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Men Behaving Badly, a series that spawned a thousand belches. On DVD now, which brings the usual advantages of being able to choose which episode to watch straight away, and decide which part of the episode to start on... but the individual episodes? Some funnier than others: 1 - Hair With Gary and Dorothy spending lots of romantic time together, Tony returns from a tour of Europe with a full face of hair, keen to impress Debs with his new ways. But when Gary and Dorothy decide they want to live together, the flat gets a little crowded... 2 - The Good Pub Guide With the Crown closed for refurbishment, Gary and Tony test all the other pubs in town to decide on their new local. Meanwhile, Tony is trying to cash in on Deborah's new found fascination with astrology by drawing up his star chart, which even has a rabbit on it. Not the best episode I have to admit. 3 - Cowardice After wimping out in a road-rage incident, Gary tries to prove a point by hiring someone to fight him. The episode is brightened up considerably by Tony trying to prove that Debs is a lesbian, using smoke, elastoplast and bongos to try and get the truth. A very VERY funny part about plugs and train sets in this episode... probably the best episode in the series. 4 - Your Mate v. Your Bird Gary has to decide whether to live with Tony, or to kick him out and live with Dorothy. Tony tries to show Deborah how much he loves her by doing his own tattoo, giving himself blood-poisoning in the process. The funniest part in the whole series is in this episode, with Gary slumped over the table after finding out he might be on his own afterall... One word, huge laughs. I won't ruin it though. 5 - Cardigan Gary, feeling middle-aged after being mistaken for George in the office, decides to go to an all night rave. Tony is jealous of one of Deb's student friends and spends the whole time fighting with him, including the brillia
nt scene in the car... 6 - Money Gary tells Tony he's putting on weight, so Tony tries to lose weight in order to sleep with Deborah. Tony also finds a bank statement of Gary's showing he's got a lot of money, and tells the whole town about it. Again it's Tony's efforts that highlight the episode. 7 - Home Made Sauna With Deborah and Dorothy at a sailing weekend, Tony and Gary invite the girls next door to a BBQ. Tony is also busy converting the shed into a sauna so he can share it with Deborah and ends up blowing up the garden. After a superb scene with the boys getting ready while dancing to 'Night Fever' Tony chooses the wrong girl and it's Gary that gets lucky. The extras on the disc are limited but good all the same, a quiz that leads to outtakes is the extent of it, but the outtakes are worth getting. Some interviews or more out takes would be nice but you can't have it all. If you liked the series then this is great to buy, it doesn't get any less funny and you'll find yourself watching 2 or 3 when you only meant to watch one. Good stuff.
The ultimate small-screen representation of Loaded-era lad culture--albeit a culture constantly being undermined by its usually sharper female counterpart--there seems little argument that Men Behaving Badly was one of 1990s' definitive sitcoms. Certainly the booze-oriented, birds-obsessed antics of Martin Clunes' Gary and Neil Morrissey's Tony have become every bit as connected to Britain's collective funny bone as Basil Fawlty's inept hostelry or Ernie Wise's short, hairy legs. Yet, the series could easily have been cancelled when ITV viewers failed to respond to the original version, which featured Clunes sharing his flat with someone named Dermot, played by Harry Enfield. Indeed, it was only when the third series moved to the BBC and was then broadcast in a post-watershed slot--allowing writer Simon Nye greater freedom to explore his characters' saucier ruminations--that the show began to gain a significant audience. By then, of course, Morrissey had become firmly ensconced on the collective pizza-stained sofa, while more screen time was allocated to the boys' respective foils, Caroline Quentin and Leslie Ash. Often glibly dismissed as a lame-brained succession of gags about sex and flatulence, the later series not only featured great performances and sharp-as-nails writing but also sported a contemporary attitude that dared to go where angels, and certainly most other sitcoms, feared to tread. Or, as Gary was once moved to comment about soft-porn lesbian epic Love in a Women's Prison: "It's a serious study of repressed sexuality in a pressure-cooker environment." Series 5 includes: "Hair" in which Tony returns from holiday to discover Dorothy has convinced Gary she should move in. And that Tony should move out; "The Good Pub Guide" in which our heroes are dismayed when The Crown gets a new look and new landlord (The Fast Show's John Thomson). Tony rescues the pub's old condom machine as a present for Deborah ("I thought it was something we could enjoy together."); "Cowardice" in which Tony becomes convinced Deborah is going through a lesbian phase; "Your Mate Vs Your Bird" in which increased tension in the household persuades Dorothy to reconsider her living arrangements; "Cardigan" in which Gary, concerned he's becoming middle-aged, suggests they go to a rave; "Rich and Fat" in which Tony goes on a diet after Gary accuses him of being "a bit of a podgemeister"; "Home Made Sauna" in which temptation comes Gary's way when Dorothy and Deborah go away for a sailing weekend. The DVD version also features aquiz.