"I cleave the heavens, and soar to the infinite. What others see from afar, I leave far behind me." Giordano Bruno (1548 – February 17, 1600)

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Worst Jobs in History - A Review

" O' how full of briers is this working-day world."
William Shakespeare
Horrible Histories - Victorian Work Song
The Worst Jobs in History is a brilliant educative and extremely funny documentary series which takes a look at, as the title indicates, the worst jobs in history. Primarily the jobs not done by history’s top one percent! Two series and a special,  hosted by Tony Robinson who played Baldrick in the “Blackadder” series, were produced in Britain.

The first series, released in 2004, took viewers from the Roman and Anglo-Saxon Briton through to the Victorian age. Tony took on the task of gearing up in the attire of the time, whether male or female, to perform some downright horrible, dangerous, and messy jobs. Tony not only educated viewers, he provided heaps of humour. Some of the jobs in these periods included the chimney sweep, the executioner, the leech collector, the plague burier, the rat-catcher, the leather tanner, and, believe it or not, the sin-eater.

The second series, released in 2006 focused on jobs set in more categorised fields, such as industrial, maritime,  rural, royal, and urban. Again these were presented with Tony’s unique humour and with the aim of educating viewers. “The Worst Christmas Jobs” special was included as the last episode of the second series.

I absolutely enjoyed the series, which I recently stumbled across on YouTube. Yes, I have to admit, only recently. I have been separated from English language TV and from documentary of this calibre for the last twelve years. My enjoyment of this high quality production, stems from the educative aspects and of it presentation in great humour.

Finally, I have to say these are not the only documentaries hosted by Tony, available on YouTube. Do a search and be entertained. I have adored Tony’s work and humour from the earliest days of the Blackadder TV series. Here is a short clip of Tony in his Blackadder role as Baldrick, Edmund Blackadder’s long suffering and devoted servant:

"The worst job in the whole world must be recycling toilet paper."
 Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
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