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P.G. Wodehouse wrote obscenely hilarious comedy stories about dim young aristocrats, overbearing aunts and very clever servants. And of all his creations, the most memorable is the ill-fated and blue-blooded Bertie Wooster and his megabrained valet Jeeves, immortalized by Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry. "The Complete Jeeves & Wooster" brings together all their madcap, bizarre little adventures in England's upper echelongs, with many a disastrous engagement and stint in prison. Bertie Wooster (Laurie) is in need of a valet, and after a wild night out, the low-key, brainy manservant Jeeves (Fry) is sent by an agency to deal with Bertie's everyday needs. But Jeeves doesn't just fold Bertie's hankies and give him hangover tonics -- he keeps Bertie out of all kinds of trouble. Predatory young beauties, ditzy idiot pals of Bertie's, and domineering aunts trying to marry him off, Bertie is always in hot water -- and Jeeves always is on hand, with a plot cooking in his impressive brain, to haul his hapless employer out. "The Complete Jeeves and Wooster" is quite faithful to Wodehouse's original stories -- some stories are combined and others are separated, but they draw heavily on his kooky, bizarro prose. Lots of overbearing old aunts, exploding safes, Neo-Nazis, a constant merry-go-round of oft-broken engagements, eccentric hobbies (newts!), and young women ranging from horribly hearty to airy-fairy. The only problem is that the stories set in New York just don't have that delicious British flavour that the rest of the series does, although they're still quite funny (Bertie being chased by a berserk cop dressed in a harem outfit). That, and the cast changes continuously. But those small flaws don't keep the series from being hilarious, from start to finish. Every plot is a hopeless tangle of infatuations, mixups, blackmail, little books of mockery, and stolen policemen's helmets -- and yet somehow Jeeves manages to untangle it by the end. And Wodehouse's dialogue is handled in a brilliant manner ("Because he is a butterfly, who toys with women's hearts and throws them away like soiled gloves!" "Do butterflies do that?"). Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry are perfectly cast as the endearing bumbler Bertie Woosterand the dryly witty Jeeves. Though Bertie's lack of clothing sense (and a trombone) often annoys Jeeves, the brainy valet clearly does have affection for Bertie, and Bertie appreciates Jeeves' ability to save him from fates worse than death (such as marriage to the horribly hearty Honoria or the wispy, fairy-loving dimbulb Madeleine). "The Complete Jeeves and Wooster" is a simply brilliant. "You can't be a successful dictator AND design women's underclothing".

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AAE70585 Jeeves & Wooster Complete Series DVD (Hugh Laurie) $59.95 $53.99