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Look Around You Season 1    Review by Pattye Grippo

Look Around You: Season One

Pazsaz Entertainment Network's Look Around You Page.

Look Around You: Season One is available in the United States.

As the cheesy opening piece of music begins while you look at an old computer monitor and you are told "Look Around You. Look Around You. Just Look Around You", you realize this show is going to be different. The first episode, Maths, starts out by telling you to follow along in your accompanying test and you begin to wonder what is going on. Then you realize the page number they have given you to turn to is not a page number at all and you start to get what's going on. Sure, it's science but it's nothing like the science classes you sat through as a kid. Then they ask people on the street what is the largest number and then tell us what it is (humorously, not factually, of course). They explain how the only way to deal with all these numbers is to use MATHS (Mathematical Anti Telharsic Harfatum Septomin). Confused yet? If you are, then you are taking this whole thing WAY too seriously. Imagine if Monty Python were in charge of a science curriculum and you get the picture.

Problems are given, to be "solved", in the series and the "answers" are to be given at the end of the episode. In the Maths episode a problem is given as Jean is shorter than Brutus but taller than Imhotep; Imhotep is taller than Jean but shorter than Lord Scotland; Lord Scotland is twice the height of Jean and Brutus combined but only 1/10 the height of Millsy; Millsy is at a constant height of [x-y]. If Jeans stands exactly 1 nautical mile away from Lord Scotland how tall is Imhotep? What do you mean that's not a real problem? Sure it is, in this humorous reality. And the answer they give is so much sillier than you can even imagine.

Other episodes include Water, Germs, Ghosts, Sulphur, Music, Iron, and the Brain - and each is somewhat wackier than the previous. For example, In the water episode we are told that water has the chemical symbol H20 (pronounced H-twenty) and we get to see "trained ants" make an igloo using tiny blocks of ice. In the Germs episode (discussed in chapter 622 of your "textbook") we learn that germs originated in Germany and in the Ghosts one we find out that there is no reason to be scared and most ghosts are helpful. And so it continues throughout the series...

As each episode begins and the narrator says "Look around you, look around you, just look around you" several scenes are shown that are clues to what the episode is about, except they are more like random things than clues. The narrator then asks if you have found what he is looking for (the theme for the episode). When you are told what it is, you can't help but laugh because there is no way you could have gotten that. But in the end, isn't that what we all would have liked in a class like science? A little more humor. I can only hope they decide to do a series on history - maybe I would actually remember something this time!

Look Around You is a BAFTA-nominated Pythonesque spoof of educational films from the 70's and 80's. Through a series of gloriously deadpan experiments, we observe a colony of ants build an igloo, receive a telephone call from a brain, discover why ghosts can't whistle, and reveal the largest number in the world. Science has never been so silly. The long-awaited DVD release is packed with amazing bonus materials. The special features include:

  • Newly recorded commentaries from Robert Popper, Peter Serafinowicz, Tim Kirkby, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Edgar Wright, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Michael Cera, Jonah Hill and Tim & Eric
  • Calcium advanced double length module
  • Little Mouse full length pop video
  • Little Mouse commentary by Jack Morgan
  • Pages from Ceefax
  • Play-at-home quiz
  • Additional music
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