Tom Goes To The Mayor:The Complete Series (DVD)
Tom Peters, star of the uniquely titled animated series Tom Goes to The Mayor, is a would-be entrepreneur and civic do-gooder in the eccentric small town of Jefferton. Tom's crackpot ideas are invariably endorsed by The Mayor, allowing the series to explore all the comedic possibilities of government machinations, provincial thinking and tragically misguided civic pride. The series is written and produced by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, who also provide voices for the two main characters. Guest voices also include Bob Odenkirk, who also serves as executive producer, as well as Dave Foley, Gary Busey, Judd Hirsch, Janeane Garofalo and Garry Shandling.
Tom (played by series co-creator Tim Heidecker) is Tom Peters, recently moved to the quiet suburb of Jefferton and bursting with ideas on how to improve the town and his own miserable life. The Mayor (co-creator Eric Wareheim) is the infantile head of the town who accepts all of Tom's plans, but "tweaks" them for his own unfathomable purposes, which invariably results in disaster for all (but mostly for Tom). That's the premise behind Adult Swim's animated series Tom Goes to the Mayor, one of the network's most polarizing shows in terms of their audience, and also one of its most oddly fascinating and inventive. Much of the viewership's division came over the program's unusual animation style, which consisted of still photos of the cast that were then Photoshopped to resemble something like mimeographs. But the show's bizarre storylines also attracted--and repelled--those looking for offbeat animation; among the adventures endured by Tom and the Mayor was a plan to save the town's bird sanctuary by replacing the real birds with porcelain statues ("Porcelain Birds"), a hot air-balloon stunt as a means of deflecting attention to a sex scandal ("Boys Meets Mayor"), and the death of countless residents via a spray-on carpet, which results in Tom going to Hell.
Clearly, Tom Goes to the Mayor is an acquired taste, even for diehard Adult Swim/alternative animation fans, but for those whose sense of humor veers towards the surreal, the show is very funny, even hilarious at times. And it doesn't hurt that the guest cast includes such solid comic talent as Jack Black, Sarah Silverman, David Cross, Patton Oswalt, Fred Willard, Paul Reubens, and Jeff Garlin, as well as actors like Jeff Goldblum, Edward Herrmann, and even Dustin Diamond of Saved By The Bell infamy. All 30 episodes of the show's first and second (and by all accounts, final, as the creators have begun another series) seasons are included in this three-disc set; extras include very amusing commentary by Heidecker and Wareheim on every episode, tongue-in-cheek featurettes on how the show is put together, the celebrity guests, and executive producer Bob (Mr. Show) Odenkirk's contributions to the show, deleted scenes, original promo spots, and best of all, the three original web cartoons that inspired the series. -- Paul Gaita