Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Couple Of HBO Comedy Series Now Out On DVD

These 2 HBO comedy series drop on DVD this week:

Funny or Die Presents: The Complete Second Season

The huge amount of professionally funny people involved with this half hour sketch comedy show, including co-creators / executive producers Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, sadly does not equal a huge amount of laughs in this second, and probably last season (no new episodes have been announced) of HBO’s Funny or Die Presents.

For every good idea, like “Juggalo News” - the news source specifically for fans of the Insane Clown Posse, or “Brick Novak’s Diary” (a clever noir parody made with shots of action figures and models), there’s a plethora of bad ones like the smarmy Rob Huebel’s “Do You Want To See A Dead Body?” running segments, the potty-mouth and minded Police Dept. sketches (which seem to be about how many times they can say the word “butthole”), and the awkwardly unfunny “Welcome To My Study” bits with the laconic Mitch Magee. The wrap-around bits with host Ed Halligan (Steve Tom) that try to give the program a retro vibe are pretty laugh-less affairs too.

Still, with appearances by SNL folks like Ferrell (who only appears in one stupid skit with John C. Reilly) Kristen Wiig, Rob Riggle, Bill Hader, Chris Parnell, and Rachel Dratch, along with veteran comic performers like Thomas Lennon (appearing with his Reno 911 co-star Ben Garrant in one of the better movie satires here - “Terrorists on Flight 77”), Romany Malco (whose “Tijuana Jackson: Life Coach” shorts aren’t bad either), Rachael Harris, Fred Willard, and Ben Stiller among many recognizable others (those Tim & Eric guys are here too, but I confess I don’t “get” their stuff), hardcore comedy nerds, especially really young ones, may get their fair share of gags out of the 300 minutes (that’s the running time of all 10 episodes - there are no bonus features) available on this new 2 DVD set. For oldster comedy fans like me, the bulk of the Funny or Die stuff mostly dies.

The Life & Times of Tim: The Complete Third Season

This is for sure the final season of this little-known animated show (well, it was little known by me) as it was cancelled by HBO last summer, so this 2 DVD set is the series’ last hurrah. With its crude animation and even cruder humor, I’m surprised it made it to its third season.

Don’t get me wrong, creator/writer/director/star Steve Dildarian’s show about New York slacker Tim can be pretty amusing, but its loose tossed-off and incredibly disposable nature didn’t suggest a long running hit.

When season 3 begins, Dildarian’s Tim, who has a deadpan Ray Romano-ish delivery, is constantly lying to his girlfriend Amy (Mary Jane Otto) about his place of employment (and just about everything else), but by the end of the season, he’s back at his previous job at Omnicorp, in a lofty position as spokesperson. 

Along the way Tim has a bunch of wacky adventures, usually involving embarrassing sexual mishaps, with his friends Stu (Nick Kroll), and Rodney (Matt Johnson), as well as his boss (Peter Giles), that usually have our hapless anti-hero (I guess) reacting in his sarcastically laidback manner, which I have to admit equals a bunch of genuine laughs (especially in the episode “Action-Packed Heist/Fall Foliage”).

Much like Funny or Die Presents, the number of comic talents involved may outnumber the number of legitimately funny moments, but The Life & Times of Tim has a likable and consistently amusing vibe that with this 3rd season set should add a few more members to its mini cult. 

Also like the Funny or Die DVDs, Tim contains no special features - its just the 10 episode season spread over two discs.

More later...

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