If you are only familiar with Rowan Atkinson through his fine physical comedy as the long-running character Mr. Bean or his appearances in films like Four Weddings & A Funeral and Scooby Doo, you are missing out on one of the great comedic talents from the UK. He was a proto-Jon Stewart in the early ’80s with the parody newscast Not The Nine O’Clock News, and through his work in both The Thin Blue Line and Black Adder took the character of the put upon authority figure who botches every keen plot he devises out of John Cleese’s hands and improved upon it before passing it off to Ricky Gervais.
This six-disc set compiles all of Atkinson’s appearances as the title character, which took him through four complete series and a few added specials from 1983 – 1989. The series, which puts Atkinson in the title role through four important historical periods of British history (the reigns of The Tudors and Queens Elizabeth and Victoria, as well as the first World War), and in each, the mores and practices of the time are sent up with loving detail thanks to the shows fine writers: Atkinson, Richard Curtis (who went on to write Four Weddings) and Ben Elton (The Young Ones, Alfresco). Continue reading
10 Things I Hate About You, which helped launch the careers of stars Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles, is a comedy for those of us who grew up in the late 90’s. Continue reading