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The Critic - The Complete Series

4.6 out of 5 stars 226 customer reviews

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(Jan 27, 2004)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

From the producers of "The Simpsons"! Jon Lovitz is the animated Jay Sherman, a TV movie critic who is forced to review the most pathetic films which he always rates as "It stinks." In addition to the film parodies, the show also deals with his personal life: working for a tyrannical media mogul boss, his lovelife and his family. Three-disc release includes all 23 episodes from the entire first and second seasons!

To quote New York movie critic Jay Sherman, voiced to Master Thespian perfection by Jon Lovitz, "it stinks" that The Critic lasted all but two seasons. "I used to have a show on ABC," Sherman bitterly remarks at one point, "for about a week." The show, created by Al Jean and Mike Reiss of Simpsons legend, fared no better when it moved to Fox, and little better when re-run on Comedy Central. But it did garner a devoted following, and thanks to DVD and the Internet, "the last hope of fading stars" (according to one of the ten "Webisodes" contained in this three-disc set), Jay Sherman lives! Television's saddest sack is the host of a TV review show, Coming Attractions. He must deal with the slings, arrows, and outrageous misfortunes heaped upon him by his ex-wife, adoptive WASP parents, and ratings-desperate Ted Turner-esque boss. On the movie front, The Critic is no less inside than the similarly ill-fated Action, but its hilarious parodies of classics and contemporary blockbusters, from the musical "Apocalypse Wow" to "Dennis the Menace II Society," make it much more accessible to any multiplex-goer.

The Critic took particular glee in zinging Howard Stern, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Woody Allen and Soon-Yi. (We pause to praise the show's unsung heroes, Maurice Le Marche and Nick Jameson, who provide uncanny celebrity impersonations each episode). Some references have a longer shelf life than others. Conan O'Brien, at the time a fledgling talk-show host, certainly got the last laugh on a spied newspaper headline, "Conan Replaced by Dancing Chicken." And the series' best episode, in which Jay reunites an estranged Roger Ebert and the late Gene Siskel, plays now as a touching tribute to the original Thumb and Thumber. The Critic is poised for discovery. Is it too much to hope that, as with Family Guy, voluminous DVD sales may spark interest in creating new episodes? --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

  • All 23 episodes from the first and second seasons
  • Commentary on 8 episodes
  • Optional storyboard branching for "A Pig-Boy and His Dog"
  • Clip compilations: Top Ten List, Trailer Parodies
  • Making of: Creating the Critic
  • Short film: Web-isodes
  • Featurettes: Eleanor & Delivery Boy, Eleanor & Jay, Family Dinner

Product Details

  • Actors: Christine Cavanaugh, Gerrit Graham, Judith Ivey, Nancy Cartwright, Charles Napier
  • Directors: Steve Socki
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Unknown)
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 27, 2004
  • Run Time: 520 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (226 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008EY6Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,216 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Critic - The Complete Series" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

The Critic is the brainchild of Al Jean and Mike Reiss (producers of The Simpsons) and is produced by Gracie Films, also of Simpsons fame. It was a highly intelligent and very funny show that made fun of movies, Hollywood, TV stations at the same time as giving us a sympathetic hero and the whacky world he lives in.

Jay Sherman is short, fat, bald and dresses like dweeb, his ex-wife hates him, his boss is always on his back, women run from him in terror and his make-up lady humiliates him at every given opportunity. He's also voiced by the increasingly adorable Jon Lovitz and has one of the best catchphrases ever. HOTCHIE MOTCHIE!!!!!

The supporting characters are equally hilarious. Jay's crazy dad is always up to some kind of insanity. His pal Jeremy Hawke (star of the controversial and highly blasphemous Crocodile Gandhi movies) is always featured in some sort of dumb action movie clip. Even his tummy has a 'feed me' voice of its own. Though the honors go to Charles Napier, who is absolutely priceless as Jay's megalomaniacal, all-American hard-man boss.

It's hard to believe ABC ditched this after ONE EPISODE!!! What were they thinking? Even Fox eventually gave up on it. Sad considering how sharp the writing and humor was. How on earth does self-indulgent, over-rated and long, long past prime trash like Friends gets 10 seasons and The Critic gets 23 episodes. You won't find Jay Sherman all but winking at the camera or pausing until the fake laughter dies down.

This complete set comes with a fair amount of extras (the cinema screen trivia cards are great) but the best is fact that we get all the 'webisodes'. In 2000 Jay made a brief comeback on the internet and all those 5 minute shows are featured on the 3rd DVD.
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The Critic is one brilliant animated TV show that suffered a fate that befell entirely too many other brilliant shows like Family Guy and The PJs. These shows would be hyped up weeks before the first episode aired. Then about 2-4 weeks into the series' first season (few of these shows lasted much longer than that), an entirely different series would air. And thus, the series would be left in limbo for weeks, sometimes months before another episode made its way to its small, and impatient group of fans. Because of this apathetic treatment from the networks, these shows were not given a sufficient opportunity to find an audience. The Critic, which debuted on ABC in 1994, languished in this manner until Fox would pick it up a year later. History would once again repeat itself on that network as well. It's just shameful how not one, but two, networks could take such a clever, inventive show for granted.
The Critic is about a very short pudgy New York City film critic and divorced father named Jay Sherman (voiced by Jon Lovitz). Sherman hates blockbuster films with a burning passion. He makes his hatred known with two simple words: "IT STINKS!!!". This makes him one of the least popular people in the city. John Rocker may get the key to the city before Sherman does if that tells you anything. Sherman's life is full of some interesting and sometimes oddball characters. He comes from a rich family - his mother is a haughty aristocrat and his father is still recovering from a stroke, which is evident with his eccentric behavior. The only other normal person in Sherman's family is his loving, but slightly insecure teenage sister. Sherman's best friend is an Australian actor who is basically cross between Mel Gibson and Paul Hogan.
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The Critic was a very misunderstood and underappreciated masterpiece. Thanks to Comedy Central and recurrent bouts of insomnia I have not been without The Critic these many long years, but not a day went by where I didn't curse those responsible for the show's demise. How could a show with so many writers, producers, and actors from The Simpsons last only two seasons....IDIOT executives, that's how.
Voice Talents:
Jon Lovitz as Jay Sherman
Nancy Cartwright as Margo
Gerrit Graham as Franklin
Doris Grau as Doris
Judith Ivery as Eleanor
Charles Napier as Duke Phillips
Nick Jameson as Vlada Velimirovic, others
Maurice LeMarche as Jeremy Hawke, others
Christine Cavanaugh as Martin
(1) The Pilot (1994): Guest star Valerie Fox as an actress who seduces Jay in order to secure a good review for her latest (sub-par) performance. (4 of 5)
(2) Marty's First Date: It's career day at Marty's school (Jay's son) where Jay is embarrassed and Marty meets the girl who is to be his first date. (5)
(3) Dial `M' for Mother: Test audiences find Jay cold, uncaring, and homely and less warm and cuddly than Hitler. He goes on Geraldo with his mother in order to soften his image-with disastrously hilarious results. (5)
(4) Miserable: An obsessed projectionist kidnaps Jay so that he can tell her what movies are good. On the plus side, Jay did get some action. Jay is rescued by Jeremy Hawke, his best bud and Australian action hero. (4)
(5) A Little Deb Will Do You: Margo (Jay's sister) is reluctant to attend a debutante ball despite pressure from her mother ( starve yourself to fit into a dress, to dance with boys who feel you up, to drink so much you fall into a well, it's a magical night...).
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