Comedy Central/Rough Draft (2006), Paramount Home Video (May 13, 2008), 2 discs, 308 mins plus supplements, 1.33:1 original full frame ratio, Dolby Digital 2.0, Not Rated, Retail: $26.98
The skanky show that presents an adult cartoon version of TV’s Big Brother enjoys some of its (proudly) lowest moments in its third and final season.
The Sweatbox Review:
(For more about the premise of Drawn Together, please read our DVD review of Drawn Together: Season One.)
It’s been a while now since I looked over the DVD set for this show’s first season, and though I recall being shocked, outraged, and offended, and I also remember thinking that the show had some really outrageously funny moments. I was therefore curious to see where the show headed afterwards, and though I missed the Season Two episodes, I was happy that Paramount recently put out the third and final season on DVD. It’s not quite like visiting old friends, but it is kind of like going to your high school reunion to find out if people were as good or bad as you remember. This two-disc set includes all fourteen episodes from the third season, and each episode is extended beyond what was shown on television. So yes, if the show didn’t gross you out or offend you enough when you saw it on television, you have another chance to be disgusted with the DVD.
Then again, you may not be offended at all— especially if you’re not Catholic, Jewish, conservative Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, gay, African American, Greek, Mexican, or a fan of old cartoons. If any of these apply, though, then you just might find yourself offended. However, even if you are an atheist from Iceland, you may still be offended if you don’t care for animated versions of vomit, feces, urine, foul language, or various sex acts.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that this show works very hard to offend everyone that it can. (It is also definitely for ADULTS ONLY.) There is a line of reasoning that says that such an approach is fair and even-handed, and therefore no one should really take any of it seriously enough to be offended. For myself, it came down to taking the show on an episode-by-episode basis. So long as the show is being clever and funny, I can accept a lot of the disgusting brand of humor, though some things in the show consistently go too far for my tastes. Imagine the dumbest, grossest Ren & Stimpy shows crossed with the nastiest porn magazine that you can imagine, and you get an idea of how low this show can go. And yet, I kept looking forward to the next episode, even knowing it was “wrong” to do so. Mixed in with all the cruel jokes and disgusting antics, there are moments of comic gold. Just be prepared to wade through a lot of dung, too.
A look at the shows in question should no doubt give you an idea of how interested you might be in seeing them. Just keep in mind that there is a lot of stuff in these episodes that I can’t even mention here!
Freaks & Geeks – Captain Hero, the Superman parody on the show, is enraged and saddened that a fraternity next door has not accepted him. Sadly, he does not understand that it is just a simple Greek family, not a fraternity, and he kidnaps their daughter thinking her a fraternity mascot. In the B story, Pokemon-like Ling Ling invites his father to move into the household. The episode ends with a typically tasteless parody song in the country of Grease. As in, the movie Grease. Get it?
Wooldoor Sockbat’s Giggle-Wiggle Funny Tickle Non-Traditional Progressive Multicultural Roundtable! – Clara, the conservative Christian girl who looks suspiciously like a Disney Princess, challenges Wooldoor (who is not anything like “Spongebob”— yeah, right) over his tremendously gay children’s TV show. Lots of parodies are in this one, ranging from Star Wars to Veggie Tales. Even a terminator from the future comes back to eliminate Wooldoor to prevent the world from becoming gay.
Spelling Applebee’s – The members of the Drawn Together household go up against the Peanuts gang in a spelling bee. Just how do they get away with this stuff? Captain Hero also asks out Princess Clara, which leads to a messy massacre of Disney Princesses.
Unrestrainable Trainable – Captain Hero discovers that his son— the product of in vitro fertilization with his sister— is a gigantic, stupid creature who may remind you of a certain Harry Potter character introduced in the fifth book of that series. Meanwhile, Clara succumbs to Munchausen By Proxy Syndrome, keeping Wooldoor sick in order to get positive attention from her housemates.
N.R.A. y RAY – Foxxy Love (think an oversexed Val from Josie And The Pussycats) takes the rap for stealing the house’s TV, to keep her brother Ray Ray safe. Ray stays hidden in the walls of the house, and develops an unhealthy attraction to Toot (an aging Betty Boop type). Ray acts out Toot’s diary-written fantasies, leading to all sorts of horrible things. Plus, Captain Hero learns the joys of hunting with advanced weaponry. You’ll feel even more sorry for Bambi’s mother at the end of this one!
Mexican’t Buy Me Love – Toot and Ling Ling get caught up in a Mexican murder mystery, and cannot afford to bribe the local law enforcement officials. Toot therefore enters Ling Ling in the cockfights. Also, Foxxy helps Captain Hero become more popular so that he’ll save the Earth from a meteor.
Lost In Parking Space, Part 1 – Clara drives everyone crazy by talking about the supposedly upcoming Rapture, then is shocked when they all disappear. Of course, they’ve only gone to the mall, but Clara thinks she’s going to the place where snowballs melt really quickly. Many cliff-hangers ensue.
Lost In Parking Space, Part 2 – With the rest of the characters stuck in the mall parking lot, Foxxy escapes only to find herself in a mall dungeon where annoying cartoon characters are being tortured. (Most of you would enjoy seeing Scrappy Doo get what’s coming to him, but what did Fred Flintstone ever do?) And, Clara embraces evil with a UPS driver.
Drawn Together Babies – This entire episode is in flashback, with droll commentary by a stuffy old man with a pipe. Back when they were babies, the gang accidentally kills their babysitter and develop traits that will carry on into their adult lives.
Nipple Ring-Ring Goes to Foster Care – Ling Ling goes into foster care, leading to Foxxy discovering who her father is. Captain Hero gets a nipple ring like Xandir, gets struck by lightning, and communicates with himself in the past.
Foxxy And The Gang Bang – After an argument, Foxxy tries to not be a slut, and Toot tries to be more of a slut. This leads them both on very different odysseys, as Toot becomes worshipped as a talking cow in India, and Foxxy confronts Phat Allen and some very Cosby-like kids about whether they took advantage of her years earlier. Again, how do they get away with this stuff?
Breakfast Food Killer – Wooldoor takes over from a murdered cereal mascot, and Toot leans of an evil box-top conspiracy.
Charlotte’s Web Of Lies – Spanky Hamm enters into a messy relationship with a spider, Captain Hero becomes chummy with his arch-nemesis, and Ling Ling learns the origin of his violent tendencies.
The Elimination Special, Part 2: The Elimination – The series ends with a spoof of “final episodes” for reality shows, loaded with clips and songs. Sadly, this is perhaps the least inspired of the episodes in the set.
Is This Thing Loaded?
The first disc opens with promos for South Park: Imaginationland, Comedy Central TV Funhouse, and Drawn Together: Season Two. Karaoke Sing-Along gives you the chance to sing six different songs from this season, giving clips with lyrics, with or without the singing soundtrack.
There are four Audio Commentaries by creators Dave Jeser and Matt Silverstein and the cast. In the first, for Freaks & Geeks, they cavort in a friendly manner, amazingly revealing that there were jokes that were written that were deemed too tasteless for the show. I found this incredible, but they do in fact say some of them, and they are undoubtedly filthy. And no, I can’t repeat them here. The commentary for Lost In A Parking Space, Part 1 begins with some nonsense about a Drawn Together non-drinking game, and never really gets much better. The commentary for Drawn Together Babies is even more disappointing, having little entertainment value in a mock discussion about recasting Foxxy in a movie version. Ah, but the last commentary, for Breakfast Food Killer, almost lives up to the first one, with more input from the voice actors.
The second disc also has a series of Drawn Together Promos for each season, for a total of about seven minutes. Finally, Comedy Central Quickies offers clips for South Park and The Sarah Silverman Program (5 minutes total).
Paramount continues with the same packaging style for this series, enclosing two slim cases inside a slipcase. The artwork for all the covers in typical of the show— slick and sick. Episode synopses may be found inside each case. There is also an insert advertising other Comedy Central DVDs and other merchandise.
Ink And Paint:
Even if you don’t care for the content, there is no denying that this series looks pretty nice on DVD. The show looks pristine. In some cases, like with all those gross close-ups of Toot, that isn’t such a good thing. The only other problem is some wavering of the picture during pans, giving that shimmer affect.
The stereo sound lives up to its billing, sounding substantially better than mono. It actually seems like some effort was put into the sound design for this show, adding to its enjoyment on DVD. Off-camera voices do come out of corner speakers, and sound effects are placed appropriately. Many TV shows say they are stereo and really sound monaural; but this show delivers.
If you are a decent human being and are not offended by something you see in this show, then I really think you couldn’t possibly be paying attention. The show delights in taking stereotypes to the extreme, either to deconstruct them or to get away with some really crude joke writing. I suspect that they often were going for the former, but oftentimes end up looking like the latter. In writing the episode synopses, I left out an awful lot of stuff not appropriate for a family website, so be warned. This show tries to kick you in the pants, and is not just going for your butt. It’s rude and crude, and in love with itself for being that way. Unfortunately, I cannot dismiss it entirely, as it really does have some funny stuff in it, and overall— though I may hate myself for it— I enjoyed going through the whole third season. Even if moments turn me off, the overall effect is oddly compelling. Having said that, this is definitely not a show for everyone.
Animated Classic or Back To The Drawing Board?