Mr. Show: Seasons 1&2
DVD | Box Set
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Mr. Show: Season 1 & Season 2 (DVD)
The complete first and second seasons of HBO's groundbreaking late-night sketch comedy series MR. SHOW. From Emmy(R) winning comedy writers Bob Odenkirk and David Cross, and featuring guest appearances by Jack Black, David Foley, Ben Stiller, Julia Sweeney and Jeanne Tripplehorn. Ten half-hours of comedy critics called "a twisted and often brilliant stream of comic consciousness ... fast, furious and funny stuff." - Rolling Stone.]]>
Hey, everybody, it's Bob and David on DVD! In 1995 comics Bob Odenkirk and David Cross were simply "two people you've never seen before." Since then, each has insidiously entered the mainstream with appearances on TV (Just Shoot Me, The Drew Carey Show) and movies (Scary Movie 2, Dr. Dolittle 2, Men in Black 2). But to quote Odenkirk's bio (which is included on the first disc), Mr. Show is the thing you should see if you want to check them out. Like the late, lamented The Ben Stiller Show, on which both toiled, and Monty Python before that, this midnight-hour HBO series gave a subversive twist to the traditional sketch comedy series. Classic characters include Cross's white-trash poster boy Ronnie Dobbs, the superstar arrestee on a "Cops"-like TV show. Totally out of left field is an infomercial for an instructional video series by "Van Hammersly, Champion Billiard Player," who at one point re-creates the 1974 Kentucky Derby with billiard balls (one of the equines is named "If Mandy Patinkin Was a Horse"). Punch lines? Mr. Show doesn't need no stinking punch lines, as one sketch flows into another.
Bob and David are ably supported by, among others, Second City veteran Jill Talley, Tom Kenny (the voice of Spongebob Squarepants!), Brian Posehn (the creepy guy on Just Shoot Me), Mary-Lynn Rajskub (from The Larry Sanders Show), Sarah Silverman ("Greg the Bunny"), and a pre-Saturday Night Live Jerry Minor, who enlivens one episode commentary with an impeccable Billy Dee Williams imitation. As with the Velvet Undergrounds following, Mr. Show fans make up with fervor what they lack in numbers. According to Mr. Shows own Web site, "non-fans outnumber our fans by the cajillions," but this essential set should change that. --Donald LiebensonSee all Editorial Reviews
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The show is done in front of a live audience, but many segments are taped on location. There's no particular formula to it--it's all for effect (read: filmed on a shoe-string budget). Fortunately, they had some very skilled editors working on the finished product, allowing every scene to brilliantly and seamlessly segue into the next. Good luck keeping up with the rapid-fire pace on first viewing! The show gets even better upon repeated viewing.
The DVDs are very good. The bonus features are a... er... bonus. Several promotional spots are included, as well as "FUZZ: The Musical (Featuring Ronnie Dobbs)" and "Best of Mr. Show"--a newscast that appears to be dated sometime in the late 70's or early 80's that has been dubbed-over by Bob and David with some very funny dialogue and cut-scenes thrown in. There's more, but nothing that tops the show itself.
One very MINOR complaint: When you select an episode, the DVD asks you to choose if you would like audio commentary for the episode. It wouldn't be so annoying if it didn't default to "Yes". The show is much funnier with no commentary (it's a little droll and often doesn't blend well with the scene that's being shown). That is not to say that I don't like the commentary--I do appreciate the fact that they included it. Bob and David slip in and out of some very funny characters, and they point out a lot of interesting things about the sets, characters and subtle touches you simply wouldn't notice otherwise.
I give the show itself 5 stars, the DVDs 3.5 stars. Highly recommended! I can't wait for seasons 3 and 4!
I don't remember what episode is from which season either. But let me tell you about the show. Trying to describe Mr. Show to friends and family usually ends in tears of frustration. ''Its funny! It really is, I'm just not telling it right!'' That kind of thing. One show goes into another one seamlessly. over the course of the few short years that it was on, the sketches were sicker and sicker, funnier and funnier, smarter and smarter and harder and harder to describe. Try explaining some of the sketches. Like the pre-natal beauty pageant. Or the cloned hitlers who served modern day jewish folks for reparations. Like the bit about two idiots trying to make their own 'make a wish foundation' type deal. Or maybe the sketch about the drunk from the reality tv cop show doing a ballad in a recording studio about being brutalized. Hell, try to explain the sketch where they act out the classic joke about a salesman and a farmer and his daughter-only they do it like a broadway musical. It just doesn't come across well. When you try to explain about why 24 is the highest number and the soap opera take on siamese twins that have been separated. The Star Trek Convention and the medievil fair being told about by civil war re-enactment historians. Good god, nobody gets it until they see it. As for bad taste- it is definetly there. As for being like Monty Python? They get away with more, they are American, and they are funnier. [Though I like Monty Python, these guys are still just plain funnier.]
I believe the reason many people enjoy this show is because of what Bob said on one of the commentaries - "The cast just has fun with it." In Mr. Show, the unpolished humor with great ideas and great energy make a very surreal and entertaining atmosphere. Many sketch shows lack that because they're too concerned about appearances. To make it simple, people who are fans of Saturday Night Live should avoid this. Fans of shows like Monty Python, Upright Citizens Brigade, and Kids in the Hall will be more likely to enjoy it. Especially UCB - the style is almost identical, and some of the characters (Ronnie Dobbs, Odenkirk's executive persona, etc.) seem to have descendants on UCB. Not that I'm insinuating any kind of plagiarism (it looks more like UCB was inspired by Mr. Show).
The other important thing to remember about Mr. Show is that this is the FIRST and SECOND seasons, which means that at this point, the show hasn't really gathered a lot of momentum. There are plenty of jokes, and these episodes are hilarious - but they seem bumpy at times, and not quite developed. To fully enjoy them, you have to have some patience. The later episodes in Season 2 are the strongest of the bunch, but you can see that Bob and David are still toying around with the show to see what works. Now I can't wait for the next DVD release, when things are sure to be great.
Oh, yeah, and there's some extras, too.... pretty cool.
It's a fact, many people don't find Mr. Show funny.
I know, it is infruating, often embarrasing, but somehow true. Quite often I've treated "the unexposed" to this comic gem only to receive minor guffaws and uncomfortable bouts of silence.
So, to those that have not seen Mr. Show, if you find series' like Curb Your Enthusiasm, or (Britain's) The Office funny, you'll very likely love Mr. Show.
To that class of people who've seen Mr. Show and enjoyed their dark, often nearly imperceptibly subtle humor, you'll love this DVD. It is among the few in my collection that I frequently play.