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The Most Warped Show Ever Created
phantom-9017 November 2003
My roommate's English girlfriend gave him a DVD of the League of Gentlemen. Being a huge fan of Monty Python (own the entire series on DVD), Black Adder (likewise), Fawlty Towers (likewise), and The Young Ones (likewise), I was greatly intrigued by the stories I had heard of this series. Then I watched it. Oh my goodness. When I first saw Monty Python, I thought it was bizarre. Then the Young Ones came along and upped the ante. But the denizens of Royston Vasey set the bar so high that I doubt it will ever be topped. Half the time you're watching LOG you're laughing because it's genuinely funny, the other half of the time you're laughing because you can't believe what you've just seen. This series is Stephen King meets the Twilight Zone meets Stanley Kubrick meets Monty Python. It's easy to be funny, and it's easy to be bizarre and sinister, but to combine them and be all of that at once is truly a feat of genius. So, providing you've got a taste for the dark and strange, settle down on the couch with a nice glass of "aqua vitae" and watch this series. Oh, and don't take your pet turtle to the vet.
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albm25 October 2005
Warning: Spoilers
I remember seeing a few episodes of "The League of Gentlemen" on Comedy Central a few years back.

It came on after "Strangers With Candy", one of my favorite programs, on Monday or Tuesday night. I remember being confused and a little freaked out. And I remember laughing so hard it hurt.

Unfortunately, Comedy Central, in their infinite wisdom, canceled "Strangers" and ceased showing "The League of Gentlemen". I was hooked, however, and was excited when I found out Series One was available on DVD. After waiting forever for the other two series and the Christmas special, I finally broke down and bought an all-region DVD player online. A few weeks and steep shipping fees later, I had the entire series, the Christmas special, and the live show on disc- just about a month before BBC wised up and released region-1 versions. The point is, patience is a virtue and good things come to those who wait.

Actually, the real point is "The League of Gentlemen" is so good, so funny, so unique and bizarre, so totally in a class of its own that I went out of my way, and spent a fortune, just to get my greedy little paws on every black, wretched episode. And I'd do it again. "The League of Gentlemen" has long since surpassed even "The Kids in the Hall" as my favorite television program, an impressive feat if you're familiar with the Kids' work.

If you haven't seen "The League of Gentlemen" (and if you're an American, you probably haven't), the show centers on the bleak town of Royston Vasey, and the people who call it home. The first and second series were presented in a traditional sketch/sitcom format, with a laugh track. Even as early as then, however, you could see a streak of cinematic flair- there were the sitcom studio sets, and then there was the filmed location footage; the epic, sweeping score; the subtle, quiet, clever jokes that flew entirely over the heads of even the enthusiastic audience (there are long stretches during the second series when you can even forget they're there). There were the characters, so freakish, so mind-bendingly different from American sitcom characters. Instead of Rachel or Chandler you had Pauline, the egregious forty-eight year old lesbian restart officer, and Mickey, the retarded monkey, her prized pupil. Will and Grace? Not in Vasey. Instead there was Tubbs and Edward, the inbred, murderous shopkeepers. And the Dentons? The Dentons- toad-obsessed Harvey and Val, their twin daughters Chloe and Radcliffe, and Benjamin, the token normal one- make the Munsters look like the Waltons. And I'm not even going to mention Papa Lazarou.

So we've established that the show is brilliant. But then came the Christmas special, and it took "The League of Gentlemen" to a higher plane, a level above brilliance that simply must be seen to be believed. For the Christmas special the Gents ditched the laugh track (perhaps Tubbs and Edward were dispatched to "take care" of the audience) and the sketch format. The special, and the third series after that (which is, to me, their masterpiece), were darker, scarier, bleaker than anything that had come before. When something can frighten you beyond words (Keith Drop ripping off his skin to reveal Papa's sinister face), make you shudder in revulsion (amatuer magician Dean Tavalouris getting his hand singed with a lit cigarette) and yet still make you laugh uncontrollably (Judith and Alvin's ludicrous rendezvous at the appropriately-named Garden Center)- and when that something is a half-hour television show...well, that's just special. "The League of Gentlemen" gets my nomination as the funniest, most striking series television has ever produced. I Can I Can't.
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local series for local people
ApplePiePerson3 June 2004
If you haven't encountered the League of gentlemen before *whats wrong with you*?? In short, its like what would happen if Kids in the Hall performed Twin Peaks playing all the characters (Mark as Log Lady or Bruce as Nadine the eye patch lady). And all this set in the moorland backwaters of Northern England much beloved by previous writers like James Herriot or The Brontes. The show has also been described as Twin Peaks-Mervyn Peake-Peak Practise which is also apt. You don't have to come from Northern England (like me) to 'get it' - most jokes are universal to those with similar senses of humour.

Anyway - the story is as follows. the League are Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith and Jeremy Dyson (writer who does not perform). The show started out at Edinburgh fringe (where it won the Perrier award), then BBC Radio 4 and then on to BBC TV. The 3 series so far follow the lives of various residents of Royston Vasey, the town you will never leave. All characters (male and female) are performed by Gatiss/Shearsmith/Pemberton.

this is an amazing feat and shows the versatility and talent of each performer.

Characters include a homicidal snub-nosed couple who run a local shop, a bigoted vicar, a lesbian ex-con once proud restart officer and an inept vet with strong shades of that Herriot creation Tristan Farnham amongst others. Papa Lazarou is one of the most enduring creations - he is like a bizarre hybrid of a black & white minstrel, Jerry Sadowitz, Pennywise from IT and a white-slave-trader. The show is also a must for any fan of horror and cult movies as the references to classics like "The Wicker Man", "Don't Look Now", "the Jungle Book", "The Railway Children" and more humble fare like 80s kids show "Pipkins" will keep film fans eager and happy for a long time. Above all its very funny and very clever - from visual jokes (animal face painting and draining the swede being favourites) to subtle in-depth homage (the portmanteau style of Xmas special echoes Amicus classics like "Asylum")

Series one and two followed a similar pattern whilst the Gents departed with form and took a brave step with series 3 making some dramatic changes. The Xmas special was perhaps key in this change also. Gone were some old favourite characters and new ones were introduced. Episode formula was less sketch driven and story lines were longer. And also a new theme tune was introduced with shades of "Scheulmadchen report" with it grooviness. But some 'fans' hated the changes (dullards) because they broke with the norm and indicated a bold change in direction. I personally **love** the new changes(like a lot of fans) and think that Series 3 contains some of the best work done so far. Thank god they got rid of the laughter track!!!!! Kudos to the guys for not being formulaic and always challenging expectations and actually *thinking* about what to bring along next. The work is thus fresh, complex and keeps you on your toes. Hooray to that as there is nowt as bad as stale comedy.

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Unique, Very Dark and Hilarious
GoonerMan29 December 2000
British TV Comedy has a great tradition. We have the gentle sit-coms like Are You Being Served, The Good Life, Butterflies which seem to have gained a cult following in the US. Then we have the slightly more adventurous sit-coms like Porridge, Only Fools And Horses and One Foot In The Grave with their observations on real living that we can all associate with. We also have the sketch-type comedy such as Harry Enfield and The Fast Show which take characters we meet everyday and make them ten-times worse and funnier.

But every so often we British do what we do best and come up with something that simply removes all of the boundaries and is unique. The Goons, Monty Pythons Flying Circus, The Goodies, Not The Nine O'Clock News, The Young Ones....the list goes on. These programs often start off as small projects shoved onto BBC2 or Channel 4, but eventually they become part of our comedy heritage. However, its been a long time since we have seen something as unique and ground-breaking as this one - its simply the best and most original comedy series for over a decade.

If you are not British and your vision of British comedy is Are You Being Served and Benny Hill, prepare yourself for a shock because gentle slap-stick this is not. The League of Gentlemen is very, very dark - there's very little feel-good about this comedy - and it is extremely surreal, but it is also immensely funny. The series follows the exploits of the inhabitants of a small Northern village called Royston Vasey (the real name of Roy Chubby Brown, a particularly x-rated British comedian). The show gives Royston Vasey an almost mystical air, as if seperated from the rest of the real world, a place where anything can happen and the unexpected always does. The characters are cleverly worked so that despite their grotesqueness, you can still associate with them and in some cases sympathise with them. All of the main characters (even the women, in true Monty Python style) are played by three of the four writers (Gatiss, Pemberton and Shearsmith), and every character is an absolute gem. To tell you about the characters would spoil the fun of finding out for yourself. What I will say is don't expect any happy endings or moralistic enlightenment in this show, because there aren't any...but do expect shocks, things that will make you whince and some genuinely funny moments. Also concentrate through the opening credits as the camera takes you around the town, because there are some excellent visual gags in there.

This is a truly wonderful and original slice of British humour. It won't be to everyone's taste, but to those that appreciate this style of humour, you cannot get any better than this. I can see this being viewed as a classic in years to come - lets hope it awakens some new and innovative comedy writing in the near future... we've waited long enough.
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Dark and Funny..Just how I like 'em!
lambiepie-226 May 2003
This series premiered on the cable TV station "Comedy Central" in the United States. It was chopped to death, and shown out of sequence. This was sad for the audience it should have attracted, it didn't and fell by the wayside. Luckily, at the same time my cable company went digital and I got the BBC. Thank goodness because I got to see "The League of Gentlemen" in order, complete and uncut.

"The League of Gentlemen" troupe is right up there with England's "Monty Python's Flying Circus" and Canada's "The Kids in the Hall". But..a warning.

"The League of Gentlemen" though are one step beyond. It's not only about dressing in drag and lampooning the cultural ills, it goes deeper and much, much, darker. I can tell many of you now -- it will offend certain groups of people, it will enrage others. But remember, its only comedy..dark, dark comedy. If that is not your thing, don't watch. If you think you KNOW dark comedy, watch this -- if you get angry and upset, then you don't quite know DARK COMEDY.

These guys got it right, and right on the button. They are brilliant, they are excellent and I enjoyed each and every character creation. There's a COMPLETE story that is told here from episode one to the end. You cannot watch this one episode at a time, willy nilly, that is one of the charms of this series. Watch it in order. See how creative and stylish and deeply disturbed these guys are. No one and nothing is out of bounds. That, my dears, is "dark humor". Bravo!
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Welcome to Royston Vasey. You'll never leave!
Cristina5204 January 2004
'The League of Gentlemen' is a work of genius. Not only is it completely original, but it manages to combine horror with laughs, resulting to perhaps, a new breed of black comedy. Deterring from the reality-based storylines of the common modern comedy shows, the LoG goes on another direction, twisting the boundaries of the trite 'real' world, so as that it becomes a whole new freakishly morbid and surrealistic dimension. Don't get me wrong, it really isn't THAT twisted... or maybe it is... Anyway, its up for you to decide...

'The League of Gentlemen' is also strongly addictive. Yes, the tagline is correct... Welcome to Royston Vasey. You'll never leave!
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The Christmas Special
Matthew Michael2 November 2003
The League of Gentlemen is one of the most consistently entertaining series of recent years. Without a doubt, its finest hour (literally) came in the Christmas Special. This hour-long TV movie is based on the Amicus "portmanteau" horror films of the 1970's (cf. Tales from the Crypt, Asylum, The Uncanny et al.). Typically, these films would see a host (generally Peter Cushing) encounter a series of hapless individuals who would relate their horrific experiences, before the "unexpected twist" framing-story climax. This Christmas Special sticks religiously to that formula, with lugubrious vicar Bernice lending an unsympathetic ear to cheese-dreaming Charlie, vagrant Matthew and incompetent vet Dr Chinnery. Each of the three tales is as darkly comical as we've come to expect from the League, with Charlie's tale mixing line dancing and voodoo, Matthew's tale spoofing Hammer vampire movies, Romero's Martin and German expressionist films, and Chinnery's tale a piece of classic Victorian melodrama involving a cursed pair of monkey's testicles. But what raises this special far above the level of a beautifully made and affectionate pastiche is that all the tales (and particularly the first two) are not only genuinely frightening, but more convincingly so than most of Amicus' own efforts. The gory, unremitting horror of the climax of Charlie's tale, and the truly creepy sequences set within the Lipp household in Matthew's story have a real power to them. And the final, terrifying twist - 'It's nice to see you again, all grown up...' - is one of the most disturbing moments in TV history (no wonder it ended up in Channel 4's Top 100 Scary Moments programme).

Lavish, dark and compelling, The League of Gentlemen Christmas Special stands alongside Threads and Ghost Watch as innovative and frightening television, and is perhaps the best one-off programme made by the BBC in the last decade.
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Oh my!!!
ryanhong5 August 2004
What a great great series. You know, there has never been anything like this and I don't think there ever will.

If I were to have been told about the project, I don't think I would have known what to expect. Imagine what the original script must have been like. With the finished product like this, imagine the creative process!!

But seriously, this is a unique product. I am not sure what these guys are on but it sure works.

The base of this series is that we all have our version of Royston Valley. The fact that it is a horrible place and the perfect setting for a horror story. To make it a comedy is a work of genius. It is one of the few programs that I can watch again and again.
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Classic comedy that is sure to be a future cult.
Infofreak23 March 2002
90% of British sitcoms bore me to tears but when they're good, they are very, very good. This is one of the very best. L.O.G. has to be the most inventive and original comedy series I've seen since the heyday of 'The Young Ones'/'Comic Strip Presents', and personally I find it much more consistently funny.

Set in the bizarre, isolated Northern town of Royston Vasey, L.O.G. mixes classic surreal Brit humour fans of Python and 'The Goodies' grew up on with dark and disturbing touches closer to David Lynch. There are nods to 'The Wicker Man', 'Dr Who', Quatermass, 'Tales Of The Unexpected' and the like, so fans of weird 1970s TV and movies will get more out of this than those unfamiliar with the territory. A very strange mixture that works brilliantly. Black, eccentric and extremely funny. I'm hooked!
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A cross between Mulholland Drive and Brazil.
marcia_sexton15 August 2006
Another review likened this troupe to a cross between Monty Python and Twin Peaks, also aptly. Yet another review expounded on the differences between the comedy we enjoy non-critically and black comedy, also well worth consideration.

Watch the whole thing, all three series. At the end, all the characters are tied up and the puzzle pieces fall into place just as well as a Douglas Adams novel. The detail and intricacies are staggering. Thoroughly post-modern. Wickedly funny, and startlingly tragic. Not for kids. Not for those with thin skins or who lack objectivity. Thought-provoking. At once literal, figurative, and surreal in disturbing ways. The blackest comedy I can recall.

And very possibly the most wonderful thing I will ever see.
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Fantastic and Strange...
Bill-1616 July 2000
I wasn't sure this would be a show I could tolerate. I don't always have the "time" for English humour. However, this is so good I can't wait to watch the same episode over again later in the week.I can barely contain myself waiting for the next new episode. I still can't figure out who my favorite character(s) are. If you can't stand the typical US sitcoms, This Is For You!!
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Frighteningly Ingenious
jimypolk11 September 2000
This show is the most utterly fascinating program I have ever seen. It makes you gasp and want to look away from the screen, but you can't bear not to see the horrifying comical actions of the characters. It is terrific, and i would recommend it to everyone with that special wicked sense of humor.
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British Comedy at its Best
JBLOSS16 November 2001
The two series have been superb - the humour is as dark as it gets and the characterisation is great too. It's like nothing else that's been on tv and brings back the horrific times that I used to live in a small town. Brilliant and hope there's another series on the way. To have this and "Spaced" around at the same time shows there's some excellent talent in British comedy writing.
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Can I Help You At All?
unclekrunkle11 July 2009
Warning: Spoilers
This is probably the best television show I've ever seen. I first saw it on Comedy Central several years ago. At the time I was unaware that it had been dramatically edited and was shown out of order, and having just watched all three series in order and unedited (thank you internet and your wondrous "series of tubes") I am SO GLAD I rediscovered it! I think Comedy Central sort of picked and chose their way through series one and two to make a "season"......and I tried to get friends and family to watch it, but nobody really seemed to like it (I need new friends). So, on my own, I made the best out of it that I could. Even when I felt like it was waning a bit, I still felt compelled to continue watching. Years after when I discovered Little Britain, I immediately recognized Pauline from LoG as having influenced Marjorie in Fat Fighters. Also, I love the idea of writers who act the entire show....(not new, but done impeccably here). LB has nothing on LoG! (No offense, Matt & David....Love you)! This is indeed a darkly comedic piece of genius. Serial murder, implied name it and it's probably found in this wonderful, unique piece of TV art. The location shots from the very first scene themselves are chilling and seem to beckon you to the town of Royston Vasey.....You'll Never Leave! I think my favorite character would have to be Tubbs, but each character as portrayed has it's own "charm". My least favorite was Papa Lazarous, that was until he re-surfaced in series three (clever and wholly unexpected)! It's best to watch several episodes in a row as it drives the continuity and as I said before, becomes so compelling (while repulsing) that you really CAN'T stop watching. This is not for those with weak stomachs, kids, conservatives or Grandma (unless you've got one saucy granny)! I have always loved British TV, particularly comedies, from Monty Python to Benny Hill, Red Dwarf to Keeping Up Appearances, Absolutely Fabulous and the British originals Coupling and The Office (but not their US counterparts....sorry). This is unlike any of those in that it completely redraws the line between what's funny and what's just sick and twisted. Nothing, NOTHING on US TV has ever come close to this level of entertainment. US broadcast TV is so sad and lame, I can barely stand to watch ANY of it. It's kind of sad that even our cable channels don't have the guts to show unedited versions of this gem (your loss, Comedy Central). Thankfully there are shows like this one that come from the "across the pond" that redeem the entire medium every decade or so. Basic cable here in the US has been making tiny steps the last few years in confidently "crossing lines" with more graphic sexual content, drug use and adult language, but they are still years away from just deciding to be Adults about showing real life, adult behavior (instead of just murder obsession and blowing things up, sheesh, it's like the same basic show format for the past 35 years)! Don't even get me started on US sitcoms! Waste of time and lots of wasted money......did you know that "According to Jim" has been on the air for 10 years??? 10 YEARS?? Anyway... Watch this show, get it on DVD, do what you must and then make your friends watch it as well! You've never seen anything like it. There are three specials that I have not watched yet....I'm saving them to spring on my best friend next time he visits. He'll watch them, even if I have to chain him up and paint him with Excrement! Lines and lines and lines and lines! Note that series three departs from one and two....the greater town seems to fall away to concentrate on newer characters, the laugh track is gone (thank bloody hell), the theme is more band and less orchestra and a bit of the story takes place outside of Royston Vasey. Don't be thrown by any of that as by the end, the series has preserved the quiet perversity first demonstrated in series one and two. I think these four guys have created something sort of undefinable. Brilliant, confident and absolutely demented. You will want to re-watch it again and again. It's amazing that in 5 seconds of screen time they can go from cheap sight-gag to horrifying blasphemy then end with a single actors close-up facial expression. If ever I were to meet any of the writer/performers, I'd implore them not to recreate it or try to top it.....I'd just say "Can I help you at all?" (Then they'd probably slap me, so I'd ask them to sign the slap-mark)! 10 out of 10
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local review for local people
RoseTintedCupcakes25 July 2005
In the small town of Royston Vasey there are some very odd characters. You have Bernice the drunken vicar who doesn't believe in God, Hilary and his "special meat", Papa Lazarou who has 10 wives, Legsakimbo the homosexual school theatre production team, Tubbs and Edward who run the local shop. And don't forget the Denton's, Harvey, Val and their two twin daughters Chloe and Radcliffe the toad loving family who terrorise non local relative poor Benjamin with their obsessiveness. Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton, Reece Shearsmith and Jeremy Dyson(he wrote the show) play all of the characters (male and female), and they're wickedly appealing.

The dark comedy of this programme is very hilarious but in some cases it also is quite gruesome, so if you have a weak stomach beware!
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Dark and Twisted
theforgottenone8825 July 2006
About a year ago I finally gave up on American television. I thought of giving up television completely until a friend who had lived in England showed me some programs that included The Office, Extras, Blackadder, and The League of Gentlemen. It was then that I decided to switch to British television. Among all the shows listed above, The League of Gentlemen is easily the most dark and twisted of them all, providing guilty laughs and material not found in any other comedy I've seen yet. Characters included are the most unhappily married couple, a butcher that puts ingredients in the meat that go unsaid (probably for the best), a deranged couple that look over a local shop that only caters to local people, and the worst veterinarian ever. This program is one of the best I've seen.
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The Birth of a lot of Modern British Humor
Eumenides_015 April 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I can't believe it's been ten years since this show first aired on TV and delighted viewers with its unique mixture of comedy and horror. This is the show that gave birth to a good part of modern British humor: Dr. Terrible's House of Horrible; Garth Marenghi's Darkplace; The Mighty Boosh; Snuff Box. Many have imitated this show's style, and I don't deny some have surpassed its quality. But Jermy Dyson deserves being remembered for having started the trend, with actors Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton, and Reece Shearsmith.

Together they created Royston Vasey, a sinister small town in England's idyllic countryside, where unsuspecting tourists and passers-by come across an obsessive couple that wants to keep the town local and free of strangers; where the unemployed are abused and insulted at the job center; where a farmer uses real people as scarecrows; where a vet kills all the animals he tries to cure; where a gypsy circus kidnaps people; and where the butcher adds something secret but irresistible to the food to hook people on.

This is just a whiff of what the viewer can find in The League of Gentlemen. By themselves, the three actors give birth to dozens and dozens of unique characters. The make up and prosthetics are so good I actually thought I watching a lot more actors on the show than there were. But it's also great acting: the way they change their voices and their body movement, the really become other people.

Most of the jokes start with something ordinary, from real life, and then blows up into something unsettling, sometimes gut-wrenching. Sometimes it's pure horror without a set up, like in Papa Lazarou's character. Just imagine a creepy circus owner on make-up barging into someone's house and kidnapping women to be his wives. No explanation given. It's that creepy. Then there are the numerous references to horror movies: Se7en, The Silence of the Lambs, Nosferatu, The Exorcist, etc.

Fans of horror will love it, fans of comedy will love it. As any traveler entering knows, there's a sign there that says 'Welcome to Royston Vasey: You'll Never Leave.' Any viewer who gives this show a chance will agree. Once you discover The League of Gentlemen, you'll never want anything else, you'll never forget it.
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There is absolutely nothing else like it
ametaphysicalshark16 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I'm about to state an obvious fact: "The League of Gentlemen" is among the best television shows of all time and without question one of the most unique. The latter point even those who dislike "The League of Gentlemen" must admit is valid.

Much has been said about "The League of Gentlemen", and I'm not sure I can add anything to all that has been said. So allow me to repeat some important things others have said:

-The acting on the show is utterly brilliant and completely convincing, and for the most part it's the same people in makeup. It's not even like a traditional sketch comedy group in that "The League of Gentlemen", if it wants to, can make you feel horrified, thrilled, amused, or genuinely involved in a dramatic situation. The writing (which is done by the League and hence by the actors) is only part of this resounding success, as without such a tremendously talented group of actors this show could have been a flop.

-The humor is an acquired taste. It's pitch black and on occasion a bit horrifying. There are several moments where I, a person very proud of my sick, macabre sense of humor, found myself laughing at things I was genuinely disgusted by. So far in all my television viewing I have never come across anything that can create that sort of feel except for "The League of Gentlemen". Somehow, through the genius of the writing team, this show can make you feel disgusted and horrified but still have you giggling like a schoolboy. Take the choir boys attacking Herr Lipp in the Christmas special, and later in the same episodes Papa Lazarou's astonishing surprise appearance, which is really quite disturbing, but so unexpected and well-executed that one can't help enjoy it. The 'special stuff', Papa Lazarou's wives, Pop, Dr. Chinnery, the Joke Shop... The list goes on and on when it comes to disturbing, macabre hilarity.

-The atmosphere created on "The League of Gentlemen" is incomparable. The cinematography, production values, and especially the direction by Steve Bendelack are of a standard television has rarely achieved, and create a completely unique and special quality.

-Yes, the third series is different. No, it's not bad. No laugh track, less emphasis on humor... Sounds like this little thing known as 'progression' to me. The League of Gents moved on past repeating the trademark 'ARE YOU LOCAL?', 'special stuff', Benjamin Denton, and other jokes which had essentially been perfected in the second series (which, in my opinion, is the most perfect full season/series of any television comedy I can think of). It's a brave new direction and while the first three episodes of the third series are probably my bottom three episodes of the entire show (still good, though), it naturally took the LOG a while to work the new direction out and perfect it, and perfect it they did. The final three episodes of the third series and consequently of "The League of Gentlemen" are absolutely, utterly brilliant from start to finish, in particular the final episode, which attracts some undeserved hate for some bizarre reason. I consider the final episode of "The League of Gentlemen" to be among the most demented and thoroughly enjoyable half-hour episodes of television I have ever had the good fortune of seeing. From Papa Lazarou's most memorably bizarre and surprising appearance (yes, more surprising than the Christmas special) to the "Don't Look Now" homage, to the brilliant payoff in the final montage for viewers who followed the third series in order, it is just a perfect television episode and a fitting finale.

To sum up everything I said above in a nutshell, "The League of Gentlemen" is thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish and while the third series takes some getting used to, don't give up on it- the payoff is more than worth it. The tremendous talent that went into writing, acting, producing, and directing this show is almost as frightening as Papa Lazarou in the shadows growling at the Vicar with his trademark "Hello Dave".

Series average (average of ratings for all episodes): 8.84/10.

Final overall rating: 10/10, wish I could give it more.
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Like a train wreck you can't stop watching
MartinHafer11 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Well, I just discovered that there is a show more disgusting and shocking than "Little Britain" and I like it! "The League of Gentlemen" is a sick British comedy that is about the most awful, insane and disgusting small town in all the UK. This place makes Dibley and Craggy Island (from "The Vicar of Dibley" and "Father Ted") seem pretty normal!! The format of the show is a lot like LITTLE Britain except that all of it centers around the townspeople of this one hellish town. Both shows feature the same skits again and again every episode and some obviously inspired "Little Britain" (particularly the job seeking class skit). But the show differs because although it is crude like "Little Britain" (hence not a show for kids), the show has a sick and sadistic quality that sets it apart from all these shows. In particular, animal cruelty and serial killing are recurring themes throughout the show.

Now if you haven't guessed, this is NOT a show for kids, the easily offended or normal people and that's probably why I liked it. However, you really do need very thick skin and a love of the awful to enjoy this to the max. Funny and incredibly irreverent beyond belief--you have to see it to believe it.
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the former review could not be further from the truth...
stevenwall4 January 2003
As a purveyor of English comedy for many decades, I must say "The League..." is one of most brilliantly conceived comedies ever written for television. While full of dark thoughts and visions, it constantly strives to be funny and it succeeds on many different levels. Storylines of each character build nicely through every episode as does the humor. It must also be noted that there are over 60 characters in Royston Vasey and the sum of them are portrayed by only three actors! What talent!!

I highly encourage anyone who loves British humor to give it a chance. It may seem strange initially, but after one episode, you'll be hooked. If you love "blackadder", "young ones", "the office" or python, this is for you. I strongly recommend you watch the program on dvd or vhs from first episode to the last. it is in serial format and the plot carries on as with any dramatic series on American television.
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What the...
kel-820 June 2000
Ok, what did I just see? It's like I just watched Benny Hill meets Twin Peaks. Last night I happened upon the first episode of this weird, dark comedy, and I'm certain I'll be tuning in for more. Get ready for bizarre and possibly disturbing imagery and give this a try.
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The DVD is a MUST BUY!!
retrogames5 April 2002
This show is constantly repeated on cable TV all the time, but even if you have seen each episode 50 times you need to buy the DVD. The Commentary by the cast and director is the best I have ever heard. It's actually just as funny as the TV series itself. The other extras are OK but a bit lacking, but the DVD transfer is also very good with a nice crisp Anamorphic Widescreen picture and Dolby Stereo sound. 10 out of 10
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You wouldn't be able to see any other comedy shows
blur-420 October 2001
This is the best comedy show I've ever seen. I have watched 'Benny Hill Show' 'Absolutely Fabulous' 'Blackadder' and 'Are you being served?', etc... but haven't imagined such a dark and murderously funny show would be possible. I 1fully agree with this comment, 'comedy's macabre shock jocks' Give it a try, and you wouldn't be amused by any other sitcoms (even 'Friends' and 'Sex & the City). The guys are real genius!
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Umblezi2 November 2000
I love this kind of comedy, which fades the line between what we should laugh at and what we should be repulsed and offended by. I've read that the writer's don't consider their work as black comedy- they just write and produce what makes them laugh. And I agree- it's great, and it's well made. Heartening to know that good stuff like this can get backing today. Hopefully it will keep on going.
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Are you Local?
thebishop219 June 2001
Perhaps the funniest TV show I've seen in years, if not ever. I loved The League. The characters were well thought and played out, the actors were above and beyond, and it was funny. REALLY FUNNY!!! I will say that it was the kind of show that if you didn't watch it for at least a few shows in a row, you most likely didn't get it and turned it off thinking it was just another of those shows that looked funny, but really wasn't.

The best part was that the actors weren't afraid to go all out. They didn't pull their punches. They were freaky, scary, funny, sad, men, women, children, drunks, priests, transgendered things(?),circus perfomers............

How many shows have 2 old people, who run a local shop, kill almost every person who comes into the shop? And it's one of the main premises, so i didn't give anything away. And still make it so that you can't stop laughing. And before you think it's just I that is a freak, this show was quite a riot with many others everywhere.

To anyone with access to this fine piece of comedy and enjoys watching crazy British people portray the insane and imbred, check it out. You won't be sorry!!! i only hope that the boys start to make more stuff, it'd be a waste not to see them working soon.
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