Russell Brand’s Ponderland Series One Region 2 DVD Review

     November 22, 2008

Reviewed By Niall Browne

Russell Brand has become something of a counter-culture rebel in the 21st century. The outspoken comedian has won a huge amount of column inches in the last couple of years or so following his outspoken remarks and raunchy comments. However, because of this he has also won a vast audience for his comedic work.

Earlier in the year Brand collected a fair few critical accolades for his performance in the Judd Apatow produced Forgetting Sarah Marshall, he then alienated people (and gained some new fans) when he presented the MTV wards and managed to insult George Bush and the mentally handicapped with his comments. Only recently he made a prank call on his UK based BBC radio programme to Andrew Sachs (aka Manuel in comedy Classic Fawlty Towers). Brand and guest Jonathan Ross made lewd remarks about Sachs’ granddaughter and both came under a lot of fire from the British press and public. Brand quit before he got the… ahem…Sachs and Ross was suspended for 3 months without pay.

This brings us to the DVD of Ponderland – Russell Brand’s six part series that originally aired last year on Channel 4. In the series each show has a theme – Childhood, Science , Crime Sport, Love and Holidays and Brand will ramble in a joking way through each topic and show archived clips (including from his own career) to highlight his point. There are some amusing clips and Brand offers some funny comments on these odd shows and documentaries from year’s gone buy. While not the most original of concepts Brand manages to make it a success due to his wit and strange Jack Sparrow-esque charm. The show is admittedly quite high on the chuckle factor – but the studio setting drains the gags of energy.

The Extras

There’s a decent amount of extras featured on the disc including some scenes from live stand up shows where Brand works on the material for the show. It’s an interesting aspect that is far removed from the spontaneous aspect of the series. Also included are some deleted scenes from the show. A pretty comprehensive package.

Final Thoughts

Ponderland is an obvious must for fans of Russell Brand and his work. He is the cream of the current wave of British comedy and his controversial and witty style is far more educated than you would give him credit for.

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