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DVD REVIEW

Sydney Morning Herald

Saturday December 12, 2009

Gabriel Wilder

The Games Series 2 Clarke & Dawe:the Full CatastropheRated PGRoadshowIt's been more than a decade since The Games, the satire on the staging of the 2000 Olympics, first aired on television and five years since series one was released on DVD but it's as biting now as it was then.That's partly because government departments are arrogant and incompetent in perpetuity and partly because John Clarke, the man who wrote and starred in the series, is a comic genius.Series one saw Clarke (pictured) and his colleagues Gina Riley and Bryan Dawe as the underdogs in their struggle against the Olympic minister. In series two, they're still at loggerheads but Clarke's team must face accusations they are corrupt and inept. Episode one, which is an expose of Clarke conducted by Four Corners' Liz Jackson, is black comedy at its best.The Games is a seamless blend of fact and farce it's one of the most brilliant Australian shows ever made.Since the series came to a close, Clarke and Dawe have kept their dry wit alive on The 7.30 Report. A beautifully packaged three-disc set contains about 200 of these acerbic faux interviews, which were first screened on A Current Affair in 1989, as well as a disc of extras.The scripts are ingenious and the repeated denials, rebuttals and weasel words often take on rhythmic and poetic aspects. They are as funny now as the day they were filmed, whether it's John Dawkins talking about the education system in 1989 or the entire Liberal front bench talking in 2008 about Howard's demise.Gabriel Wilder

© 2009 Sydney Morning Herald

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