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Site created 12/15/97.


review added: 4/11/02



Mr. Show with Bob and David
The Complete First and Second Seasons
1995-96 (2002) - Brillstein-Grey/Dakota North (HBO)

review by Bill Hunt, editor of The Digital Bits

Mr. Show: The Complete First and Second Seasons Program Rating: A

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): B+/B/A

Specs and Features

Disc One: Season One
120 mins (4 episodes - 30 mins each), NR, full frame (1.33:1), single-sided, single-layered, custom foldout/slipcase packaging, audio commentary for each episode (with Bob, David and the cast), Bob and David non-bio bios, "Fuzz" the Musical featurette, Before it Was a Show featurette, The Best of Mr. Show: The Incredible, Fantastical News Report featurette, 10 TV spots (one of which is an extended "behind-the-scenes"), program-themed menus, episode access (4 episodes), languages: English (DD 2.0), subtitles: none, Closed Captioned

Disc Two: Season Two
180 mins (6 episodes - 30 mins each), NR, full frame (1.33:1), single-sided, single-layered, custom foldout/slipcase packaging, audio commentary for each episode (with Bob, David and the cast), program-themed menus, episode access (6 episodes), languages: English (DD 2.0), subtitles: none, Closed Captioned

Senator Tankerbell: "I wish I could be everywhere that people are doing art, so that I could see it before the public sees it and I could keep them from being titillated or aroused or in any way confused by the counter-culture!"

Oh the humanity! Bob Odenkirk, David Cross and their merry band of fools have got to be the most insidious bastards on planet Earth. I actually saw them in person last year at Comic-Con and thought they were pretty damn funny. But I'd missed their show on HBO. So it was with great excitement that I opened up my copy of Mr. Show with Bob and David: The Complete First and Second Seasons on DVD. But wouldn't you know it? I watched the first episode... and didn't laugh all that much. Hhhmmmm. Strange. So I watched a second episode... and laughed a little more. And then I watched another and another and another. And BAM - that's how these bastards get you! Before I knew it, I'd watched the whole damn thing! And I was rolling out of my chair from laughing so hard. Sneaky buggers!

To describe Mr. Show on paper is almost impossible. It just doesn't sound the same. Take, for example, that quote from Senator Tankerbell up above. It's funny, sure. But imagine it spoken by a cranky old guy in a suit with a southern accent - you can just imagine him sitting up there on Capitol Hill carving out his moral high-ground. And it's brilliantly funny. Bob and David rip on just about everything you can imagine in these 10 episodes... and sometimes the way they do it is so clever that you don't even realize it's been done until it's all over. With a cast of players that includes the likes of John Ennis, Tom Kenny and Jill Talley, and guest appearances by Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Dave Foley and others, Mr. Show simply gets better the longer you sit with it. And since it's a cable show, almost ANYTHING goes.

Thankfully, HBO's delivered a pretty nice 2-disc set on DVD. The quality is exactly what you'd expect for a shot-on-video (with occasional film segments) comedy series on cable, which is to say that it looks and sound just fine. These 10 episodes are presented in their original full frame aspect ratio, and they look great - certainly better than broadcast quality. Colors and clarity are well maintained, and there's little in the way of artifacting. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo, and it's always clean and audible - exactly what it needs to be.

The extras here are more than I expected, and they're a real treat. EVERY episode features audio commentary by Bob, David and various members of the cast. There's video of "Fuzz" the Musical, featuring Ronnie Dobbs. You get a look at the show Before it Was a Show (you know - back when it was just a "comedy sports" live thing on stage). You get Mr. Show's Incredible, Fantastical News Report - just watch it. There's also non-bios bios for Bob and David, and a host of TV spots for the series (I'm fond of Jumping myself). Finally, every set includes a special "Bob and David" collector's card. A limited number of these are actually personalized by Bob and David. What that could mean, however, I'm almost afraid to ask.

Mr. Show is simply a must have. I really enjoyed this set, and I'm eagerly looking forward to HBO releasing the third and fourth seasons on DVD as well. And maybe, one of these days, New Line will get around to releasing the Mr. Show movie, Run Ronnie Run, which is languishing in the can, completed but unreleased. Pick up this set and enjoy. Just remember... if at first you don't laugh... try, try again. If you stick with it, Mr. Show will grow on you like... like... well, like Mr. Show.

Oh, just buy the freakin' thing already!

Bill Hunt
billhunt@thedigitalbits.com




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