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73 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you enjoying your Cobb salad?
I am so glad this cruelly under-watched show is coming to DVD; my treasured third-generation VCR copy of the complete series is showing signs of wear from my having watched it so many times. This show was way too smart for its own good and maybe a few years ahead of its time.

Jay Mohr was absolutely perfect as producer Peter Dragon. The rest of the regular...
Published on December 19, 2005 by Paul Romano

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6 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The complete series?
For those of you who are late to the party on this one, get it NOW!

I did not give it the five stars it deserves because is this the entire season?

I did not see the episode where Illeana Douglas' character sleeps with the send-up on Bob and Harvey Weinstein to get financing for the picture.

It was one of my favorite episodes so I was...
Published on April 12, 2006 by GFame7


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73 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you enjoying your Cobb salad?, December 19, 2005
This review is from: Action: The Complete Series (DVD)
I am so glad this cruelly under-watched show is coming to DVD; my treasured third-generation VCR copy of the complete series is showing signs of wear from my having watched it so many times. This show was way too smart for its own good and maybe a few years ahead of its time.

Jay Mohr was absolutely perfect as producer Peter Dragon. The rest of the regular cast (including Ileana Douglas, R. Lee Ermey, and even the late Buddy Hackett) were uniformly marvelous. Even the more minor characters were brilliantly cast: nobody who saw characters like Asher, the supercilious maitre 'd, or the Chinese-American liposuctionist, or the fearsome PR fixer Connie Hunt, or terrifyingly well-endowed studio head Bobby Z, or closeted action hero Cole Riccardi will ever forget them. The guest stars (Salma Hayek, Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Tony Hawk, etc.) were fearless participants in sly send-ups of the Hollywood that they are themselves such a large part of.

But the real stars were the writers. The show seems like it's all about Peter Dragon, but it's just as much the story of nebbish writer Adam Rafkin (or was it Alan Rifkin?...). Fighting to retain every sensitive allegorical scene in his magnum opus, BEVERLY HILLS GUN CLUB (like the ritual slaughter of the pandas), Rafkin is the perfect counterpart to Dragon's consummate amoral Hollywood insider. While Rafkin is trying desperately to become an insider and starts to lose his moral compass, Dragon (to his considerable surprise) starts to find that he actually *has* a moral compass, even if it doesn't always point true north.

This show is hilarious, knowing, occasionally vicious, brilliantly written, superbly acted, and a real treat for anyone who loved THE PLAYER or DAY OF THE LOCUSTS. Having it on DVD is going to be great. If you love CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM, ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS, or ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, ACTION! is likely to be right up your alley. If, on the other hand, you loved EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND...um....have a nice life.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Brutal, Hilarious & Honest Satire Ever. The Funniest Thing You'll Ever See., May 24, 2006
This review is from: Action: The Complete Series (DVD)
More than 5 years after its short-lived run on Fox, "Action" has come to DVD! I never liked American sitcoms. Never found them funny. Can't stand laugh tracks. But this raunchy no-holds-barred showbiz satire had me hooked on the first episode. "Action" was the funniest thing I had ever seen. I rearranged my schedule to watch this show in 1999. And it doesn't have a laugh track! It doesn't need one. It's actually funny. "Action" was cancelled after only eight episodes. Fox had put it up against "Frasier", "Chicago Hope" and WWF (now WWE) wrestling on Thursday nights. The stiffest competition on television. "Action" apparently did ok in urban markets but no where else. That's not surprising, since half of its audience was watching the WWF. Now all 13 episodes, including some never shown on network television, are on these 2 DVDs. The order of the episodes is different than it was on television, and it's not clear to me what the intended order was. Expletives that were bleeped out on television have been restored, although they were funnier when they were bleeped, truthfully. The "beep"s became part of the joke.

"Action" follows the outrageous antics of Hollywood producer Peter Dragon (Jay Mohr) as he tries to produce "Beverly Hills Gun Club", his latest action-comedy and hopeful hit. Peter's production company Dragonfire Films specializes in "event films", meaning ultra-violent action, and Peter needs to redeem himself after an expensive flop. Peter's boss at the studio is domineering, gay billionaire Bobby G (Lee Arenberg) -who is married to Peter's ex-wife Jane (Cindy Ambuehl). His Vice President of Production is blunt, savvy Wendy Ward (Illeana Douglas), a former child-star-turned-high-priced-hooker. Stuart Glazer (Jack Plotnick) is his much-abused Head of Production. Peter's driver and security man is his Uncle Lonnie (Buddy Hackett). His leading man (Fabrizio Filippo) is a junkie. But Peter will stop at nothing to make his movie -in a culture that is socially deterministic, to put it mildly. Exhausted, put-upon screenwriter Adam Rafkin (Jarrad Paul) is caught in the middle of it all.

"Action" has been called the "filthiest" and "meanest" television show ever, but I never thought of it that way. I just think it's hilariously blunt. It's not dirty for dirty's sake; it's dirty for funny's sake. In spite of their faults, these are characters that people in the audience would want to know in real life. They talk the way people really talk and think like people really think. And they enjoy it. For all of it's cynicism and lewdness, "Action" might be the least neurotic sitcom in recent decades. The characters have a certain joie de vivre that is infectious. That was a big part of the show's appeal for me. The writing is so economical that there is no filler. It's non-stop smart comedy. I found myself convinced of the writers' brilliance while watching an episode that revolves around a frog-up-the-butt joke. Now, I don't like scatological humor. But I couldn't stop laughing. Anybody who can make a crude anal joke funny for a half an hour is a genius. Warren Zevon was the perfect choice to write and perform the theme song. (Too bad his first proposal was rejected by the network.) There are cameos by Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Salma Hayek, Scott Wolf, Tony Hawk, David Leisure, and David Hasselhoff. Jay Mohr plays Peter Dragon to sharp, hilarious perfection. Jack Plotnick performs to near-equal brilliance as Peter's used and abused lackey. These guys have a surprising ability to evoke real emotions in the midst of an orgy of brutal satire and dirty jokes.

When I first saw "Action", I thought that the blunt, horny producer of over-the-top action films might have been inspired by notorious producer Don Simpson. But apparently the incidents in the series were based on stories that producer Joel Silver told the writers as well as on the experiences of the writers themselves. I've heard a lot of speculation on why "Action" had so little audience, even though the writing is among the best ever on television. Some say the show was "too hip for the room", too "insider", or "too edgy". I don't buy that. "Action" is jam-packed with insider jokes. So is "The Producers". But the behavior in is so hilarious that the audience doesn't need to get all the jokes. I think the problem was simply the time slot. The perfect spot for "Action" would have been Monday nights after "That 70s Show", the spot that "Titus" -which has a similar audience- succeeded in as a mid-season replacement. On Thursday nights, half of "Action"'s audience was watching the WWF, a well-established show that never has re-runs. It's disappointing and a little puzzling that Fox was not willing to move the show to save it at least for one season. There is very little I wouldn't have given to see "Beverly Hills Gun Club" through to its premiere.

The DVDs (Sony Pictures 2006): All episodes are about 23 minutes long. Disc 1 contains episodes 1-8 and an audio commentary for Episode 8 ("Love Sucks"). The audio commentary is by writers Jim Vallely, Matt Silverstein, Dave Jesser, producer/sometime director Don Reo, actor Jarrad Paul, and writer/co-executive producer Ron Zimmerman. Unfortunately, there isn't much information offered. It's clear that these guys think the show's jokes still hold up, but I'd rather have had more commentary and less chuckling. We know it's funny. Tell us something we don't know. Disc 2 includes episodes 9-13 and more bonus features: audio commentaries of the "Dead Man Floating" and "One Easy Piece" episodes, featuring the same group of writers and producers, plus writer/story editor Will Forte. "Getting Into the Action" (26 min) is the bonus feature you really want to watch. It examines the life cycle of "Action", from genesis to cancellation, through interviews with executive producers Joel Silver and Chris Thompson, producer Don Reo, the writers, and Jay Mohr. "Trust Me: Useful Words and Phrases" presents about a dozen movie industry terms with accompanying clips from "Action" either illustrating or spoofing them. No subtitles.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter F**king Dragon, December 15, 2005
This review is from: Action: The Complete Series (DVD)
Full of swearing, sex, drugs and insider jokes about Hollywood, this was doomed from minute one, but remains some of the funniest television I've seen. Jay Mohr plays a delicious monster and the supporting cast all give very good value. The humour never strays out of the deep black, so possibly not for easily offended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All these reviews are dead on..., April 28, 2006
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This review is from: Action: The Complete Series (DVD)
This needs way more than 5 stars becuase it is absolutely the funniest thing I have ever seen on television. The ironic thing is that the basis of the show is that the entertainment biz is full of shallow, shortsighted, greedy zeros. And to prove the point, this show was moved from timeslot to timeslot and killed before it's time. Like the movie 'This is Spinal Tap', this is parody that is so dead on and so focused, it was too 'left coast' to have caught on in a big way. It's pure genius. If you own Spinal Tap or Curb Your Enthusiasm, you MUST own this. And the price is just silly. This will be your best entertainment value for the dollar.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW, January 29, 2006
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This review is from: Action: The Complete Series (DVD)
It's about time! Excellent Comedy with jay Mohr! Crass, profane, All you need! --- I had resulted to buying bootleg VHS copied on Ebay years ago( as Jay Mohr once sugested)....nice to clean dvd quality with out the bleeeeeps.CANT WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!PREORDER NOW BEFORE AMAZON RAISES THE PRICE.....AND THEY WILL.

Hey Jay -- you once told me this would never make it to dvd beacuse of the two studios fighting over $$$$ ---glad you were wrong my friend!!!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YES! I Can't Believe It!!, January 1, 2006
This review is from: Action: The Complete Series (DVD)
My friend used to send me a mish-mash of shows taped from comedy central, and on there were three stray episodes of this insanely funny show! I got so hooked just off of those 3 episodes that I have literally been looking around for years for the rest of the lot. Sly cynical black humour, this is one of the most unique and truly hillarious shows I have seen in a long long time. I hope enough people buy the DVD's that someone decides to pick it back up, this show is truly of that caliber, even funnier than (dare I say it) Family Guy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Everybody back to one", August 14, 2007
By 
D. Allen "Old Blue Dragon" (Studio City, Ca. United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Action: The Complete Series (DVD)
I worked on this show when it was in post-production and in "dailies telecine" every night we would talk about the funniest line from that day's shooting and how that line would never make it to broadcast!

Well, many of those lines didn't make it to broadcast, they were bleeped out... but they're back and all of them are every bit as funny as they were the nights I first heard them.

I can also remember that we kept working on the show even after it was canceled and at the time it seemed strange to me that we were finishing episodes that would never be broadcast. I'm glad to see them included here so that everyone who is a fan of this show can see them all.

It's incredible how "inside" the show is. By far and away, it is the most no-holds-barred look at the industry I have seen or heard of.

But one of my favorite things about the way the show is constructed is in the use of inside snippets for all the bumpers to commercial. The use of "stix" (the marker board that syncs sound to picture at the beginning of each take) or the insertion of a theatre snack bar placard are true genius as a device to move us from content to commercial.

If you love movies and love to laugh, don't miss this show...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatness, April 20, 2006
By 
MAS JC (THUGNATION) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Action: The Complete Series (DVD)
I can't believe a studio backed this and put it on TV. I love this show. Probably the best dialouge ever.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A series too good (and daring!) for network TV, September 23, 2006
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This review is from: Action: The Complete Series (DVD)
This send-up of Hollywood makes Altman's Hollywood satire THE PLAYER look like it was shot under water by actors on valium. The pun-intendted title suits this series well. It is jammed with clever plot-twists and stellar talent (principals Jay Mohr as the Darwinian narcissist producer Peter Dragon; Ileana Doublas as the ultimate Hollywood insider, a professional sex worker whom Dragon makes his assistant producer because of her faultless nose for good--and bad--scripts; Jarrad Paul as the neurotic TV writer who hopes to make it in the big-budget action genre with his script for "Beverly Hills Gun Club"; Jack Plotnick as the ambitious but massochistic, dry-cleaning-fetching gay executive producer; and Buddy Hackett as Dragon's nap-susceptible body guard and chauffeur who just also happens to be his uncle). Add to this a number of cameos from the likes of Keanu Reeves, David Hasselhoff, Scott Wolf, Salma Hayeck, Sandra Bulluck, and "that Joe Isuzu guy" (David Leisure playing an out-of-work version of himself serving as security guard/gate-lifter at the studio lot).

Originally produced for Fox TV, the series takes a jab at everyone remotely connected to "the business." As rude, politically indifferent, and self-serving as Peter Dragon is, you soon come "to feel his pain" when you see the number of spoiled brats, self-promoters, and losers he is asked to manage and/or navigate among in the course of any given day. (When he seeks spiritual counsel from a rabbi at a funeral, the rabbi is quick to offer him a script to read. "Streisand is very interested," the rabbi assures him. Dragon takes the script, asking, "Starring or direting?" When the rabbi answers "Directing," Dragon tosses the script in a nearby trashcan. Mohr's expression? Priceless!)

The writing for the (unlucky?) 13 espisodes is consistently top-notch. The fun never lags. It is as if everyone involved knew Fox would not give them a second season and they had to pack everything into the first. (Everything beyond episode 6 was new to me, so I suspect Fox never even broadcast everything they had.) Although we don't ever get to see the premier of "Beverly Hills Gun Club," or the predictable Oscar snub, the story arc is satisfyingly complete at the end of episode 13 when the legal rights to the threatened script are secured and Douglas's character returns to her more honorable previous profession.

I'm so glad the makers of this show believed in it enough to put it out on DVD--and with a "making of" featurette and filmmaker commentaries for several episodes. This is satire at its most outrageous--directed at such a worthy target.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, July 9, 2006
By 
Brian P. Lowe (Myrtle Beach, SC) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Action: The Complete Series (DVD)
The state of American television ---when insulting, lame shows (According to Jim, Everybody loves Ray) prosper, the edgy, funny and downright nasty shows fall to the wayside. Where exactly are these Nielsen families, Kansas + Iowa????

It's great episodic television, but way over the head of the average viewer, who cannot wait to chat about American Idol at their $10.00 an hour job tomorrow. So, like Jay Mohr stated in the epilogue, they hit + ran.

Too Bad --Peter Dragon would have existed for 5 years on HBO --I guarantee that.
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Action: The Complete Series
Action: The Complete Series by Jay Mohr (DVD - 2006)
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