Mr. Bean was a British comedy television series of 13 half-hour episodes starring Rowan Atkinson. It was written by Atkinson, Robin Driscoll, Richard Curtis and Ben Elton. The self-titled first episode was broadcast on 1 January 1990, with the final episode, “Goodnight, Mr. Bean”, on 31 October 1995.
The title character, played by Atkinson, is a selfish, childlike, sometimes ingenious, and generally likeable buffoon who frequently gets into hilarious situations due to his various schemes and contrivances. The show relies upon physical comedy, with Mr. Bean speaking very little dialogue. He lives alone in his small flat in Highbury, North London.
Mr. Bean often seems unaware of basic aspects of the way the world works, and the programme usually features his attempts at what would normally be considered simple tasks, such as going swimming, redecorating or taking an exam. The humour largely comes from his original solutions to any problems and his total disregard for others when solving them. Indeed, some of Bean’s actions occasionally have a particularly malevolent aspect to them.
At the beginning of episode two onwards, Mr. Bean falls from the sky in a beam of light. These opening sequences were initially in black and white in episodes 2 and 3, and were intended by the producers to show his status as an “ordinary man cast into the spotlight”. However, later episodes showed Mr. Bean dropping from the night sky in a deserted London street, against the backdrop of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Later in the animated series he was shown to be an alien. Atkinson himself has acknowledged that Bean “has a slightly alien aspect to him”.
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