The Best Bits Of Mr. Bean

The Best Bits Of Mr. Bean

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The Best Bits Of Mr. Bean

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The Best Bits Of Mr. Bean

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So you work for a video distribution company, and you've already packaged a successful but defunct British comedy series into six volumes. When all you've got left are a few loose ends, a greatest-hits package is more or less inevitable. The Best Bits Of Mr. Bean has Rowan Atkinson's havoc-wreaking everyman rummage through his attic, repeatedly stumble upon relics from the past, and lapse into flashbacks from past episodes. It's a trustworthy formula, and the clips are well-chosen, but it's no replacement for the original material. One of Mr. Bean's strengths is its plotting; every boneheaded move on Bean's part inevitably leads to an even greater miscalculation, and as his situation worsens, the comedy builds. Time constraints make it necessary to make cuts to many of the longer sketches here, and the context is lost for some of the best gags. It helps if you can fill in that context for yourself, which is why The Best Bits Of Mr. Bean works best if you're reminiscing along with Bean in the attic. Unseen Bean is a different story: Although its two episodes—"Back To School Mr. Bean" and "Hair By Mr. Bean Of London"—are not among the series' best, they do showcase Atkinson and his staff's remarkable knack for formulating brilliant physical comedy from simple elements and little or no dialogue. Highlights include an overdose of static electricity, a dog show in which longtime companion Teddy performs, and a barbershop sketch in which Mr. Bean has a predictable level of success as a hair stylist. It really is a good idea to see all the Mr. Bean you can, but we should probably hope there's no outtakes video forthcoming.

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