|Available at Amazon.com|
British humor is really an acquired taste and needs to be taken very lightly and with an open mind. That is unless you’re British, then it’s probably just funny as hell to you anyway. There isn’t a lot of this type of comedy that I’ve ever really found hilarious or even remotely amusing, but sometimes there is that one needle in a haystack and it tickles my funny bone. One of those few instances happens to turn into many when it is the case of all the episodes of Mr. Bean. No, I’m not talking about the washed-up and incredibly annoying version that found his way into feature films. I’m talking about the guy who barely ever spoke and only needed a television and antennae to make people laugh.
Mr. Bean is a lonely guy that is just looking to get by in the world. He has his own apartment, goes for walks, likes to play a little golf, and even likes to go out on the occasional date. The sad part is that he continues to always be alone no matter how many people he interacts with; but don’t tell him he’s sad because I doubt he’d even know it. He does seem to be a little bit behind in the times and hasn’t caught on to everything as quickly as the rest of humanity is. Whether it’s a magic show or owning a television or even finding a parking spot, Mr. Bean can never quite do things the right way and the results are often hilarious.
This collection has six of the episodes from the original series and it shows Mr. Bean partaking in various activities. Each episode contains a few short segments that relate to the title given to them as a whole. For instance, in “Mr. Bean Goes To Town,” he buys a television set, goes on a date, loses a shoe on top of a car, and gets his camera stolen. In “Back To School Mr. Bean,” he takes part in an open house at a local school and ventures around the science lab, English room, and art department. In a sense he’s really just a big child and that’s evident when he fakes sneezing while watching a calligrapher just to try and make him mess up. When the artist doesn’t fall for it, Mr. Bean seems to give up but then frightens the hell out of him causing him to mark up his entire paper. It’s very juvenile humor at times, but still funny as hell.
Rowan Atkinson seems to be at home in his surroundings here by not speaking very much at all and just doing rather over the top physical humor. His facial expressions and mannerisms are so funny that my sides were hurting from laughing so hard. As the years have gone by and Atkinson has become more known, his roles in films haven’t quite lived up to the genius he showed in these original episodes of Mr. Bean. His stand-up routine from 1991 also let him be himself and show how incredibly funny he can be. It’s a shame that those not associated with the British episodes of the Mr. Bean character had to be subjected to that watered down version seen in such films as Bean and Mr. Bean’s Holiday.
Mr. Bean Goes To Town
Mr. Bean Rides Again
Back To School Mr. Bean
Mr. Bean In Room 426
Tee Off, Mr. Bean
Goodnight, Mr. Bean
The episodes are shown in Full Frame format and they actually look very good considering they’re close to twenty years old. A little wear is shown here and there, but things look nice throughout.
The episodes are heard in Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo Sound and it is more then enough for this type of show. Besides a little music, some laughter, and random sound effects; you’re not going to hear much else, even dialogue.
Bonus Sketches – Four extra sketches are included here and they are “Bus Stop,” “Library,” “Blind Date,” and “Torvill And Bean.” These are all some pretty funny sketches that range anywhere from five minute to seven or eight. No laughter is included in them which makes me believe they’ve never been seen before, but it’s still great stuff.
Not much needs to be said except that Mr. Bean is just so fantastically funny and needs to be witnessed by all. It’s the type of show that can be enjoyed by the entire family because it is good clean fun without ever sliding too far into being adult oriented or too childish. While Atkinson has appeared in other films that let him be his true self (Keeping Mum, Four Weddings And A Funeral), this series or his stand-up routine entitled Rowan Atkinson Live are the greatest indicators of what he can do when given the freedom. This volume only has six episodes included on it which makes you wonder whether it’s worth buying this set or the whole collection which includes every episode and more special features. Fans of the show will want the whole set, but if you’ve never seen Mr. Bean before then rent this DVD as a small taste which will leave you wanting for more. I guarantee it.
A&E Home Video presents The Best Of Mr. Bean Volume Two. Created by: Rowan Atkinson. Starring: Rowan Atkinson. Running time: 150 minutes. Rating: PG. Released on DVD: September 30, 2008. Available at Amazon.com
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