As a child of the 1970′s, I was mainly raised by television. As a result, my view of the world is quite skewed but I’m rarely bored. Part of the fun of the 1970′s TV was watching children’s programs designed to explain how the world works. Written in a kind yet distant voice, the educational programs played on public television stations so solemnly that I rarely understood what they were talking about. BBC2 produced a program that took this concept and created one of the most bizarre comedy series I’ve ever watched, Look Around You.
Strange ten minute episodes appear to accurately replicate the experience I so clearly recall from my childhood. The nonsensical nature of the comedy is an acquired taste to be sure, but if it hits home there really is nothing else like it. Each episode attempts to explain specific concepts from the ordinary such as water to the absurd episode centered on ghosts. The narrator provides that necessary tone of sanity yet clearly hints at a mad state of reality by making statements like ‘just what are birds? We don’t know.’
From the opening to the ending credits, Look Around You is a masterpiece of comedy that so precisely captures a time period that you may question when the program was created.
While this program is not available on DVD in the US (get yerself a region free DVD player already!), Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim has been airing it on Sunday evenings so make sure to set your TiVo or DVR or iPods whatever it is you kids use these days. the program has been hugely successful on Adult Swim, so much so that the series creators are hard at work on a new project just for the Cartoon Network.