“ Genre: Television - Look Around You / Theatrical Release: 2002 / Suitable for 12 years and over / Director: Tim Kirkby / Actors: Peter Serafanowicz ... / DVD released 2003-10-13 at 2 Entertain Video / Features of the DVD: PAL „
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There are different grades of comedy out there that we all know well enough about by now; there's observational stand-up comedy, situational comedy, awkward comedy, etc. However, there has always been one strange cousin that simply seems to alienate all but the most glint-eyed comedy connoisseurs - the brand I like to refer to as 'dangerously subtle' comedy.
In this bracket I would list those such as 'Brass Eye' and 'The Day Today' - but now that category has found a new king: 'Look Around You'. If you like the aforementioned then you will positively love this because it simply flies over the head of most people, but probably not you! That doesn't immediately sound like a selling point if it's so niche that it fails to captivate mass popularity, but if you truly believe yourself to be a sharp-witted individual in tune with things on the fringe, put yourself to the test.
'Look Around You' is a spoof that closely follows the format, strangely, of most typical secondary school educational science videos presumably from the 80's. I was in High School during the early 00's and videos like this were still in service and it's likely that this series will still be topical many years from now. The efforts by the directors to stay indistinguishably parallel to the actual bonafide educational videos is startling. Most spoofs are simply parodies or standard sketches with some kind of exaggerated observation. Not this one. If I was to place a bet, I'd say that any module of Look Around You stands the chance of running until about halfway until a class of teenage science pupils would actually cotton on to it's true intent. This lovingly faithful mimicking of real videos with dashes of genius dissolved into the solution actually earned Look Around You a BAFTA nomination
9 'Modules' ranging from the brain to computer games cover about 70 minutes of running time, though watching it all in one sitting would be simply too much. The brain tires, the attention lulls and you're throwing away laughs. This is a comedy to which you must sit down and take in.
Brilliant and so uncompromised. Every single scene has a joke in it's DNA but it just seems to build and build until you are straining for a release, and sure enough one will come but you just don't know when. It's unusual for comedy to leave you so tantalised, and for that you know Look Around You is special.