The bleak world of Royston Vasey yields up some dark gags in the first series of The League Of Gentlemen. It's a British comedy series that first aired back in 1999 and it was the first of three. The League are Jeremy Dyson, Mark Gatiss, Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith. Some might recognize Mark's name from the current Sherlock series where he plays Mycroft Holmes and wrote some of the episodes. He's written for Doctor Who and Agatha Christie's Poirot as well and a couple of dozen other programs. I'm looking forward to seeing him in the new Dad's Army film. Both Steve and Reece have impressive CVs but I can't say they stood out in the shows I've seen. I learned Mark's name ages ago but not theirs. Oh, well, a guy can't learn everything all in one go. Jeremy only acts in a few TV episodes, he seems to be mostly a writer.
The TV show was a progression, from stage to radio to TV, and many of the characters and situations of the series were formed back on the live stage. The guys were doing these characters back in the mid 90s. The members of the group are horror fans, especially Gatiss who wrote a 3 part documentary called A History Of Horror. You can see their love of horror in the series.
The first series introduces us to the town and the people there. It's a drab and dreary town, not the sort of place you'd want to visit. Most likely, you'd get murdered, by the locals. The stories jump from one group of characters to another and continue from episode to episode. A poor sod comes to stay the night with horrible relatives. I couldn't understand why he didn't leave right away. Another thread gives us a glimpse into the life of the local taxi driver. She's having her cock cut off. It's that kind of show. Won an award. That's Britain for you. So far ahead in their comedy and what you can say and do on TV.
Mind you, it's not a series for everyone. That's an understatement. It's sitcom heavily influenced by pus and the Grand Guignol, so be prepared. I got a few laughs out of it but I like a bit of the grim in my tea. I've got a bunch more to watch and will get to those soon.
The DVDs have a commentary with the 4 lads for each episode. Mostly interesting. You get a lot of background on what lead to the situations in the episodes. Of course they've been jazzed up, and there's more killin', than what really happened. There's some outtakes and such.
Here's a bit of an oddity. Ghosthunting With The League Of Gentlemen was a 2010 radio show. The cast stay at a hunted house, The Ancient Ram Inn, which some say is the most haunted hotel in the country.