Mr. Show: The Complete Collection (DVD)
Various (Actor, Director) Rated: NR (Not Rated) Format: DVD
Mr. Show: The Complete Collection (RPKG/DVD)
If you want comedy on the edge and out of control, Mr. Show with Bob and Dave is the show for you! It’s the late-night series that pays homage to the sketch-comedy tradition of Monty Python and Saturday Night Live, then launches into it’s own eccentric orbit of social deviance and political incorrectness.
Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
Number of discs: 6
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Hbo Home Video
DVD Release Date: January 21, 2014
Run Time: 900 minutes
Mr Show – Politically Incorrect Satire Blended Into Sketch Comedy
By Mark #1 HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 27, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Mr. Show: The Complete Collection is a great sketch comedy show that goes beyond the traditional boundaries of the genre.
This show is reminiscent of Monty Python’s Flying Circus in its free flowing style, but is also ground-breaking in both structure and content. The skits often border on “stupid-humor” that can be easily enjoyed by those with a short-attention span. But when you peel back the layers, it is clear that there are deeper satirical meanings to many of those silly skits.
Bob Odenkirk and David Cross used their HBO show to push the boundaries of what was acceptable in humor and television. They brought significant writing chops with them, having written for SNL and the Ben Stiller show, and drawing on their connections with the Second City comedy troup. Some of the stars who get face time here include Jack Black, Sarah Silverman and Brian Posein.
For four seasons, they beat the odds and despite a terrible time slot (Monday’s at midnight) gathered a cult following. While I never got to see much of the show while it was on TV, I was familiar with the show and I jumped at the chance to buy the complete set. I am really glad that I did.
This show is definitely not for everybody, but for those with open-minded experiemental taste in humor, it is well worth watching. No taboo is untouched, including sex, race and religion. So watching this show requires you to reserve judgement. However, be warned that there are plenty of parental advisories. There is gratuitous cursing and plenty of sexual skits that are not going to appeal to those who are easily offended.
Seasons one and two are crammed into one set, while seasons three and four are each in their own two-disk sets. Season 1 includes four episodes, and season two includes 6. Both seasons 3 and 4 are 10 episodes each. That gives you about 900 minutes of TV, 900 minutes of commentary, and probably almost 3 hours of additional special features among the various disks. At this point I have watched every episode (some multiple times) and every special feature. I haven’t listened to all the commentary yet. Suffice it to say that the commentary is also often sarcastic and satirical in nature. Some commentaries are completely seperate episodes. Bob and David perform other characters and have other cast and writers join in.
There are some strange aspects in the way these disks were authored. For one thing, only the first set (seasons one and two) includes subtitles. Seasons three and four do not include subtitles. None of these disks provide languages other than English. This makes this set impractical for sharing with those who don’t speak English.
The menus are also strange. The first set includes the “Mr. Show” icon to show you which item you’ve selected. But the other disks include strange colors that make it difficult to know which item is selected before you press enter.
Finally, and perhaps most annoying of all, these disks do not include a “play all” feature for the episodes. For each episode, you must click through the episode list, select your episode, and then click “Yes” or “No” to hear the commentary. This a time-consuming hastle.
THE SPECIAL FEATURES
Season one is on one disk and includes “The Fuzz” musical about Ronnie Dobbs. This feature is one of the best. The only problem with it is that it includes footage that is recycled in a later episode. This is a common complaint I have about the complete series. There are a lot of recycled skits.
The “Before it was a show” feature is a grainy collection of stand-up footage. The “Best of Mr Show” includes a variety of skits with a faux voice-over news broadcast. One of the better skits is the “Titanica” skit that is also recycled in a later episode.
The original TV spots are also included. Most of the spots are 30 seconds but there is one extended spot, “Behind the scenes with Mr. Show.”
There are also hilarious text bios of Bob and David. The season two disk does not include any special features.
The season three special features include a great onstage sketch with mock hecklers from the 1997 comedy arts festival.
There is also a funny recycling of the “Drugachusettes” skit that includes the music but none of the dialogue. The 8 TV spots that are included show how willing they were to make fun of themselves. There’s a great boxing parody, “Bob vs. David,” and the calendar spot pokes fun at the show’s unusual time-slot.
The second disk of season three also includes some more text bios and a feature that is a collection of Mr. Show skits from seasons one and two. As a part of this complete collection it is redundant.
Season four includes a bloopers feature comprised of a lot of re-takes from seasons 1-3 with various cursing montages mixed in. There’s also an unseen version of a Ronnie Dobbs arrest.
The best feature from season four is the “Mr. Show Jukebox.” The songs featured in the show are accessible via a menu.
Unlike the episodes themselves, they actually do include a “play all” feature with the jukebox.
Most of the time, packaging is an afterthought. With DVD sets, packaging matters. This set’s packaging has both positives and negatives. The disks themselves are held in place by locking plastic holders within folding cardboard books. The disks are protected from being scratched. However, those cardboard books have to be slid in and out of cardboard sleeves for each season. These sleeves are easily frayed and not the best design for easy access to these disks. Actually removing the disks is also hard because the plastic locking mechanisms are almost too secure. All the seasons fit in a convenient box. I just wish those cases had been replaced with a better design.
This set is a great value for those who enjoy satire and sketch comedy, and aren’t afraid of vulgar or politically incorrect humor. Considering the amount of content, it’s a great value. It can certainly be a gift for anybody that likes unorthodox comedy or satire. I wish they would have improved the DVD authoring and included more features, but the content is worth having despite those minor annoyances. Give this show a try.