A Bit of Fry and Laurie: Season 2, Episode 6

Episode #2.6 (13 Apr. 1990)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy
7.6
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Passions run high in the final program of the series. The day turns out to be very unlucky for Hugh as Stephen becomes irritated by his piano playing and kills him. But the irritation ... See full summary »

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Title: Episode #2.6 (13 Apr 1990)

Episode #2.6 (13 Apr 1990) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Cast

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Paul Eddington
Ralph Michael ...
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Storyline

Passions run high in the final program of the series. The day turns out to be very unlucky for Hugh as Stephen becomes irritated by his piano playing and kills him. But the irritation continues as the program becomes an obituary for Hugh and ruins the sketch. However, there is a happy ending for those who like that sort of thing. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

13 April 1990 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

Season 2: Marked improvement in presentation and content makes for very funny season
14 February 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Following on from the first season of their sketch show, season two opens with Fry commenting that several things are now going to be different (sentiments which Laurie, to his obvious annoyance, agrees with in single syllable ways). Although his statements are part of a joke, they are correct because the second season of this series does represent a change for the better in many areas.

The first season had shown that their absurdist and wryly clever style of humour could actually work and, although their slot on BBC2 did not break ratings records, it was a success and drew more than just public school educated viewers. However at the same time it was perhaps not actually as funny as it was "wryly amusing" and in terms of sketches it seemed to do little with reoccurring characters and far too many sketches were concluded by simply breaking the fourth wall in a way that was clever and funny at first but ended up feeling like a cop-out because of how frequently it was done. I still enjoyed it as a season but it didn't feel like they could continue in that vein.

The good news is that they didn't and season two seems them become much stronger in terms of being a sketch show. The presentation feels a lot more professional now, with a set format and an opening bit on the sofa in front of the audience. Likewise the sets and costumes have the feel that maybe a bit more in the way of money was available for them this time around. The writing is where the most obvious changes have occurred. It retains the love and delight of language, pomposity and the absurd to it but it strengthens the sketches and makes them work in the way that "traditional" sketches do – the line between the characters and the performers is broken occasionally but not that often and, when it is, it is not in a way that feels like a lazy end of a bit.

As with the first season the delivery of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie is great across the board. Fry gets the attention perhaps with his wonderfully flowing delivery of language and "Englishness" playing well into the sense of pomposity and nonsense that the show trades on. Laurie has more of this in season 2 but he retains a performance that means the two complement one another rather than stepping on one another's feet. In particular he does a great "cheerful naivety" and, although he has fewer opportunities to show it here, nobody takes a fall quite as well as him.

Overall season 2 represents significant improvements in terms of presentation and content, building on their winning witty style really well to produce a very funny and enjoyable season.


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