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The State: The Complete Series


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The State: The Complete Series + Mr. Show: The Complete Collection (DVD) + The Ben Stiller Show
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Product Details

  • Actors: Kevin Allison, Michael Ian Black, Robert Ben Garant, Todd Holoubek, Michael Patrick Jann
  • Directors: Michael Patrick Jann, David Wain, Mark Gentile, Michael Dimich
  • Writers: Joe Lo Truglio, Ken Marino, David Wain, Jonathan K. Bendis
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MTV
  • DVD Release Date: July 14, 2009
  • Run Time: 514 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00274SITW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,077 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The State: The Complete Series" on IMDb

Special Features

- Commentaries
- Pilot Episode (with Commentary)
- Unaired Sketches (with Commentary)
- Interviews
- Outtakes
- Previews, and more!

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The State was simply one of the sharpest, funniest, and most under-rated shows of the 1990’s. Originally created as MTV’s first foray into the sketch comedy genre, The State was a comedic gem that rocked Generation X with slapstick, smarts and witty sarcasm. The dynamic cast features 11 multi-talented actors that have continued to collaborate on such projects such as Reno 911!, Stella, Viva Variety and Wet Hot American Summer. MTV’s timeless sketch comedy show, The State, is finally here.

Amazon.com

What Louis Armstrong once said of jazz--"If you have to ask what it is, you'll never know"--also applies to The State, MTV’s first sketch series that ran for three seasons in the 1990s. I couldn't begin to tell you why a word-for-word, cackle-for-cackle recreation of The Cannonball Run's blooper credits is bat-guano brilliant. But it is. The seamless ensemble is 11-strong; Some you will recognize (Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney-Silver and Robert Ben Garant of Reno 911, and Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter from Stella and Michael and Michael Have Issues), but The State is of much more than before-they-were-famous interest. It is a breakneck-paced, ceaselessly inventive show that holds up 14 years later. As did Your Show of Shows, sketches mostly steer clear of topical references that would date the series. How to characterize The State? Like Monty Python's Flying Circus, punch lines are optional. Unlike Saturday Night Live, the troupe was less interested in creating marketable recurring characters than they were in goofing on a concept (witness Ken Marino's Louie, "the guy who comes in and says his catchphrase over and over again"). Insipid television is an irresistible satirical target. There is a cereal commercial that gives new meaning to the phrase "idiot box,” and a faux-promo for an Abraham Lincoln bio that plays more like an E! Channel True Hollywood Story. Funny enough, but Ernie Kovacs was goofing on TV 40 years earlier. What The State brings to the party is inspired absurdity. In one sketch, a homeowner confronts his postman who delivers tacos instead of the mail. In another, two singers perform a Barry White-style ode to "240 pounds of pudding." Arguably the high point of the series is a show-stopping musical production number, "Porcupine Racetrack." The State has long been revered by hipper comedy aficionados, but not so much by the mainstream press. Included among this set’s generous extra features is one of the show’s original promos that highlights the scathing reviews the show had received (negative two stars from The New York Post!). Other extras include ensemble commentaries, the pilot episode, unaired sketches, and some hilarious appearances on other MTV shows, including The Jon Stewart Show and the spring break special, Shut Up and Laugh, Panama City in which the leotarded troupe performs a, shall we say, extended Shakespearean scene. The loss of the show’s original soundtrack of popular rock songs due to prohibitively expensive music rights could make devotees of this series red and blue. But it shouldn't be a deal breaker. There is little else about The State that is generic. --Donald Liebenson

Customer Reviews

Glad they finally made a dvd.
Adina Kwasigroch
While it would have been great to have it with the original music, don't hold it against The State and go buy the DVD set.
Jeffrey Carl
Some of the sketches fall flat, but the show barrels on through like a freight train and just keeps on going.
Glen Hubbard

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 87 people found the following review helpful By K. Blanchard on July 14, 2009
It has been years since I've seen The State, and the moment I saw the commercial for it on TV, I immediately ordered it. It's a great DVD set with some really worthwhile bonus features, particularly the cast commentaries.

That being said, yes, the music replacement is quite noticeable, as is the frequent and sometimes scene devastating blurring of any and all images that might require MTV to pay something for their display. The insert that comes with the DVD set claims that to include these images and songs would have cost millions and forbade the production of the DVD. I find that hard to believe.

How much is it going to cost to have a picture of Andrew Shue on a goofy homemade collage? Or some obscure album cover from 15 years ago? I can't imagine those would cost all that much. And how much can the inclusion of a handful of songs cost? Even just for those few that were played over the live performances in studio, which is where the dubbing is most noticeable (any skit performed in the studio that contains licensed music, does not have a single piece of original sound, whatsoever. It's all dubbed over with new music, generic audience laughter, and re-recorded performances by the original cast members). Pretty much every licensed song used in the show is background music with dialogue recorded over it. How, in that kind of context, is some Marvin Gaye song from 30 years ago or goofy grunge song from 1993 is going to cost "millions" to license? And how did songs such as "The Power" by Snap!, which is played over the guidance counselor sketch, make it in and all these others didn't?

I'm sure the real explanation is that MTV didn't give this DVD production any kind of budget at all, which is why we get all these alterations.
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83 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Roger Lamont on May 18, 2009
Disc 1 (Season One)
All five episodes from Season One
Commentary on every episode by various cast members
Interviews
Origins
Feedback
Outtakes

Disc 2 (Season Two)
All six episodes from Season Two
Commentary on every episode by various cast members
Interviews
Roles
Catchphrases
Outtakes

Disc 3 (Season Three)
All six episodes from Season Three
Commentary on every episode by various cast members
Interviews
Outtakes

Disc 4 (Season Four)
All seven episodes from Season Four
Commentary on every episode by various cast members
Interviews
Outtakes

Disc 5 (Bonus Disc)
Pilot
Over 90 minutes of unaired sketches with commentary from the cast
Outtakes
Special Appearances:
-"The State" on "The Jon Stewart Show"
-The cast's performance on MTV's "Shut Up & Laugh, Panama City" (1996)
-Spring Break Safety Tips
-MTV Christmas Party Video
Promos
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48 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Victor Love on July 1, 2009
I don't know how much of the music has been replaced (I've only checked Pants and $240 Worth of Pudding) but it's definitely jarring to not have Cannonball playing while Kerri is high-kicking or to hear Barry sound like a giant pudding clot is stuck in his throat. It's a sad commentary that such an incredible pop culture high-water mark can be scarred by the pop culture copyright tsunami. The dubbing probably won't bother somebody who has never seen the show but it may make even an infrequent 90s viewer feel that something is a little off. Surely somebody out there will compile a list of music substitutions and dialog re-recordings, but MTV already has our money and at the end of the day this is better than the tape that got eaten by my VCR.

(Edit: There's an episode I've never had on tape, that I caught maybe two or three times on MTV, and that contains the one line I've blurted out who knows how many times any time I see a bottle of rosemary - "Ahhhh! Rosemary!" - and the substituted muzak track prevented a moment of utter joy. The State is one of the few objects of nostalgia I've clung to and it feels like that link to the past is getting weaker while watching some of these episodes. Sigh. In all fairness, I didn't notice any dialog re-recording in the TV Watching skit like I noticed the absence of Beck. )

(Another Edit: Yes, the replaced music can be distracting at times - it can also be barely noticeable at other times. There are only a handful of sketches which are tough to separate from their of-the-time accompaniment and a much larger percentage of pure goodness. And ,yes, the blurring can be annoying, especially when they try to block out most of a moving character's background, but that only happens once or twice. Finally, yes, the reports of dubbed lines are disturbing, but I've only noticed it in one particular character's scenes. I don't regret buying this set at all.)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Just a Guy on Amazon on November 2, 2011
Verified Purchase
While MTV occasionally offers up something worth watching, seemingly by accident, there was a time when they were on a hardcore winning streak, and that was the mid '90s, when the channel rolled the dice and managed to craft a truly unique and entertaining line-up with original series like Unplugged, The Maxx and, of course, The State. Handing the keys of a nationwide sketch comedy show to a gaggle of kids just out of college, whose biggest accomplishment to that point was working on the much-forgotten, yet prescient crowdsourcing series You Wrote It, You Watch It, was an actual programming risk, unlike airing yet another Laguna Hills series.

That risk paid off though, at least for those who watched it, as The State delivered three or so seasons of sketch genius that deserved a place alongside the true legends of the genre, mostly because they were from a new generation of comedy troupes who learned from the pioneers, but wanted to blaze their own trail, a group that included The Kids in the Hall and the Upright Citizens Brigade. Taking influences from Monty Python and adding a healthy helping of pop-culture flavor, The State bent the expectations for sketch comedy and yet managed to practice the art to near perfection, until an ill-advised move away from the comfort of MTV to the more corporate, less-nurturing CBS ended their show.

From the moment the unusual theme song kicks in, with it's rough, loud "Boys and girls...action! Action!", you know this show is something different. Utilizing links to move from sketch to sketch, filming with a mix of multiple camera and single camera shoots and mixing longer sketches with quick bits, the show built a legitimate sense of momentum that helped the group's absurd sensibility create a show where anything truly could happen.
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Topic From this Discussion
Are they using the ORIGINAL soundtracks?
I doubt the original music will be included. But the music is not what made the show funny. Definitely a must buy for anyone that likes to laugh.
May 13, 2009 by mattd |  See all 16 posts
memorable sketchs
I like the scene with two highschool kids making out on a sofa and the estrogen and testoerone hormones flanking them on both sides and doing dances.
May 30, 2009 by M. Marlatt |  See all 23 posts
the morror.. mamama
Do you mean the Characters, or just the actors? because the Actors which are members of THE STATE have been popping up on Reno 911 since the begining.
Dec 16, 2009 by Ben Personick |  See all 2 posts
Sketches and Stickers?
yes, 'Skits & Stickers' was just a random sampling of skits, plus 3 unaired skits, all of whcih appear on the new DVD set.
Dec 16, 2009 by Ben Personick |  See all 2 posts
Why won't Amazon let me sell this now?
The release date is listed as July 24. Breaking street date is a violation of agreements between retail outlets and music labels/movie studios. It can be assumed that Amazon is adhering to these regulations.

*my bad. Looks like it was released on the 14th, but Amazon doesn't have it in stock... Read More
Jul 22, 2009 by Family Guy |  See all 4 posts
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