The Joe Schmo Show - Season One Uncensored
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Spike TV's hit comes to DVD with everything you'd expect in a reality show; the smug host, the stereotypical contestants ("the blonde virgin," "the bitch," "the guy nobody likes," etc.), and of course, the over-the-top competitions. So what made Joe Schmo
Spike TV's first season of The Joe Schmo Show is a real-life variation on the Jim Carrey comedy The Truman Show, in which Carrey played a man unaware he is the star of a television series, living on an enormous set and surrounded by actors playing family, co-workers, neighbors, etc. Joe Schmo fools a gregarious, likable 27-year-old fellow, Matt Kennedy Gould, into believing he's part of the cast of a reality-TV program called Lap of Luxury, competing for a $100,000 prize by surviving humiliating trials and those inevitable, once-per-week evictions of unlucky contestants. What Gould doesn't know is that his competitors--all living in the same house under the watchful eye of an ubiquitous production crew--are all actors playing sundry reality-TV stereotypes: the token gay guy, the good-looking sweetheart, the good-looking bitch, the clown, Mr. Macho, the borderline-pariah, etc.
The eight episodes in The Joe Schmo Show: Season One Uncensored look and sound like any other reality gimmick, though part of what makes the series fun are little risk elements that threaten to blow open the whole scheme or at least create suspicion in Gould's mind. There are several occasions in which one or another actor gets confused about a character detail and Gould wonders about apparent contradictions; once or twice, actors have to leave a situation because they are close to cracking up. For the most part, however, the tall, gullible, good-natured hero bonds with his "housemates" and keeps a smile on while participating in underwear-swapping contests, gross-out meals, and tense elimination rituals. The final episode, in which Gould is told the truth, is surprisingly moving. This DVD set includes extensive supplementary material, including Gould's after-the-fact, mixed responses to many of his experiences. --Tom Keogh
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The special features on the dvd are great. It was made way before the time where High Definition was standard so you'll have to expect lower picture quality. I can honestly say this show is hilarious and can really be enjoyed on a lot of different levels!!
Go Joe Schmo!
P.S. seasons 2 and 3 are great as well but the first season is the bee's knees (best)!!!
First, you'll get to watch all the episodes without logos, commercials, promos over the closing credits or other such nonsense. This is great in itself and even if you've been a regular watcher of the show (maybe more than once), I think you'll still laugh. For more fun, try using your DVD's pause / slow motion feature during the director's meetings to pick up things you might not have noticed before.
The special features are pretty sweet. One of the best ones is what I mentioned above - a commentary on the finale by Matt Kennedy Gould and executive producer Rhett Reese. Since the finale also includes a look-back at the entire season, you'll get to hear their thoughts on that as well. You'll also catch up on how Matt's doing now and some of his deepest thoughts on what during the show.
As for the actual bonus features section, you get Deleted Scenes, Chocolate-Covered Models featurette, the Making of a Meal and additional Eviction footage. Of these, I'd have to say that the most interesting and revealing is definitely the Eviction footage. You get the complete commentary of what the cast had to say to Matt after they were "evicted," plus Matt's full commentary afterwards. You'll recognize the bits and pieces that were shown during the program, but this is the chance to see the entire thing and pick up a lot of stuff that got cut before. Of the Deleted Scenes, the two funniest are Matt's Breakdown and a Fish Story from Kip. The breakdown is very funny and almost alone makes the DVD worth it.
Finally, to those who are complaining about the censorship, I just have to say that I don't think it's any big deal. For one thing, when they censored Brian's nipples, that was a joke. And, come on, do you really want to see Brian's naughty bits anyway? Or Kip's? If that's the only thing you're tuning in for, then it seems you're not appreciating everything the show/DVD has to offer. Oh, and by way of explanation, the main cast of the show probably had contracts that said they couldn't show that --- at least for the stuff that wasn't just a joke.
Contrary to what others seem to have said in reviews, this version is "uncensored" - the only time you see the mosaic are when it was intentionally done for humorous purposes and not for censor purposes (ie. when Kip is obviously wearing a nude colored undie on the catwalk... the mosaic is left in "covering" his naughty bits, because obviously it wouldn't have been as funny to see him walk down in nude underoos. Also they do blur out Molly's supposed nipple slip, but it's difficult to tell if anything was actually seen anyway.)
In any case. This is a pretty basic set for the first season but it's so much better without commercials!