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Some turn to scary movies for squirms, others to comedy. For the latter, the BBC's Nighty Night packs more squirms into a single episode than an entire season of The Office or Curb Your Enthusiasm. Combined. In other words, this blacker-than-black Britcom is so dark it could almost qualify as horror. Simply put, Jill Tyrell (writer/creator Julia Davis, Wilbur Wants to Kill Himself) is the hairdresser from hell. She may lack the horns and the forked tail, but her approach to life couldn’t be more demonic. The vicious fun begins when preternaturally passive hubbie Terry (Kevin Eldon) is diagnosed with cancer--a malignant brain tumor, no less. After he's hustled off to the hospital for treatment, Jill tells everyone in town, including compassionate vicar Gordon Forks (Michael Fenton Stevens), that Terry has died and drops by the local dating agency to find a suitable replacement. Meanwhile, the ever-optimistic Cath Cole (Rebecca Front), who has MS, moves in next door. Upon meeting Cath's selfish spouse, Don (Angus Deayton, One Foot in the Grave), Jill decides he's the one. Her seduction plan begins by using Cath to get to him. When Don, who favors more pneumatic types--like the vicar's wife, Sue (Felicity Montagu)--proves resistant to her charms, Jill sets her sights on their teenaged son. Produced by Steve Coogan (24 Hour Party People), Nighty Night premiered in the US on the Oxygen Channel. Although there are only six episodes in the first series, the terrifying Mrs. Tyrell wreaks an admirable amount of havoc in each, culminating in one of the most hilariously squirm-inducing season finales in the Beeb's storied history.

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WA24002 Nighty Night DVD (2004/Julia Davis) $24.99 $21.99