|Whose Line Is It Anyway - Series 1 And 2 (1988) United Kingdom|
The show was based on improv, meaning the comedy could range from very high brow satire or intellectual humour, through to simple swearing and satire. Yet even with the vast scope of comic genres Whose line was always one thing: unbelievably funny!
Whether you are sat bemused at how John Sessions and Johnathon Pryce can act out a style you've never heard of ( I know as a child that that was a regular thing for me )or sat in awe at how Josey Lawrence or Mike McShane could make up perfect sounding song in a heartbeat, or just laughing out loud at the childish exploits of Tony Slattery, this show is just funny. If you don't laugh at this then you probably have a problem with your sense of humour.
Three pieces of warning for you though:
1, If you are a fan of the American version, this will feel very different. None of your annoying american audience screeching out delight at obvious jokes, the uk show at times can be very clever humour. None of listening to the inane ramblings of the deeply unfunny Drew Carey ( we know the points don't matter, you don't have to tell us every time!), but instead the host is a reserved and sarcastic Clive Anderson.
But most importantly, Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie are not residents in this show. When they appear, they are guests and obviously new to the genre. You may think that they are not as smooth as they are in the later episodes, and certainly not like they are in the american version, but the episodes benefit from this. My biggest complaint about the American show was always that the improv became repetative, and you could almost tell what Colin and Ryan (two of the best guests in the UK Whose Line )were going to say. The show lost its edge, and at times it felt like a poorly rehearsed sketch show. That is not something you could say about the british version. The British show could jump in any direction at any time, and that added to the genius of the show.
2, This is not the edited version shown on UKTV Gold 2 or Dave. This is the full version, without the cuts when the show gets rude. You would not believe how annoyed I get with the cuts on the freeview channels when you know the best joke of the show has been cut out. The full unedited version is great for comedy, but not so great for younger kids.
3, This is the first two seasons of the British show. As such some of the performers look nervous, and the flow is not achieved in the games until somewhere in the second half of the first series. Not that there aren't funny moments in every episodes, but at times it feels like no one knows what is going on. It is on the second series you start to see the show at its absolute best.
Whose line is it anyway? is a British institution. One of the funniest shows that was ever on tv. Buy this show and laugh for days. Although subsequent series are funnier, it is more than worth getting this edition to see how the show developed.
(This is a review based on viewing the Region 1 DVD, which may have some different features, but the episodes will be the same. )