McHale's Navy: The Complete Series on DVD No 17Return to Sender on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 29The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Civil War 25th Commemorative Edition DVD & Blu-ray Oct 13Aquarius: The Complete First Season DVD & Blu-ray Sep 15Justified: The Complete Series on Blu-ray & DVD Oct 13The Surface on DVD, VOD, and DIGITAL HD Sep 1

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Adele announces first tour since 2011 for album "25" ...
Kathie Lee Gifford's Family Reveals Her Late Husband Fr...
American Music Awards 2015: Proximity to action matters...
Brad Pitt Says He's 'Angry' at the Finance Industry Aft...
Adele Speaks Exclusively on New Music:'The Most Poignan...
'The Walking Dead' reveals Glenn's fate ...
Adele Performs on Saturday Night Live: Video ...
Blacklisted: The Inside Story of Dalton Trumbo and the ...
Ryan Seacrest Confirms All American Idol Judges Will Re...
Fargo' Preview: 5 Reasons You Should Be Watching This S...

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

BBC Video presents
Nighty Night (2004)

Cathy: I'm a bit uncomfortable around dogs.
Jill: Were you savaged, Cathy? That would explain a lot.
Cathy: No, no. I...I just had a rather uncomfortable experience with a German shepherd when I was nine. He was very persistent.
Jill: Were you wearing a skirt?
Cathy: I was. Well, yes, a party dress.
Jill: So you can't lead 'em on and then cry rape, Cath.

- Rebecca Front, Julia Davis

Review By: Jeff Wilson  
Published: February 01, 2006

Stars: Julia Davis, Angus Deaton, Rebecca Front, Kevin Eldon, Michael Fenton Stevens, Mark Gatiss, Ruth Jones, Felicity Montagu
Director: Tony Dow

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for adult themes, violence, sexual situations
Run Time: 02h:51m:00s
Release Date: January 10, 2006
UPC: 794051240026
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

The blurb on the front cover of Nighty Night compares the show to Curb Your Enthusiasm, but that's doing a disservice to both shows. They aren't really that similar, based on the episodes of Larry David's show I've seen. Nighty Night is altogether blacker than David's day to day absurdities, riddled through with cruelty aplenty, most of it perpetrated by the main character, Jill (Julia Davis, also the show's writer). I can't imagine this show leaving anyone ambivalent; you will either eat up the wanton nastiness on display, or find it in completely bad taste.

The story begins in a pre-credits sequence, in which Jill and husband Terry (Kevin Eldon) receive bad news from the doctor: Terry has cancer. Jill immediately decides that it's time to find a new man, assuming that cancer equals death for poor Terry, who enters the hospital for immediate treatment. Heading to a local dating service, Jill gets set up with her first potential new man, Glen Bulb (Mark Gatiss), a sex-starved Scots widower with a penchant for groping and an outrageous tic. Jill's sights soon turn to another target: Don (Angus Deayton), a doctor newly moved in next door. Don's wife Cathy (Rebecca Front) suffers from multiple sclerosis, and Don clearly has little patience for her lack of interest in sex and her brittle veneer of forced cheeriness. Jill decides to make her move, announcing that Terry has died suddenly from his cancer.

I've seen Jill described by some as evil, but that would be slightly off the mark, I think. Simply put, she's a sociopath; she lacks any semblance of interest in the problems of others, seeing only her own interests. Jill says the most appalling things without caring how utterly tactless or cruel she's being and later moves into more overtly hostile acts. Her behavior toward customers at her beauty salon grows ever more crass as the series progresses. She takes advantage of normal society's penchant for avoiding confrontation, pushing people around easily. Some of this is for comedic effect of course, as Jill gets increasingly more outrageous, culminating in the demented (and jaw-droppingly funny) funeral for Terry, and her desperate efforts to clean up the mess made by Terry not dying. The final few minutes of the last episode are brilliantly twisted, verging very close to not being funny at all.

Nighty Night is made hard to watch in that Davis has given the audience no one to root for. Jill is beyond the pale, a vulgar, vile woman. Don and Cathy are both immensely flawed as well. Don remains married to Cath despite his general lack of interest in her, and he is casually cruel to her on several occasions as well, though nothing approaching Jill's level. As for Cath, she is utterly spineless, smiling through the brutal treatment she receives from Jill until late in the series. It's hard to feel sorry for anyone really, beyond Terry, who is too stupid to figure out what's going on.

The performances are all topnotch, with Davis obviously leading the way. Her grotesque portrait of this woman approaching middle age and suddenly trying to make up for lost time is fascinating to watch. Jill is loathsome in every way, yet remains a very funny character. I would encourage viewers to watch the show piecemeal, as too much of Jill in a short time simply becomes too much to endure. Davis plays Jill in a very cold manner; she rarely has any emotional highs or lows, preferring to act piqued instead of angry and offering a dead, shark-like smile instead of true happiness. The series gives no clues as to whether Jill was like this before the news of Terry's cancer, or if it has simply freed something within her. Jill's confession of Terry's impotence (which turns out to possibly have been faked on his part) opens up one small avenue of understandable frustration on her part, but her overall behavior goes way beyond anything normal or forgivable.

In terms of the other actors, Deayton and Front fit their roles well; Deayton looks like a shorter John Cleese, and handles Don's almost perpetual puzzlement at what is going on around him well. Front has a thankless role in playing Jill's prey, as the script doesn't allow her to be especially sympathetic to the audience; she's simply in the way and the butt of Jill's endless needling. Ruth Jones plays Linda, an overweight Goth who works at Jill's hair salon, and takes part in perhaps the grossest scene of the series, when a safety and health official visits the salon for an inspection. Gatiss, of The League of Gentlemen television series, gets to play another freakish character, exceling as always.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Dating from only a couple years ago, Nighty Night doesn't look bad, but it doesn't especially impress, either. Shot on video and then processed to look like film, the video quality is pleasant yet bland. English closed captions are present, and fairly useful given some of the heavy accents.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno

Audio Transfer Review: One of the pluses the show has going for it is its selection of music, highlighted by the title theme from Ennio Morricone's score to My Name Is Nobody, which works beautifully. Otherwise, everything is dialogue driven and sounds pretty good.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+


Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
10 Deleted Scenes
Packaging: unmarked keepcase
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Outtakes
Extras Review: Fairly insubstantial, but apparently the same as the UK R2 disc, as we get some outtakes (04m:32s), all of which are from scenes involving Mark Gatiss (Glen) and Davis. They're your typical outtakes, with the pair cracking up in virtually every take. More interesting are the selection of deleted scenes (17m:14s), which vary between worthless and fairly interesting. Nastiest (but funniest) is a sequence in which Jill tries to seduce Don in the bathroom while he's having a diarrhea attack. Cut presumably for poor taste (even this show has limits, it seems), it's still pretty amusing. Annoyingly, unskippable trailers for BBC America and Little Britain precede the menu loading.

Extras Grade: C


Final Comments

Wickedly funny, Nighty Night tests viewers by parading a group of characters before us who have no redeeming qualities, and the main character is the worst of the lot. If you enjoy humor founded on dual bases of cruelty and self-absorption, you'll likely love this. If your British sit-com speed is more Are You Being Served, you'll be in for a shock.


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90


Microsoft Store


music, adele, 25, tour europe, spotify, apple music, pandora music inc., television, frank gifford, nfl hall of famer, sportscaster, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, kathy lee gifford, american music awards, talor swift, one direction, jennifer lopez, selena gomez, nicki minaj, justin bieber, movie, the big short, steve carell, ryan gosling, christian bale, michael lewis, brad pitt, hello, 19, 21, the walking dead, amc, davod alpert, glen, heads up, saturday night live, 25 album, skyfall, nrj awards, graham norton, herbert biberman, john howard lawson, lester cole, ring lardner jr., samuel ornitz, adrian scott, albert maltz, alvah bessie, edward dmytryk, dalton trumbo, reality, american idol, ryan seacrest, mariah carey, ellen degeneres, harry connick jr., keith urban, simon cowell, paula abdul, randy jackson, steven tyler, kara dioguardi, televison, fargo, fx, kirsten dunst, jesse plemons, jean smart, jeffrey donovan, bokeem woodbine, brad garrett, patrick wilson, celebrity, bruce willis, laurie metcalf, misery, broadway debut, paris tragedy, u2, foo fighters, steven spielberg, natalie portman, book, the diary of anne frank, otto frank, swiss foundation, daytime talk, 2000 shows, justin timberlake, jennifer aniston, sequel, animated, finding nemo, finding dory, disney-pixar, diane keaton, eugene levy, inventor, hedy lamarr, google doodle, ecstasy, samson and delilah, bbc music, angelina jolie pitt, by the sea, troubled marriage, mr. & mrs. smith, gwen stefani blake shelton, country music awards, the voice, miranda lambert, jon stewart, john oliver, hbo, wonder woman, nicole kidman, amazonian warrior, gal gadot, chris pine, nick lachey, 98 degrees, pot grower, ohio, nanette lepore, oscar robertson, frostee rucker, the red bulletin, james bond, daniel craig, naomi harris, bond girl, a. o. scott, 1977, star wars, elvis, beatles, sesame street, j.k. rowling, israel, palestine, culture for coexistence, harry potter and the deathly hallows, ricky gergais, 2016 golden globes, hollywood foreign press association, jessica biel, 2015 fashion group international night of stars gala, flip phone, the power of love, huey lewis, michael j. fox, back to the future, carrie, bipolar disorder, quinn, saul, jonas

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store