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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Worst Week of My Life - Complete First Season
Worst Week of My Life - Complete First Season
BBC Worldwide // Unrated // August 22, 2006
List Price: $24.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted September 18, 2006 | E-mail the Author
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A British series I was surprised to see hasn't been remade in the US (until I looked on IMDB and found that it actually is being remade in the US for the near future), "Worst Week of My Life" focuses on publisher Howard Steel (Ben Miller), who is about to enter the week of his wedding to Mel (Sarah Alexander).

It doesn't take long for disaster to set in and, once it does, things start snowballing. "Worst Week of My Life" essentially is a compilation of everything that could possibly go wrong in preparing for a wedding. It does feel like it's trying to throw every possible problem in front of the characters, but the series does get some laughs thanks to the stellar cast.

The problems are like something out a "Meet the Parents" sequel: it all starts with Howard's secretary trying on the antique, heirloom wedding ring and getting it stuck on her finger. From there it all goes downhill, including: mistaken poop, a dog winding up in a cement mixer (with the ring inside), Howard getting stalked by his psychotic ex-girlfriend, failing at every attempt to get along with his father-in-law, an embarassing misspelling on the programs and more. Everything that could go wrong does, and Howard must weather all the mistakes and fumbles with good humor and quick thinking.

The best aspect of the series are the performances. In a show that's unrealistic/unbelievable, the performances smartly play the situations realistically - they're not so much "wacky" as "when will this nightmare end?" Instead of over-the-top, Miller's delivery is sharp and funny and he plays the role as quick-thinking rather than just flustered and frustrated. Alexander is a good match, with fine chemistry with Miller. Also excellent are Allison Steadman and Geoffrey Whitehead as Mel's upper-crust parents - they don't exactly like Howard, but they give the roles more depth than simply the snooty parents who don't agree with their daughter's choice.

Overall, the series is rather over-the-top in how it piles crisis after crisis on poor Howard, but the performances balance out the absurdity nicely. Hopefully the US version (although not sure how the show is going to translate, given the fact that a week makes for 7 episodes here, whereas the normal US series is about 22 shows a season) will be at least somewhat as good.


The DVD

VIDEO: "Worst Week of My Life" is presented by Warner Home Entertainment/BBC in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. Picture quality is lovely, as the show looked crisp and well-defined, save for a few interior scenes that looked a tad soft.

Flaws were limited to some slight shimmering and a couple of minor instances of artifacting. Otherwise, the picture appeared clean and clear. Colors remained natural and were presented well, with nice saturation and no smearing or other concerns.

SOUND: The show's 2.0 soundtrack was understandably basic and straightforward, but offered crisp, clear dialogue, music and effects.

EXTRAS: Some mildly funny outtakes and a short set of interviews with the cast and crew.

Final Thoughts: "Worst Week of My Life" can be ridiculous at times, but the cast is really the key to why the series works as well as it does. The DVD set offers fine audio/video quality and a nice set of supplements. Recommended.

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