• Funny or Die Presents: The Complete Second Season

    Released By:
    Released On: December 18, 2012.
    Director: Matt Piedmont, Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, Jordan Vogt-Roberts
    Cast: Steve Tom, Rob Huebel, Maya Rudolph, Andrea Savage, Rob Riggle
    Year: 2012
    Purchase From Amazon

    The Film:

    As I type this review, I’m seriously considering walking away from the computer and doing one of 10,000 other things that I should…shouldn’t…want to, but have no productive outcome….what was I talking about again? We’re surrounded by external stimuli that attacks us from all points, limiting our attention spans and wanting us to move on, faster, to get more things done.

    And so, it makes perfect sense that as a succession of sketch comedy television shows meet their untimely demise due to low viewer ratings, that videos such as “Keyboard Kitty” and “Drinkin’ Out of Cups” surpass a million hits on youtube, funny pictures on 4chan.org reach their 347th page of user comments, and sites like funnyordie.com receive insane amounts of traffic for their short comedy clips that allow users to vote “Funny” or “Die”. TV Season sets on DVD and blu-ray are selling like crazy, downloading shows is the new downloading of albums, and nobody has time for commercials, or to sit through a half hour without hitting pause and checking for forum activity on www.rockshockpop.com.

    It also makes perfect sense that HBO would try to tap into this market to try to pick up on funnyordie.com’s success and turn it into a TV show of sketch comedy. Or does it? Is it successful because of the material, or because of the hit-and-run method of delivery? Will the material translate to television? Are viewers going to sit through a half-hour television show? And can HBO maintain the outrageous, envelope-pushing standards of gross-out comedy and completely wrong jokes that are the mainstay of internet humour?

    Will Ferrell (who formed Funny or Die with Adam McKay) claims that “this is the moment where TV and Internet finally merge”. And with FOD Season 2, HBO has once again attempted to put limited attention span content into a number of half-hour episodes, broken up by sleazy , old-school television host, Ed Halligan. Featuring the likes of Adam West (Adam West Hits On You…Hard), Rachel Dratch (Lady Refs), Ben Stiller (Do You Want To See A Dead Body?) and Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly (Animal Choices), there are a number of talented folks on display, and some damn funny moments. Anyone worried about TV execs toning down the outrageous content will be pacified about 5 minutes into the show, when Rob Huebel and Deepak Choprah go on a journey to find a dead body (without the help of the fake Tom Cruise)….and if that doesn’t up the ante enough for the strong-stomached viewers, the Law and Order-inspired United States Police Department will more than likely juggle your gag reflex when they try to break up a black-market anus harvesting gang.

    It’s funny and it is gross, but does FOD translate well to television? In this reviewer’s opinion…meh. For every short-and-to the-point bit like Adam West’s pickup lines, there are long, drawn-out sketches like “It’s Gert”, and the not-funny (Robot Chicken ripoff) action figure drama of “Brick Novax’s Diary”. “John and Will’s Animal Choices” is a little on the long side but builds to a stupidly hilarious finale, but the extended running times of some of the “FOD Movie of the Week” bits are painful to watch. FOD makes a pretty bad move with repetition, some of these bad sketches are repeated 3 or 4 times throughout the season, and would probably benefit more from a broader selection . It’s nice to be able to skip through some of the annoying chapters (“Welcome to my Study”, I’m looking at you), but on the whole, FOD seems to work far better in the realm of the interwebs.


    HBO brings the ten episodes of Funny or Die: The Complete Second Season to DVD with a 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer that looks pretty swell for a TV show. Although the sketches are obviously shot in a number of different settings with different equipment and setups, the picture is sharp and solid with minimal video artifacts. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track is probably a little excessive considering the material, but is never unwelcome; dialogue is clear and concise, with good separation of the elements and no issues.

    There are no extras to speak of….none. No commentaries, no gag reels, no outtakes. Nothing.

    The Final Word:

    It will definitely have its fans, and those fans should get these DVDs. Some extras would’ve been nice, but really, who has time for those, anyway?