Strangers with Candy - The Complete Series
DVD | Box Set
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Set in suburban Flatpoint, USA, Strangers with Candy twisted the conventions of the After-School Special to create a completely original comedy series. Each half hour follows the misadventures of Jerri Blank, a 46 year old high school dropout who has spent the last 32 years in and out of prison - a self described "boozer, user and loser." Strangers with Candy commences as Jerri decides to pick up her life exactly where she left it: living at home and starting ninth grade. Faced with classic high school dilemmas every week, Jerri's old habits - as well as the misguided advice of her self-centered teachers - cause her to resolve each crisis by learning the wrong lesson from every scenario.
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She joined a cult, battled anorexia, beat sexual harassers at their own game, got fake-married, and so much more. Ever since the Comedy Central series Strangers with Candy first aired, Jerri Blank has seemed fated for humiliation, disease, and a boxed set--here, her ultimate destiny is finally fulfilled.
In creating Jerri, the 46-year-old high school freshman, Amy Sedaris and her co-stars/co-writers Paul Dinello and Stephen Colbert imagined a person who is both startlingly crass and strangely innocent. One minute Jerri is uttering the immortal line "I like the pole and the hole"--the next she's only interested in "pizza, pizza, pizza," and joining the cheerleading squad. Her world view is completely unaffected by her 32 years as a "junkie whore." It won't take a rabid SWC fan--just a lover of wicked satire--to appreciate this trapper-keeper-shaped package and the After School Special-based stories inside. Some of the bonus features, including an interview with the stars at the Museum of Television & Radio, will be familiar to folks who have previous, single-season DVDs. However, certain new additions, such as "The Trip Back" PSA, which stars a real-life Jerri clone, make this set a worth-owning item. Other highlights include deleted scenes--one of which features an inspirational meeting between Jerri and Buddha Stalin, Flatpoint's most controversial rock star. A clever film strip by closeted lovers Chuck Noblet and Geoffrey Jellineck on their "research trip" to Mexico also draws chuckles. Over 30 episodes, the jokes do become a touch repetitive, but the series never loses its energy or sharp wit. If you're looking for a show that will teach you how to do the wrong things the right way, the Strangers with Candy boxed set has the lesson plan for you. --Leah Weathersby
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There are some episodes which are truly laugh-out-loud hilarious. The funniest involve Jellineck (Paul Dinello), Noblett (Stephen Colbert) and Principal Blackman (Greg Hollimon). These three characters rarely have a line which isn't comedy gold. The episodes which feature only Jerri Blank are still funny, especially because Amy Sedaris is so brilliant in her role, but without the supporting characters the show can, at times, become a little boring. This is the case for the first four episodes of season two, which don't feature Jellineck or Noblett at all.
As for DVD features, I would take issue with the comments about the flimsy packaging. Granted, it is not an architectural triumph; however, I haven't had any problems with it, all the DVDs stay in place and nothing has fallen apart. The extras on the DVDs aren't that plentiful but they are worth watching, especially the PSA short 'The Road Back' featuring a real-life 'boozer and loser' woman who tours schools and basically yells at students with horror stories of her years spent as an addict. Clearly this film served as the inspiration behind Jerri Blank, so for SWC die-hards it is worth watching for that reason alone. There's also some commentaries which are insightful and funny.
Ultimately, I thought this was great value. You get plenty of laughs for $50 and I will certainly be re-watching it again, given there's so many lines which I am sure have slipped past me watching it the first time. If you like your comedy on the bizarre (and often rude) side, this is for you.
Somehow the main character, Jerri Blank--played by Sedaris--is sympathetic, even though she is shallow with no conscience. The premise is that this aging loser returns to high school to do things right this time. The storylines and dialog parody high school angst. Although the mean kids treat Jerri as a loser, and nerd, and even a "slut," they never notice that she's 46 years old. Jerri talks about her desire to be popular when she's not slipping into prison lingo.
Its a shock to see how adorable Sedaris is, while the character Jerri is not only older but very spent looking.
At first the racist remarks and sexual references are funny because they are so blatant and out of place. I have to say that I found them annoying after awhile.
When I'd finally watched the last show of the series, I was sad. I wish the show were still on. I have watched the movie Strangers with Candy which is hilarious as well.
Most recent customer reviews
I'm giving the DVDs and their manufacturer comedy Central one star because on each disc it will skip and then freeze for no reason, then...Read more