DVD review: Men Behaving Badly 20th Anniversary The Complete Collection

Twenty years ago a new comedy series hit the small screen that would raise the bar for all those to follow.

Men Behaving Badly transformed laddish behaviour into something to be laughed at rather than dismayed by.

After an initial, and it has to be said, not too successful first series with Harry Enfield and Martin Clunes, the next five series and three feature length specials became part of many people’s weekly viewing.

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Writer Simon Nye managed an amazing level of consistency with his creation, helped enormously by a talented cast.

Clunes and Neil Morrissey had the perfect chemistry to provide plenty of laughs and Caroline Quentin and Leslie Ash were far from the token love interest, frequently injecting their own comic moments.

Even the ‘bit part’ cast, such as Gary’s staff, George and Anthea, were excellent characters that played their full part.

Unusually, most of the episodes were set in the confines of the various flats in the apartment block or at Gary’s office.

Only occasionally would they venture further afield such as the local pub or an outside location.

Not surprisingly, the series picked up a hatful of awards over the years and was voted the best sitcom in the BBC’s history at the corporation’s 60th anniversary celebrations.

Even 15 years after the final episode was aired it still has a lasting freshness and is funny as ever.

The Men Behaving Badly anniversary pack has all six complete series, plus the 1997 Christmas Special and the final trilogy of feature-length episodes.

There’s also the Comic Relief sketches from 1997 and 1999, a brand new BBC Radio 4 documentary, outtakes, bloopers and various other features.

In all, the running time is more than 20 hours of fun.

Men Behaving Badly 20th Anniversary The Complete Collection is distributed by FreemantleMedia Enterprises and is priced £34.99.

Steve Payne