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The legendary Peter Kay returns in one of the best and most successful British comedy series’ of last year. Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere is a direct spin-off to Kay’s hugely successful and critically lauded Phoenix Nights – though perhaps aimed at a slightly more youthful crowd than its audience-non-specific sibling. Whereas Phoenix Nights was able to capture people of all ages, shapes and sizes, I somehow doubt Max and Paddy’s road trip will have quite the same overwhelming appeal – but that doesn’t stop it from being an absolutely riotous laugh and yet another jewel in Kay’s crown.

MP4

Series


The last time we saw Max and Paddy, they had just bought themselves a nice new motor home, and this series begins almost exactly where we left the comical duo. On the road, and free from paying “counsel tax” as the two cheerfully sing in the opening credits, they head off in any direction the wind takes them. Sure enough, disaster ensues along the way – well, it wouldn’t be a comedy series if it didn’t entail a decent helping of bizarre situations and mangled oddities would it?

Road to Nowhere, like its bigger brother, is rude, crude and about as politically incorrect as can be allowed. While this might trim its appeal even further, one cannot deny that its tactless, and almost vain sense of humour is nothing short of hilarious. If you are easily offended, then perhaps it’s best to steer clear, but if like myself you enjoy seeing one of Britain’s finest comedians poke fun at just about everyone and everything, then you’ll feel right at home. You don’t need to have a fondness for Peter Kay to enjoy Max and Paddy either, but if you like him, so much the better.

Road to Nowhere features the regular six episodes (as is the case with most British series of this nature). While it can be said that the content on offer is somewhat formulaic, the quality of the writing and the sheer level of entertainment are what really make this series tick. I highly doubt you will get bored in any one of its six episodes, and the re-watch value is almost off the scale. If one thing is guaranteed after watching this, it is a feeling of great elation and satisfaction.

MP1
But I will say one thing: what really took me by surprise during the middle of this show was how much heart and warmth it actually has. It might be hard-edged upon first glance, but every now and then it isn’t afraid to tug on the heartstrings. Phoenix Nights had the same gift, and I am delighted to see Peter Kay upholding the tradition with magnificent results. This guy knows how to work the comedy/drama aspect into his writing and sense of comedy. And he does it without taking the nosedive into the gluttonous sentimental puddle so many writers often do when they wish to throw in a bit of weepy mush.

That tactic usually comes off as pretty faux, but not here. Here there is a near perfect blend of things that are plainly funny, and things that are plainly more dramatic in nature. I obviously cannot divulge too much, as it would give some plot twits away to those who have yet to watch the series. But rest assured, Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere offers much more than just hearty belly-laughs.

In a nutshell, Peter Kay has done it again. So far he has had a career to die for. He has produced several hugely successful stand-up’s, two ratings-dominating television series’ and of course one of the biggest selling single’s of the last few years. All of this, and the man still finds new niche markets to explore and conquer. What’s next? Who can guess, but I await with bated breath.

MP3

Video


The video has some problems – namely some very occasional and unintentional out of focus spots, and a large amount of noise. It is also a little over-sharp, and with this comes some noticeable aliasing issues. On the other hand, the colours are nice and vibrant (if a little over-bright at times), and some of the scenery Peter Kay captures is stunning for a television production. Elsewhere, the high-end production values shine though nicely on the DVD – not least the majority of location shoots from the fifth episode.

Audio


No Dolby Digital 5.1 here folks, but fret not, the Dolby Digital 2.0 score does the trick. As the majority of the series is dialogue driven, I am pleased to report that the audio is strong, and certainly meaty enough to avoid any kind of criticism. As a matter of fact, the occasional bursts of music and song – be it material on the radio, or scenes set in a night club – also come across very well considering the lack of a .1 channel. Bass is handled well, and everything has a clear and distinct sound to it.

Extras


The deleted scenes run for about ten minutes and contain some genuinely funny moments. It is a shame some of these had to be hacked away, but it’s nice to see their inclusion on this DVD. Next up, we have the outtakes. Upon entering this menu, you have the option for either a swearing or non-swearing version of the feature. Lasting roughly twenty minutes, and being hilarious from start to finish, this is easily one of the best things on the entire DVD. Lastly, there is a trailer montage and a photo gallery.

MP5

Overall


My only question after watching Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere is this: when the dink dank do are we going to get more? I am not quite sure what Peter Kay is working on at this very minute, but as long as he persists with his television endeavours I’ll be a happy man. Indeed, Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere is one of his greatest achievements. Sure, it’s not quite up to spec with his very own Phoenix Nights, but it certainly gives it a run for its money. Is it a classic all the way? Maybe, just maybe. The DVD itself is great, with good audio and visual aspects and plenty of juicy extras. Considering you can pick this DVD up for under fifteen pounds at all good retailers, I would suggest an immediate purchase – this is one you’ll savour for a very long time.


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