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November 24, 2014

The Mighty Boosh, seasons 1-3 on DVD

by Nick Zaino, posted Jul 27th 2009 5:00PM
The Mighty BooshWatching the first three seasons of The Mighty Boosh on DVD, a long list of comparisons to other shows come to mind, none of which quite capture the wild inventiveness and humor of the Boosh.

The format of the first season, where hosts Vince Noir (Noel Fielding) and Howard Moon (Julian Barratt) introduce the action, is a bit like Mr. Show. But Noir and Moon are characters, nothing like David Cross and Bob Odenkirk. The ever-smiling Noir and Moon, who is never as in control as he thinks he is, are more like Laurel and Hardy. If Laurel and Hardy were King of the Mods and a Jazz Maverick, respectively. And the intro segment only applies to season one.

The meat of the show revolves around the same characters in the same setting, although it's different for each season (a zoo the first season, an apartment the second, and a shop the third). It's not a sketch show, not really a sitcom. The characters also burst into song, as in Flight of the Conchords, but the songs are even more random and trippy. Which makes it more like The Monkees, but infinitely more original and cool. There is also a collection of weird costumed creatures, which are reminiscent of HR Puffnstuff painted by Peter Max and constructed from materials left over from the Laugh-In set.

Julian Barratt of The Mighty BooshAll of these disparate elements come together in a consistent, mesmerizing aesthetic and a wonderfully funny show. Barratt and Fielding have created their own fully-formed world. There is not a single centimeter of a single set or costume out of step with that world, which adds to the surreal feeling of the show.

Every comparison to another show misses the mark, and it's hard to overstate just how much, taken as a whole, this show is unlike anything else on television. In season one, we learn that Vince was raised in the wild by Roxy Music's Brian Ferry in a house made of bus tickets. On season three, he is threatened by a rogue jazz virus created by a voodoo man with see-through hands who uses alligators as taxi cabs. Mod wolves dance, psychedelic musicians with doors in their enormous Afros search for the "new sound," demon grandmothers roam the streets, the moon talks. The Boosh is an absolute fount of sublime absurdity.

Barratt and Fielding play several characters each, but also have a talented supporting cast capable of matching their vision, no matter how strange. Michael Fielding (Noel's brother) is a deadpan oddity as Naboo the South London Shaman (and sometime shopkeeper at the Nabootique). Rich Fulcher is fanNoel Fielding of The Mighty Booshtastic as Bob Fossil, the zookeeper from season one who can't remember the names of any of the animals (kangaroos are the guys with the little hands and a little version of themselves in the front pocket, pandas are the "black-eyed Chinese people that eat sticks," an elephant is a "grey leg-faced man"), and in a variety of roles throughout seasons two and three. Dave Brown has the most physically challenging role as Bollo, Naboo's "gorilla familiar" in seasons two and three, wearing a heavy costume.

For fans who discovered the Boosh on Adult Swim, the discs feature the full U.K. versions of the shows with extra footage. There are also plenty of bonus features, like a "History of the Boosh" and "Inside the Zooniverse" on the season one collection and the original pilot and a "making of" feature on season two. Better than watching the series on TV, the discs are an immersive experience for fans and Boosh newbies alike.

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BreadnButter

Hi! I love Mighty Boosh too, so surrealistic and fun. I've just made a mix of Lady Gaga's "Love Game" with the Mighty Boosh's original dialog. Check it out on my site!: DJ Bread n Butter

August 01 2009 at 12:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RobynM

Love the Boosh, but I'm waiting until the 7-disc series 1-3 box set comes out later this year.



July 28 2009 at 12:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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