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Shaun the Sheep (2007)
Wasted on kids!
I came across Shaun The Sheep by accident, putting it on for the kids after finding it on Amazon Prime. At first it was just on in the background for me, and then bit by bit I found myself watching each episode more and more carefully, guffawing with laughter at humour that went right over the kids' heads. In fact there's so much to see in each 7 minute episode that I'm actually glad they're not longer, since I'd get detail overload and they'd become the thief of time.
I agree with the other crit that said they preferred these to Wallace & Gromit- there's an economy and precision in the story-telling of each little episode that you don't see in the half hour features.
They remind me so much of the Buster Keaton silent comedies as well- pure physical comedy and visual wit. And having no dialogue makes you watch them even closer; take your eye off the screen for even 10 seconds and you miss vital plot development! And the recurring joke that Bitzer the human-like dog reverts to being 100% dog as soon as someone throws a stick for him never fails to make me laugh.
I cannot recommend the series highly enough. Sheer artistry.
Love Soup (2005)
A younger, more romantic, One Foot In The Grave
I had looked forward to this based on loving both One Foot In The Grave and Tamsin Greig in Black Books, and I wasn't disappointed. The two main characters are, in many ways, younger, softer versions of Victor Meldrew and they suffer all the petty indignities that modern life can throw at us such as, and this had me laughing from the opening minutes until a good five minutes into the first episode, plastic ring-pulls on milk cartons which don't work. Cut to the next shot of Alice with a bandaged finger and you have the style of the programme right there- don't show the moment of agony, just let the audience work it out. The main actors are great but what I really enjoyed was how good the incidental characters were; the nurse with her low-key words of wisdom on finding a mate and marrying them was beautifully understated, and the estate-agent's comment that the living-room "is...15'3" because there are no other distinguishing features is just so subtle and so perfect. The character of Gil has yet to make the same big impression on me that Alice has, but I am sure that that will come with time.