If you ask me, what sitcoms need are fewer contrivances and more realistic humor. That’s what made Seinfeld so brilliant. As horrible as those people were, the sad truth is that all of us have a little bit of that twisted humor lurking within us. That’s just the kind of thing that happens with The Worst Week of My Life. This amazingly funny BBC series lasts just seven episodes, but I guess that should be expected judging from the show’s title. The names of the episodes themselves are “Sunday”, “Monday”, “Tuesday” and so on. By the end of the season, viewers have been treated to what is often-times the worst week of many people’s lives. The week that should be the happiest of their lives. The week before their wedding.
The show reminds me a bit of Meet The Parents, and a little of Wedding Crashers, but in my opinion it is much funnier than either one of these. The show is shot with a single camera, so it actually has the feel of a mini-series more than that of a half-hour sitcom. The BBC has really come a long way in the last few years. They have hit a run of great shows with Coupling, The Office, MI-5 and now The Worst Week of My Life.
The standard stereo track is offered here, which is exactly what I was expecting. However, it is a bit on the flat side. There is no low end and the highs are compressed. The dialog is also a bit muddled. I personally don’t have any problems understanding the English accent, but for those that do, a muddled soundtrack certainly isn’t going to help. This is the one big drawback from this disc. The track is OK, but certainly not up to the standards that have been set by most American sitcoms.
I was very surprised to discover that though the audio on this show is in stereo, the video is presented in beautiful widescreen. Unfortunately, in a truly bizarre first for a widescreen television show, portions of the episodes are shown in pan and scan. I can only surmise that this was done as a post-editing technique, but I can attest that it was certainly not a very good one. There are also some problems with digital stutter on fast panning shots. It is a rare occorance, however, and the bulk of the show looks clean.
Just two special features show up here, but that is understandable considering the fact that we’re only talking about seven half-hour episodes. There is a segment called interviews with cast and writers that is actually the electronic press kit for the show. It is mildly entertaining, and it is presented in widescreen, but there is really nothing particularly noteworthy included in the segment. The only other extra is a series of outtakes. It has been my experience that these gag reels are rarely actually amusing, and that caveat holds true here. A couple bits are smirk-worthy, but nothing is actually laugh-out-loud funny.
For those of you that are already fans of this show, you may be pleased to hear that this brilliant series is currently being prepped for an American version on FOX. Of course, that may also mean that fewer Americans will venture out to see the original UK version, which is a real shame. You can find the entire season of the original show for under $20 at most shops. At a price like that, it’s worth taking a chance. You really won’t be disappointed.