There’s no questioning the status of Monty Python in the historic pantheon of comedy – you’ve got six incredibly talented guys, all of whom to one degree or another (except the late Graham Chapman) have achieved success beyond their Python roots. But despite that success, it’s unlikely any of their accomplishments will overshadow their involvement with Monty Python. And that’s probably appropriate.
Running on BBC for four seasons, Monty Python’s Flying Circus is one weird show. I would guess the majority of Python fans are fairly casual ones and mostly familiar with their films, which are brilliant in their own right, but the television show is another beast entirely.
With The Complete 16-Ton Monty Python’s Flying Circus Megaset, casual fans and diehards alike can get their fill of that beast, and then some. This massive 16-DVD set updates a release from several years back that only included 14 discs and was strictly the complete series of Flying Circus. Essentially, it’s the same here, except for the addition of Monty Python Live!, a two-disc set also available separately.
While not an entirely comprehensive set of Python goodness, there should be more than enough to satisfy most levels of fans. Now there are reports circulating that not every episode of Flying Circus, or at least not the entirety of every episode has made it into this set, which may very well be the case. If you’re an absolute diehard, you probably know exactly what is missing and probably already own this set anyway. If you’re not, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Chances are, there’s already too much Python for you on this set already.
And that’s really the only problem with this massive DVD collection. Who has the time or the desire to watch this much Flying Circus? I know some will heatedly disagree, but despite the Python’s brilliance, there are some sketches that are pure dreck. I enjoy the Python films, but when it comes to the television show, a best-of DVD would satisfy me just fine. I’m really not up to wading through the almost 30 hours on this collection. If you’re a casual fan like me, the 16-Ton Megaset is probably overkill.