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Twisted Comedy with a Message
Brass Eye - Series And Special (DVD)
Member Name: Frankingsteins
Brass Eye - Series And Special (DVD)
Date: 22/03/04, updated on 22/03/04 (132 review reads)
Advantages: Original and much-copied, Includes every episode, Often found at low price
Disadvantages: Definitely not broad in appeal - Chris Morris writes comedy that appeals primarily to himself
Every so often comes along an original comedy show amidst the mediocrity of TV and it becomes an instant favourite to a small group of people. The rest either don't get it, or simply don't like it. Brass Eye is a prime example of this.
Originally airing in 1997, "Brass Eye" was another TV production by Chris Morris, the man behind BBC's "The Day Today" in the mid-90s. Renowned for his controversial anti-everything comedy, all presented in a believably stoic Jeremy Paxman style persona, Morris' new show was suspiciously on Channel 4, indicating that perhaps the British Broadcasting Corporation didn't think his services were required anymore. And anyway, it gave the self-styled 'alternative comedy channel,' although there are any number of flaws with Channel 4's view of itself, another headliner.
The common misconception about Brass Eye is that it is sick and unnecessary, as viewers misinterpret the message. The comedy style is very dark, however the main focus of the show is how the media and genuine 'issues shows' treat real events. The celebrity endorsements in each episode also act as a reminder that one should always research something before they decide to make a fool of themselves promoting an obviously fictional company or product.
This DVD contains all six episodes of the series, each focussing on a specific topic, as well as the extremely controversial and infamous 'Special' centred around paedophilia. Here are some memorable episodes:
"Animals" - celebrities vow to tell the tale of the poor elephant whose depression has caused it to insert its trunk into its own body, while the brutal tradition of men fighting weasels in the East end is also abbhored.
" - focus is specifically on the new Scandinavian drug 'cake.' This show led to a member of Parliament bringing up the issue in the House of Commons, only to be told that he had been watching a comedy show.
"Science" - my favourite episode due to the foolishness of the celebrities involved, as they talk about heavy electricity falling out of wires and shrinking people, and vertical farms in glass tubes leading a mile into the air allowing farmers to save using acres of land.
Most people will know Brass Eye as the programme that was almost banned for 'ridiculing' paedophilia, but in my opinion the show did not do anything but point out the media hype and out-of-proportion views on the subject. A special episode that aired in 2001, this sees celebrity alumni including Phillipa Forrester, who I thought was clever, explaining how a child's internet game can be used to make children two-dimensional, and how paedophiles actually have more in common with crabs than human beings. "There's no real evidence for it, but it is scientific fact," says DJ Doctor Fox in the show.
Brass Eye will certainly not appeal to the masses, and I know my mother would hate it. Anyone who enjoys a laugh at something a little more sinister than the norm, such as the League of Gentlemen, should give this show a try. The comedy stems from a number of levels; firstly there's the famous people spewing rubbish out of their mouths when they should know better, there's the over-complicated animations (such as 'end of part one' lasting nearly a minute), and the silliness of some of the dialogue. "He was as gay as a window" is pure nonsense, as are most of the statistics. Aside from Morris, regulars include Peter Baynham and Kevin Eldon ('Fist of Fun'), Ma
rk Heap and Simon Pegg ('Big Train') and regulars from "The Day Today."
I could only recommend this to people who think they may like it; otherwise, stay away. DVD extras are minimal, but include several extended scenes that end with the same joke, as well as a longer music video for the fictional rapper JLB8 from the Special.