“The best thing since cave-men!”
Genre: Comedy, Historical, Age: 5+
Released: October 2013 (UK version)
Horrible Histories, for those that don’t know, are an insanely popular series of factual-comedic books made for children. They are pretty old, considering I read them in school, and are filled with facts that seem ridiculous, but are actually true. There have been many productions based off the books, from broadway shows, to animated series, but the 2009 series is easily the best one, being made for all age groups, not just children.
The whole box set is around 30 hours long, and includes all episodes from the five series. The first 12 episodes of each series has sketches, fake historical ads, historical parodies of modern-day reality and chat shows, songs, and quizes. Episode 13, the last of every series, has a compilation of the best songs from the series, and a few extended sketches.
The series groups ancient and modern history into categories titled like Rotten Romans, Awful Egyptians, and Terrible Tudors. Although the show starts off with mainly British related history, it does branch out into significant American and some European history.
Each member of the main cast plays a plethora of characters. As time grows on, you can immediately recognise them and their acting style, and the familiarity makes the comedy even more hilarious.
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I personally find it impossible to pick a favourite person from the cast, because even when they are not in the starring role, they bring a lot of charm and charisma to the sketch, and are great in their supporting roles.
Each cast member has plays many characters, but my favourite roles are Jim’s Shouty Man, Matt’s King Charles II of England, Simon’s Robert Dudley, Martha’s Queen Elizabeth I of England, Larry’s Bob Hale, and Ben’s King Henry VIII of England.
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