STUDIO: A&E Home Video
MSRP: $14.95
RATED: Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 125 Minutes
• Rowan Atkinson biography and filmography
• “The Story of Bean” documentary

The Pitch

A bizarre man child with a tie bumbles and stumbles his way through life’s little challenges.

The Humans

Rowan Atkinson. That’s about it.

The Nutshell

Mr. Bean is a bumbling, awkward but strangely clever man just trying to fit into society. No matter what he does or where he goes, he always finds a way to stand out from the crowd, making both himself and everyone around him feel incredibly awkward.

Mr. Bean doesn’t let that get him down though. His bizarre nature is matched only by his own boundless optimism and willingness to forge ahead no matter how disastrous his schemes end up being. He shares his magical journey on Earth with a tiny teddy bear to whom he often talks to on the brief occasions he opens his mouth.

I hear you can do this with Paris Hilton too.

The Lowdown

This best of collection assembles five of the greatest episodes Mr. Bean has to offer in one easy, convenient package. The disc includes the debut episode, the infamous Christmas episode in which Bean gets intimate with a turkey and Bean’s attempt to haul a new chair back to his home with his compact car.

It’s no wonder that Mr. Bean has become a popular show worldwide given how simplistic it is. It’s physical comedy at its purest, with brief snippets of dialogue being few and far between. All the humor is in Atkinson’s face and mannerisms. Atkinson is so adept at conveying emotions and thoughts through Bean’s mannerisms that sometimes all it takes is a simple look from the character to make the audience laugh.

Mr. Bean watches Salo.

Most of what makes the character so lovable and funny is just how bizarre he is. He’s not bizarre because he has a large physical defect or anything like that. He just comes to solutions to problems in unusual ways that, while often very clever, always go against society’s conventions. Why not bring a potato along with you when you go shopping for a new peeling knife and want to test it out?

It’s easy to laugh at Bean’s absurdum while still rooting for him as a character and that’s what makes him so easily relatable and enjoyable to people worldwide. The handful of episodes on this disc are great evidence in support of that fact and serve as a nice primer for people who have never been exposed to the joys of Bean.

Are you there God? It’s me, Bean.

The Package

The only extra of substance is a documentary on the origins of Mr. Bean produced for the release of the first Bean movie in 1997. As such, it’s not exactly current and contains no mention of the upcoming second movie or the animated series. Still, it’s a well-produced feature with plenty of input from the well-spoken and charming Atkinson as well as his comedic contemporaries.

The highlights of the documentary are the excerpts from Atkinson’s live performances, most of which are available on the old Rowan Atkinson Live special on VHS. It just makes one hope that the special finds its way to DVD someday down the line. Until then, Mr. Bean will have to do.

At last, we know where that one viewer for Tucker Carlson comes from.

Overall: 7.0 out of 10