Home Movies: Season Four
represents, sadly, the final episodes of a wonderful animated series, and those 13 shows are indeed a comic triumph. Somewhat reminiscent of Seinfeld
, Home Movies
gradually mastered the art of interwoven, multiple storylines that build toward brilliant entanglements. That would be enough to recommend the show, but Home Movies
, besides being frequently hilarious, also has a soul. The continuing misadventures of 8-year-old, neurotic Brendon Small (voiced by, yes, series co-creator Brendon Small) are a treat to watch, but they also reveal the pain of a good kid's outsized ambitions chafing against natural innocence and the frustrations of childhood.
Many of the episodes concern Brendon's relentless desire to direct films and, at least in one case, theatre. His off-and-on ambivalence about collaborating in these endeavors with best friends Jason (H. Jon Benjamin) and Melissa (Melissa Bardin Galsky) creates some marvelous tensions, such as a very funny story in which Brendon reluctantly acquiesces to his pals' enthusiasm to produce an obviously doomed movie called "Wizird's Baker" (the misspelling is Jason's fault). While Melissa and Jason pound the pavement to raise funds for the production, Brendon dodges the project by immersing himself in a half-baked, outdoors-y outfit called the Skunk Scouts. His sudden embrace of boyhood pleasures--carving wood, earning merit badges--is painfully sweet in light of his guilt over sabotaging his friends' dream. In another superb episode, Brendon mounts a disastrous, 1950s-themed musical called "Bye, Bye Greasy" at school, pressing the increasingly degenerate Coach McGuirk (Benjamin again) into playing a teen rebel and nudging a disillusioned Jason and Melissa toward bland, supporting roles. On the other hand, the trio of friends sometimes cooperate beautifully: organizing, for instance, a special revenge against sadistic camp counselors in the season premiere. (Meanwhile, McGuirk is in hiding from a touchy-feely men's group called "Crywalkers.") There are some fabulous special features in this set, including a bonus music CD with 52 songs from all four seasons, 22 commentaries from the cast, crew, and special guests (including the Shins and Modest Mouse), and an "Audio Outtakes Jukebox." --Tom Keogh
Home Movies is a cartoon about children who are more like adults made for adults who like cartoons. The series spotlights third-grader Brendon Small, a young filmmaker who writes, acts, directs and "co-executive produces" his "groundbreaking early work" along with his friends Melissa and Jason. The show also features Coach McGuirk, a youth soccer coach who hates soccer and isnt all that crazy about youths.
The fourth and final season of this half-hour cult hit comedy contains some of its most memorable episodes - "Camp," guest-starring They Might Be Giants as crappy music camp counselors, Brendon, Jason and Melissas rock-opera opus/debacle "The Wizards Baker" and Brendon's visit to the dark side in the classic "Those Bitches Tried To Cheat Me." The only thing wrong with Home Movies is that there aren't any more to watch.
Contains all 13 episodes of Season Four the last 13 episodes ever!
Bonus Music CD - 52 Tracks - The Best Songs From All Four Seasons
Fan Commentaries by The Shins, Modest Mouse and the staff of The Onion