I finally got Beaned

I've known numerous people who were and are fanatical about Rowan Atkinson and Mr Bean, but nah. Friends tell me the show is so damn good. People at work have posters of Bean making silly faces in their offices. My wacky neighbor does brief Bean impersonations sometimes, which are profoundly unfunny. I think it's that annoying neighbor who's kept me from watching Mr Bean.

I've seen bits and pieces of a few episodes, and I saw half of the 1997 movie based on the sit-com. Didn't much care for the movie, and gave up on it. I have always been Bean-deprived. After someone shared a  terrific Rowan Atkinson speech a few weeks ago, I decided to break down and finally give the show a look ...

I was expecting a British comedy akin to the very mild Brit comedies I've seen on PBS, like Keeping Up Appearances or Are You Being Served? No disrespect intended, and those are amusing shows, but other than being British, they have nothing in common with Mr Bean. Those are polite comedies of manners. Mr Bean is just a mockery of everything ordinary, and it is extraordinary.

Mr Bean is a modern-era silent comedy. There's almost no dialogue, and what words are spoken are intentionally mumbled. It's preposterous, exaggerated, yet somehow still very relatable to everyday life. The title character is a seemingly ordinary man who's always being frustrated by the tiniest everyday micro-problems, and he reliably overreacts to everything, which makes things worse and worse.

And let me be clear: It is absolutely hilarious, especially if you turn off your other devices and distractions and simply pay some attention to what's happening on screen. Maybe I'm just in a super-silly mood? No, I'm pretty sure this is "oh-it-hurts-its-so-funny" funny.

Wikipedia tells me Mr Bean ran for only one season on TV, in 1990, so I'm thirty years late to the party but I'm here now, and spreading the word. Anyone who's missed out like me, you're missing out on something that's ridiculous but really really funny.



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