Nick learns how to survive in the desert without water; how best to position yourself in a plummeting lift; how to sort out frostbite; how to deal with baseball bat-wielding thugs; how to survive a ...
after seeing only a few episodes, I can't wait to see them all!
Nick Frost is in very fine form here, not nearly as sloth-like or just plain dumb (though ingeniously so) in Edgar Wright's comedies but still with a sense of the truly ridiculous in sublime style. His gags are obvious and repetitive (which I loved, like when he's completely covered in the red protective gear and constantly hit by two guys with sticks), and sometimes with such tact and speed you can't see them coming (eg when he's lost in the woods at night and an audio-tape meant as a bomb counts down while a voice speaks over it "find the bomb"). It's subtle in the best form of British comedy, but it's also akin to Frost going into situations that border on being not even too dangerous: will there be danger in ice-fishing? Some of the biggest laughs even come from the little illustrations and cartoons shown of Frost showing what to do at, say, a volcano eruption, or if an elevator cable gets broken. Much of it is uproarious simply because no one will ever have to attempt, much less do, this in real life (i.e. driving a car like James Bond, rescuing hostages, and mingling with reindeer while an elf goes to task getting his own).
Some of the tips are actually possibly useful, if in the most truly absurd ways. How to deliver a baby in a taxi? How to obtain water if you're in the middle of the desert? What about possible attacks from Kommodo dragons, bears or gorillas (watch for the sign language-off between Frost and a silver-back, priceless). While it isn't always all golden comedy- some bits like the reindeer one need to rely on too much absurdism to really stay afloat for too long- more often than not it's addictive stuff, especially if you've got the series on DVD. I could see recommending this to people who may not have even seen Frost's work in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz as his personality rings dead-on as being sincere in the questions and ruthless in shameless shtick (few things can compare to seeing Frost get an explanation on how to deal with a nut with a baseball bat- one of 4,000 not used in the UK- in a bar brawl). None of his skewering of old tried-and-true dangers of the world is cruel or too stale, and there's originality in just approaching which guest interviewees to have. Witty and silly, once tapped into the wavelength Frost is reaching for, it's well worth the tutorials.
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