Nighty Night (2004–2005)
User ReviewsAdd a Review
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
"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.)
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.
"Shall we settle up now otherwise it just gets nasty" LOL
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.