Nighty Night, Series One
British Comedy, Black Humor
Starring Julia Davis, Angus Deayton, Rebecca Font, Kevin Eldon, et al
Written by Julia Davis
Aired on BBC 3 in 2004
BBC Video Release, Available in the U.S. and Canada on a Warner Home Video Region 1 DVD
ISBN: 1-4198-1737-X (This is the ISBN for Region 1)
Approximate Running Time 171 Minutes. Six Episodes Plus Bonus Footage.
Price Varies by Retailer
I don’t own a television set — and don’t want one — so my access to video is limited to streaming and DVDs. I’m picky about what I watch, but open to suggestions.
I’d heard nothing about Nighty Night until recently, when a discussion of the series on a YouTube video made me curious.
Most of us are curious about sociopaths because it’s human to have a weird interest in hurtful, manipulative people who aren’t worthy of our time. If we can laugh while pondering those losers, it’s a relief. Laughing can prevent the bitterness from escalating.
Jill Tyrell (Julia Davis) is a blatant sociopath. Most people around her don’t see it, either, no matter how badly she treats them. They tolerate a shocking amount of her crap. The show is a parody of the worst a small town community has to offer, but it doesn’t necessarily go much further over the top than real life. The most skillful sociopaths create extremes that defy reasoning, and stopping them doesn’t always work as well in practice as in theory.
I won’t attempt a long essay on why Nighty Night makes so many of us laugh because that might ruin the impact. Suffice to say we’re laughing at our own horror, and that’s what black humor is all about.
Here’s an authorized YouTube upload of a three minute clip from the series. Be warned, the scene appears in a later episode, and you may not appreciate having part of the plot revealed if you’re planning on watching the series from the beginning.