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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » The Dame Edna Experience - The Complete Series 2
The Dame Edna Experience - The Complete Series 2
BBC Worldwide // Unrated // October 5, 2004
List Price: $34.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by John Sinnott | posted September 25, 2004 | E-mail the Author
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The Show:

On paper, it sounds like a horrible idea for a talk show: Take a guy, put him in women's clothes, (the more outlandish the better) and have him interview stars.  It would be a wretched show, if it wasn't for the quick wit and comic genius of Barry Humphries, the man behind the dress.  His Dame Edna character has been around for decades, and these shows from the second season of The Dame Edna Experience demonstrate why the character has had such a long life.  The six shows that comprise the second season are outrageously funny, as you would expect from a star of Edna's stature.

If you've never seen Dame Edna before, she's the self described housewife-superstar who is living a life of a mega star, basking in unparalleled luxury and glamor.  She interviews her famous guests from her magnificent penthouse apartment, treating the stars like they were ordinary people, but more often like they were trailer trash.  In one episode she wouldn't allow Jane Fonda on the set because she didn't meet the show's dress code, and in another closes the door on Tom Jones because he was too boring.

This show is wonderfully offbeat.  Edna's outrageously gaudy dresses (I loved the outfit with a giant stuffed lizard that could stick out its tongue) and purple tinted wigs are funny, but they only set the tone for the antics that are to follow.  The guests are really only there to allow Edna to showcase her extraordinary wit.  The master of the double entendre, Edna can turn most statements into a dirty joke, but she's not afraid to be blunt when the situation calls for it.  When Douglas Fairbanks Jr was on the show, Edna asked him about his first wife:

"Joan (Crawford) became a bit of a rat bag didn't she?  And I mean that in the nicest way."

Being a British show, there were some guests that I'd never heard of, but the guests aren't the point of the show, Edna is.  As it was once described, her shows are "monologues interrupted by total strangers." Pretty funny monologues at that.

The DVD:


Audio:

The two channel audio was adequate for the show, though not outstanding.  There was some distortion and crackling at parts which was disappointing, and at times this became distracting.   There were no subtitles.

Video:

The full frame video looked appropriate for this type of show.  The show was videotaped, as opposed to being filmed, and the background details are a little fuzzy.  There is a good amount of edge enhancement too, which was disappointing.  Overall, the show looked okay, but not great.

Extras:

This set comes with a good set of extras.  First off is Another Audience with Dame Edna Everage, this 50 minute UK TV special won the British Academy Award for Best Entertainment Program.  An entertaining show where Edna takes questions from the audience.

"Disco Matilda" is the 1979 appearance of Dame Edna on Top of the Pops where she preformed her hit single which was a disco version of Waltzing Matilda.  (Yes, it's as bizarre as it sounds.)

Dame Edna chats with Sue Lawley and Whoopi Goldberg is an eleven minute excerpt from Edna's appearance on the BBC talk show Woogan, from 1990.

Sarah Greene interviews Barry Humphries: A 1996 interview with Edna's alter-ego from a 1996 appearance on the BBC show Pebble Mill.
 

Final Thoughts:

This was my first experience with Dame Edna, and I found her show to be very funny.   A talk show where the humor doesn't stop after the guests are introduced.  A wonderful concept that more shows should consider.  Recommended.
 

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