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Look Around You
August 30, 2006 3:48 PM   Subscribe

Look Around You is an insanely funny BBC parody of 1970's educational programs filled with pure nonsensical lies clothed as facts & pitch perfect mimicry of the style of governmental approved childrens education television. Each of the entire first season's worth of 8 10-minute episodes can be viewed here and is highly recommended.
posted by jonson (66 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite

 
Anyone, by the way, who feels like chiming in to tell me how not funny this was is first politely and with all due respect requested to choke to death on a bucket of cocks.
posted by jonson at 3:49 PM on August 30, 2006


And yes, Look Around You has been discussed previously, but this is the first time all the episodes have been made available online.
posted by jonson at 3:52 PM on August 30, 2006


I'll have to watch these when I get home, but I can already tell I'm going to enjoy them. Thanks jonson.
posted by Shecky at 3:53 PM on August 30, 2006


I love Look Around You

The half hour episodes weren't half as good, but they still had some brilliant bits, too
posted by ZippityBuddha at 3:53 PM on August 30, 2006


I really enjoyed the first season, but the second season hasn't been as funny IMHO. The 1st season Music episode is pure gold. Yes, I know, everyone is a critic. The first season has the better opening sequence too.

So... go watch them!
posted by blackvectrex at 3:57 PM on August 30, 2006


Previously...
posted by dash_slot- at 4:02 PM on August 30, 2006


As someone who never saw the originals, I was fully prepared to find these not at all funny.

I was completely wrong, and I couldn't be happier.
posted by davejay at 4:02 PM on August 30, 2006


That voice reminds me of HGTTG.
posted by blue_beetle at 4:15 PM on August 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


I predict someone will be fired from a children's television show for starring in one of these.
posted by ?! at 4:21 PM on August 30, 2006


Gee are ee ay tea - thanks very much.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 4:22 PM on August 30, 2006


dash_slot - see my 2nd comment.
posted by jonson at 4:23 PM on August 30, 2006


They're missing the Calcium one!
posted by piratebowling at 4:25 PM on August 30, 2006


I grew up with early 1980s PBS educational stuff, some of which I'm sure was British. This stuff made me laugh so hard some of that element H20 came out of my eyes.
posted by cobaltnine at 4:25 PM on August 30, 2006


Great post, thanks. The maths episode is in places reminiscent of that Mr. Show sketch with the Mafia don and the biggest number.

Hard to believe, but jonson's preemptive cock-bucket threat is actually keeping the MehFites away.
Or their mouths are full.

posted by Kwine at 4:30 PM on August 30, 2006


Calcium, to fill in the one gap.
posted by piratebowling at 4:37 PM on August 30, 2006


The first series was comedy genius. The second series was painfully awful.

Bonus link: the full Look Around You periodic table.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:39 PM on August 30, 2006 [2 favorites]


Can't wait to check this stuff out-- thanks.
posted by ibmcginty at 4:40 PM on August 30, 2006


Has anyone sued YouTube yet?
posted by cillit bang at 4:46 PM on August 30, 2006


This is great. I can't believe how meticulously they nailed the look and feel of those old films. I haven't seen any episodes yet that are outright hysterical, but they're funny enough that I keep watching "just one more" because they're so damn good. Thanks.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 4:52 PM on August 30, 2006


There needs to be more of this

English TV > American TV
posted by randomnoun at 4:59 PM on August 30, 2006


EndsofInvention: Thanks for that bonus link.

Smile of the Week!
posted by jaronson at 5:01 PM on August 30, 2006


Call me crazy, but I really loved Season Two.

Come on. Cobbles. Diarrhea Dan. For gods sake: MEDIBOT. When he started to play the harmonica, a piece of me died happily forever. And "Macadaynu" is, weirdly, constantly stuck in my head.

Sure, it's quite different than season 1 -- more 80's, less 70's, longer, not so dense -- but painfully awful? There are more genuine gold moments than most everything else on TV claiming to be comedy, ever. I say: certainly worth a buy from the ol' amazon.co.uk. But I always say that.
posted by cabel at 5:02 PM on August 30, 2006


One thing you miss out on due to the lower quality of YouTube videos is reading the labels on all the containers. For example, the opening scene of Maths has bottles labelled:
Manganese
Michelle
Mints
Meths
Moths
Maths
Magma

Write this down in your copybook now.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:04 PM on August 30, 2006


Sulpher is not attracted to magnets.

[Quite good.]

/"the equipment is now dismantled and then destroyed" is so going be my new catch phrase around the office.
posted by quin at 5:06 PM on August 30, 2006


Excellent videos and an enjoyable bucket of cocks.

Thanks Jonson.
posted by parki at 5:07 PM on August 30, 2006


Germs originated in Germany before rapidly spreading throughout the rest of the world.

Gold.
posted by gottabefunky at 5:10 PM on August 30, 2006


This post is smothered in awesomesauce.

Thanks.
posted by C.Batt at 5:21 PM on August 30, 2006


Crazy fun fact of the day: Peter Serafinowicz, the guy who plays one of the scientists, writers, and I believe is one of the show's creators, has had a relatively eventful television careeer, although his only big-screen job was playing the voice of Darth Maul in Star Wars Episode 1.

How do you go from starring in bizarre british teleivison comedies to getting tapped by Lucas to play Darth Maul?
posted by wolftrouble at 5:26 PM on August 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


Thants.
posted by timory at 5:31 PM on August 30, 2006


[giant pair of scissors in the sky]
posted by riotgrrl69 at 5:46 PM on August 30, 2006


I need to run right out and buy some Anti-Garry Gum!
posted by briank at 5:58 PM on August 30, 2006


How do you go from starring in bizarre british teleivison comedies to getting tapped by Lucas to play Darth Maul?

By having a Fraaaantastic voice.
posted by Soulfather at 6:08 PM on August 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


I am delighted to report that I won't be requiring the bucket of cocks.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 6:09 PM on August 30, 2006


"Hello?"
It's the Brain.
... And here I was wondering why they hooked it up to a telephone line.
posted by Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson at 6:16 PM on August 30, 2006


A little mafipulation and there you have it, an anti-fogmatic.
posted by caddis at 6:21 PM on August 30, 2006


I absolutely loved 'Maths'. They drop off a bit from there, but.. yeah.
posted by blacklite at 6:41 PM on August 30, 2006


Maths is wonderful , the little countdown clock at the beginning is such a great touch ....it replicates the whole feeling of sitting in class and trying to learn stuff that seems so odd.

I havent seen a protractor in ages either.

there was a tv for schools programme called "how we used to live" - with characters in a kitchen going " gor blimey , look at the news in this paper , mr churchill just lorst the election" etc etc
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:06 PM on August 30, 2006


Wasn't he Darth Maul first?
posted by A189Nut at 7:41 PM on August 30, 2006


"But what is water? It's a difficult question because water is impossible to describe. One might ask the same about birds. What are birds? We just don't know."
posted by danb at 8:07 PM on August 30, 2006


This is great, I've never seen them before.
I watched all kinds of stuff like this on TVO when I was a kid.

I love the periodic table.
In the Music one they zoom on the table to the "music" element, Mu. The element above it is To, "toronto."
posted by chococat at 8:26 PM on August 30, 2006


sorry, TVO is public television here in Ontario, sorta like PBS.
They carried lots of British programming.
posted by chococat at 8:27 PM on August 30, 2006


That stuff is hilarious! Being Canadian, I am partial to euro-centric humor, and I have to say, in just 8 minutes of one episode, I laughed more than I did during...almost anything in recent years, except maybe Mr Show, or Da Ali G Show.

Brilliant! Thanks for the post!
posted by newfers at 8:54 PM on August 30, 2006


[This is good]
posted by trip and a half at 9:18 PM on August 30, 2006


I actually first watched 'Maths' while waiting for some mushrooms to come on.

What an experience...
posted by lumpenprole at 10:25 PM on August 30, 2006


Looks like teamwork is not on this ghost's agenda.

Brilliant. Thanks, jonson!
posted by scody at 10:37 PM on August 30, 2006


BLANTS
posted by moonbird at 10:43 PM on August 30, 2006


I mean, er, thanks... (hic)
posted by moonbird at 10:44 PM on August 30, 2006


English TV > American TV

That used to be an unarguable fact. Not so much any more though.

It's been a very long time since we made any extended drama series with the writing quality of shows like Deadwood or The Wire. I suppose the last ones would have been things like This Life, Our Friends in the North, and more arguably Queer as Folk but the most recent of those was at least five years ago.

Lots of Big Brother and Celebrity Love Island though.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:50 PM on August 30, 2006


I'm rappin, I'm rappin, I'm rappity rappin.

Wasn't he Darth Maul first?

He was - a fact riffed on in Spaced where his character bastardises a few of the Phantom Menace lines when seeking revenge against Tim.
posted by greycap at 11:33 PM on August 30, 2006


I love Peter Serafinowicz. Such a dreamy voice...a fact they poke mild fun at in an episode of Black Books, season one (another brilliant British comedy)

That said, the one episode of this series I saw squicked me out something fierce, even though I know it's just supposed to be funny. I'm going to have to brace myself to watch all of these.
posted by angeline at 12:00 AM on August 31, 2006


In addition to Peter Serafinowicz, Look Around You co-writer Robert Popper also has some great books under the pseudonym "Robin Cooper" called the "Timewaster Letters." Available on Amazon. Highly recommended.
posted by scallion at 1:11 AM on August 31, 2006


Good Lord, those were good. Shame that the second series was such bilge (except the last one, which was kind of a compendium of the previous episodes).
posted by jack_mo at 1:18 AM on August 31, 2006


Brilliant. Thanks jonson!
posted by jam_pony at 1:43 AM on August 31, 2006


The first series was comedy genius. The second series was painfully awful.

But at least there was one moment worthy of a belly laugh:

"I'm rappin', I'm rappin', I'm rap-rap-rappin', I'm rappi-dee-rappin..."
posted by macdara at 3:00 AM on August 31, 2006


Serafinowicz groupies might want to seek out the excellent How Do You Want Me? which starred Dylan Moran, recently of Balck Books.
posted by ninebelow at 3:04 AM on August 31, 2006


Thanks Jonson.

Thonson.
posted by longbaugh at 3:06 AM on August 31, 2006


There are a bunch of hey-it's-that-guys throughout both seasons of the show, especially if you watch any British TV at all. I know if I was a British actor with any pull at all I'd want to be a part of this show. It really is amazing. Both seasons.

Beasons.
posted by chicobangs at 4:41 AM on August 31, 2006


Isn't Serafinowicz's voice also used on the PA announcements in some supermarket chain? There were a number of jokes on this show that involved him saying "Cashier number four please" and getting a huge laugh.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:24 AM on August 31, 2006


I love this! Thanks!
posted by painquale at 8:57 AM on August 31, 2006


Wonderful! Thank you.
posted by Marla Singer at 9:57 AM on August 31, 2006


Ng
posted by jaronson at 1:10 PM on August 31, 2006


Thanks - I'd only seen some of these. Maths is fantastic
posted by blag at 7:10 PM on August 31, 2006


I love this; completely awesome.
posted by odinsdream at 7:20 PM on August 31, 2006


Cawsome.
posted by coriolisdave at 9:35 PM on August 31, 2006


"The sulphuric acid has broken down the iron into its most basic form - brown iron - or bumcivilian"
posted by kcds at 3:37 AM on September 1, 2006


Serafinowicz fans should check out O! News:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4Dmj50y0jA
posted by flosh at 4:30 AM on September 2, 2006


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