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    Gimme Gimme Gimme - The Complete First Series

    Universal/Universal . R4 . COLOR . 17 mins . M15+ . PAL


    It has taken some time for Gimme Gimme Gimme to hit our shores, but like many British comedies that are dumped on us, it doesn't really offer anything new. It stars Kathy Burke (Absolutely Fabulous) and James Dreyfus (The Thin Blue Line), sharing a flat in a boarding house. As such, there are regulars that flit in and out of each episode, including the sickly sweet, nymphomaniac couple that live downstairs and the retired hooker who can’t resist butting into almost every situation.

    Burke plays Linda La Hughes, a frumpy, rough around the edges, poorly educated, working class girl who is fixated with the idea that men find her irresistible, and Dreyfus is Tom Farrell, a gay, out of work actor and a real drama queen to boot. The series follows their exploits in trying to find the perfect man, hence the title, based on the ABBA song of the same name.

    Being British, some of the comedy is standard stuff, with plenty of innuendo, a significant amount of stereotyping (that infuriates at times), and the usual fare such as misunderstandings, half overheard gossip, double entendres, and plenty of corny ‘fag’ jokes, much of it over-the-top, overacted and predictable. By Series Two, the show had settled and was better for it. Hopefully the Series Two DVD is not too far away.

    There are some decent laughs if you can get past the obvious, though very little of it is highbrow comedy. There are many instances where the actors try too hard to make every moment and every line over-the-top funny when it isn't necessary. Gimme Gimme Gimme continues the English knack for cheap, smutty, harmless comedy, and is unlikely to win any comedy awards. Some of the situations are bordering on ludicrous, with some questionable acting from a few of the one-off actors.

    Still, there is worse out there, and the six episodes move a little more smoothly as they progress, with actors becoming surer about their characters leading to better chemistry between the two leads. The two have both worked in Absolutely Fabulous, but I do not recall if they worked together.

    While it has its moments, Gimme Gimme Gimme is just another in a long line of British comedies that rises ever so slightly above the pack, but doesn't offer much that is new or different.


    As with most recent releases of television shows, the picture is just about perfect. It is slightly less than full frame (1.55:1) but not 16:9 enhanced. The image is very sharp, clear, well defined with clean lines. Colours are perfectly natural as are skin tones. There are no issues with bleeding, noise or washout. Black levels are excellent and shadow detail is faultless. There is no edge enhancement and no shimmer. The six episodes are spread over the two layers and no layer change is evident.


    Like the video, there are no problems with the audio. It is clear at all times, at a good volume and well synchronised. The only option is a Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track that has almost no separation or panning, but in a character-based comedy this is hardly an issue. Music is minimal and highlights that the audio is solid.


    Gimme Gimme Gimme some extras you cry out. Sorry, not a one...


    Lovers of more traditional English comedy will appreciate Gimme Gimme Gimme. It is not a Will and Grace clone, though there are some obvious similarities. There are some decent laughs, one or two unique moments, and some very funny lines spread amongst the more predictable and obvious humour. It's worth the effort as long as you are not expecting genius.

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      And I quote...
    "A typically British mix of stereotypes, cheap gags, smutty innuendo and improbable scenarios. Bound to get laughs…"
    - Terry Kemp
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