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February 20, 2011

TV on DVD Review: Shaun the Sheep: Season One (2010)

Recently, my two-year-old daughter told me she wanted to watch Wallace and Gromit. I was surprised to hear this, and didn't know much about the shorts or the movie. I decided to look and see if Netflix had any streaming, and they did. I was astonished at the brilliance of these shorts, and I understood why they won Oscars. One of the shorts entitled "A Close Shave" featured a sheep that Wallace dubbed Shaun. Shaun is integral in defeating a wool poaching dog who has additional malicious intentions. He really was a great character on his own, but nowhere near as developed as his own series would make him.

Buy Shaun the Sheep: Season One on DVD

In the series, Shaun lives on a farm with a group of other sheep. Few are distinguishable, and though Wikipedia lists names for many of the sheep, the only one beside Shaun that you would know would be Timmy, the baby of the flock. The only reason you know this is because of a few of the episode titles. You can also figure out that the sheep dog's name is Bitzer from his bowl in the opening credits. There is also a bald and bespectacled farmer, but he is mainly a buffoon. A trio of ill-mannered pigs resides on the other side of a brick wall.

Shaun does everything from turn a cabbage into a soccer ball to revamp the farmer's tractor. He figures out how to go into town to get free pizzas and he does battle with the pigs on a regular basis. While Bitzer's job is to keep order, and he does so with his whistle, he is often part of the shenanigans. He and Shaun work quite well together to fix one mess after another.

Aside from Russell Brand, the UK has an excellent track record when it comes to comedy. Sorry Brand fans, but big hair does not make you funny. It just adds to how annoying you are. Shaun's writers do a brilliant job with the show. The best testament to that is that after about ten viewings of the entire season (no joke, my kid is obsessed with it), it's still smart, funny and appealing. I don't mind my daughter's requests for the show. In fact, I might be a little sad when she stops asking for it. I'll admit, I haven't played the games or seen any of the special features, but you don't need any of that. The show is amazing enough. Like the theme song says, life's a treat with Shaun the Sheep.

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