodes and that was a struggle.
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An Absolute Nightmare
RaspberryLucozade15 October 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I have tried on numerous occasions to get into this show. Many a time I would force myself to sit through a repeat on UK Gold but I always end up switching the damned thing off in disgust. I find it both boring and irritating. 'Little Britain' and 'Absolutely Fabulous' were better, and they were dire.

Julia Davis plays Jill Tyrell, an evil, twisted bitch of the first order whose husband is dying of cancer. With this, she is eager to find a new man to share her life wife and has her sights set on Don ( Angus Deaton ) a doctor whose wife Cathy ( Rebecca Front ) is suffering from multiple sclerosis. Jill is not averse to using manipulative and sometimes even violent tactics in order to get her way and Cathy is often on the receiving end of it.

Julia Davis is one of the most unfunniest women on the planet. I've had more laughs watching a glove puppet perform. Angus Deaton and Rebecca Front both got on my nerves as well. Mark Gatiss had better scripts to work off with Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton in 'The League Of Gentlemen' while sexy Felicity Montagu has appeared in far better things than this such as 'Alexei Sayle's Stuff' and 'Who Dares Wins'.

'Nighty Night' thankfully ended after two series, though how it even got to be commissioned in the first place is a mystery.
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