Superb, but stop with this series!
By a customer
from Bury St. Edmunds
, 28 Oct 2008
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS
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Chef! is pretty close to sit-com perfection it blends a razor-sharp script with a Lenny Henry performance which marries superb comedy with a surprisingly deep dramatic element. There are belly laughs a-plenty in the kitchen scenes, but the sub-plot with Gareth & Janice's attempts to buy the restaurant help you understand why Gareth is so driven & hard on his staff, & make you believe in the characters & become genuinely interested in how their situation unfolds.
Although only half-hour episodes each one is packed with variety & sheer comedy, & the young cast play their roles very well indeed. There are some hilarious scenes you will watch again, such as the unfortunate customer who has the gall to ask for some salt with Gareth in earshot.
Only two things spoiled my enjoyment of this DVD: one is the knowledge that after this superb series expertly crafted by creator Peter Tilbury (look out for his cameo in the first episode), other writers were brought in for the successive two series. Series two starts well, & the final episode is back to its best, hardly a coincidence since Tilbury is sole writer, but the middle is passable at best & certainly nowhere near the high standards set by series one. As a result I couldn't bring myself to watch series three, & I've since read enough to know it was a wise decision the words 'don't touch' & 'bargepole' rush into my mind.
The only other thing which spoils this DVD is the savage cuts made to 'The Big Cheese', presumably to fit it onto one disc. Sadly all this has done is ruin, yes ruin, probably the finest episode of the series. Try as you will you will not understand it from the DVD unless you remember seeing it on TV originally. Hopefully one day an expanded version might be released with extras etc, but for now we sadly have to make do with this shambolic edition.
Rent this series, put up with the butchered episode (the only reason I can't give 5 stars), watch series two if you're feeling brave, but avoid the final series like the plague!
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