Movie: Cable television has never been able to truly compete with the major networks in terms of ratings, advertisers, and cash flow but some times, they get it right. Due to somewhat laxer constraints on what can be said and done, shows on cable have often been a bit more sexually risqué and offered audiences more of what they seem to want: SEX! The latest such show on DVD is The Man Show: Season 2, which chronicles the exploits of a couple of regular guys, Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel, poke fun at a number of topics that were politically incorrect as could be. While each of these two comedians have since moved on to other projects, their ability to make men laugh at themselves (and their own failings) has long been a social barometer of sorts in terms of how society treats men as second-class citizens. The second season saw numerous changes, initially the passing of Bill Foster (The Fox) and the addition of the Man Show Boy (Aaron Hamill) but also the usual tweaks a show makes in a second season.
With the success of the Man Show Season 1, the hosts were able to get a lot more guest stars to join them in cameo roles, from porn stars, Ginger Lynn, Alexa Rae, Cheyenne Silver, Kobe Tai, Ron Jeremy, and others, to athletes like Karl Malone, Bill Anderson, Jesse Hernandez, to mainstream stars like Natasha Henstridge and Dick Van Patten, to other cable notables like Ben Stein, the show had people flocking to get on an episode for kicks. The fact that so many of these stars (in their own fields) went on without being credited is a testament to the show's popularity.
The show was a half hour skit-based comedy series, much like MAD TV or Saturday Night Live, just much funnier and more focused on topics men laugh at; porn, beer, sports, and nagging wives. There was usually a couple of main sketches per show, a few shorter segments to fill it out with, like Polls, Monkey's in clothes acting like humans, and beer drinking, with the show ending each week with a bunch of scantily clad women bouncing around on trampolines. If this sounds like a perfect format, you'd be right. The show's dancers for season two included Chanie Costello, Julie Costello, Angelique Gorges, Paula Harrison, Vanessa Kay, Dani Lee, Niki Pulliam, Nicole Rodriguez, and Suzanne Talhouk, each looking very appealing to this reviewer's eye.
Like Man Show, Season 1, Volume 1 and Man Show, Season 1, Volume 2, the show continued to improve as the format really found it's niche. The hosts remained unapologetic about their choice of subject matter and there was more nudity in this boxed set for fans of that kind of thing. From the topless flash by Alex Rae in episode 18 to Busty Heart losing her top when crushing beer cans in the following episode (and it was a huge breast) to the numerous ass shots and glimpses of other body parts throughout the season, fans will appreciate that not all the original episodes were pixilated to cover up the nudity (there was a lot of that though too-it was how they were shot). Here's a look at the season's episodes in the order they were shot, along with the airdates:
Episode 201: More Juggies!: 6/18/2000:
This show started on a somber note as it paid tribute to the "Fox", a season one fixture that added some measure of interest to the initial season of the show. He died of prostate cancer and it was cool to see Jimmy and Adam spend a few minutes looking back on the man.
Episode 202: Powerful Women: 7/9/2000:
I really liked the camel toe match game (women's panties pulled up their crotch) and the spoof on powerfully influential women was a gas but the guest appearance by Snoop Dogg was terrific.
Episode 203: The Man Show Boy: 6/25/2000:
This episode introduced a fat little boy with a mean mouth, Aaron, who would be put in situations throughout the season of pissing off people. He was hilarious in every episode he appeared in and a treat to watch.
Episode 204: Husbandly Duties: 7/2/2000:
This was a toss up for me between the gay dating service for wives (essentially, they provide a gay man to hang out with your wife so you don't have to bother with her) and the Wheel of Destiny, where you can win great prizes (like a wheelbarrow full of porn by Devinn Lane and Serenity of Wicked Pictures) or have bad things happen to you (really bad). Each major skit was great though.
Episode 205: We Donate To Charity: 8/13/2000:
The charity skit was solid but the Jimmy and Adam go to Heaven was kind of weak.
Episode 206: TV Shows: 7/30/2000:
This show had some funny tributes to childhood television shows like Gilligan's Island (with a guest appearance by Dawn Wells: Mary Ann from the hit show).
Episode 207: Work Place Behavior: 1/21/2001:
The funniest part of this episode was the trampoline auditions with a host of scantily clad women.
Episode 208: For Women: How To Get A Man: 8/6/2000:
This was a pretty good episode with the two main skits being how women can get a man and a Juggy talent show.
Episode 209: Teaching Women About The Workplace: 2/18/2001:
I didn't like this one as much as most of the others. Even a good show falls flat once in a while but it was voted as one of the top episodes in a cable poll a few years back (IIRC).
Episode 210: Will You Buy Me A Beer?: 7/16/2000:
Aaron, the Man Show Boy has a mission: convince older guys to buy him beer outside of a convenience store.
Episode 211: Election Smear Campaigns: 9/3/2000:
This is the perfect episode to play at this time of year when the airwaves are full of the campaigning by various candidates for office. The guys show about as much truth in advertising as a certain "documentary" filmmaker's latest work does (except that Jimmy and Adam admit to doing it for laughs and have far more credibility).
Episode 212: International Customs About Sex: 3/11/2001:
This was another episode that fell a little flat for me although I liked the sex topics discussed and admit that it holds up to repeated viewing.
Episode 213: Hef's House: 9/10/2000:
This was a recap show that hit some of the highlights of the previous shows for the season. The guest star was, of course, Hugh Hefner and a bunch of Playboy Bunnies, but they had far too little to do here and that was a shame.
Episode 214: Myth & Facts About College: 8/27/2000:
This was a back to school show with plenty to like for those of you who went to college.
Episode 215: Introducing Karl Malone: 7/23/2000:
I'm not the biggest fan of ebonies speaking Karl but the rest of the show was pretty funny.
Episode 216: Benny Hill: 12/10/2000:
This was one of the absolutely funniest parodies of Benny Hill I've ever seen, even surpassing some of the late, great, comedian's works as it had Adam fill in the shoes of Benny.
Episode 217: Juggy Training: 12/3/2000:
Juggy's are not just born, but are trained under very strict conditions where they learn appropriate Juggy behavior and abilities.
Episode 218: Credit Cards: 2/4/2001:
The best skit of the season for me was the Adult Film Fantasy Camp, Camp Spreading Eagle. It had porn stars like Ron Jeremy, Randy West, Peter North, Asia Carrera, Alex Rae, Amber Lynn, and others on hand to provide a lot of laughs with the guys. I wish this had been the focus of the entire episode since it kills me every time I watch it.
Episode 219: Girl Scouts: 1/7/2001:
Aaron dressed up like a girl to sell Girl Scout cookies (another great skit by the fat kid).
Episode 220: Car Show: 1/14/2001:
The topics this time ranged from men vs. women in the field of driving cars, saving poor. Lonely strippers, and annoying guys we all hate. The whole show was great.
Episode 221: Holiday Show: 12/17/2000:
Jimmy's nagging wife makes a return appearance (she was another one that always made me laugh although it was at her, not with her). This time, it had to do with buying Christmas presents.
Episode 222: Sex Show: 2/11/2001:
Valentine's Day was the theme of this episode and it was one of the better shows of the season.
Episode 223: Sports Show: 8/20/2000:
Adam and Jimmy took on the twins at a game of one-on-one strip basketball. Chanie and Julie Costello were two of the hottest Juggy dancers and seeing them stripping was great.
Episode 224: Laziness: 3/4/2001:
This episode focused mostly on cinema, including the Movies Men Don't Want To See skit.
Episode 225: Phone Sex: 2/25/2001:
After telling the audience that all phone sex operators are ugly heifers, the guys proceed to make fun of them even more.
Episode 226: Jamaica: 3/25/2001:
This was another compilation show with little new material in it.
The good news is that someone listened to the fans and decided to release the entire season in a single set. Further, there were four episodes per DVD (except the last one), helping make the episodes look better than ever. The bonus material was a bit light but had some new material by Adam Carolla and with a decent price, made this one well worth a rating of Highly Recommended. I'd have liked to see some audio commentaries by Jimmy and Adam as well as more nudity in the extras but maybe in the third season, they'll get to doing some of those too.
Picture: The picture was presented in the usual 1.33:1 ratio full frame color aspect ratio it was originally shot in. For the most part, it looked crisp and clear with few problems worth mentioning. The haloing effect that some fans have observed on earlier episodes was not noticeable and any compression artifacts were minimal except on a couple moments during the sixth disc (there were more episodes and all the extras).
Sound: The audio was presented in the usual 2.0 Dolby Digital stereo English. It was clear with minimal separation but sounded better than my cable system ever sounded (on a good day, no less!). If you're expecting the audio track to be good enough to showcase your new $25,000 speakers, forget about it but it was as clear as you could hope for.
Extras: The extras here were fairly tame. It started off with three short Karl Malone segments; On Reading, On Ghosts, and On Superheroes; had a short commercial parody on the Osbournes called, appropriately enough, The Juggbournes, but then showed Adam Carolla in a few new skits, Tobias Cats and What's With The Attitude? Both of Adam's features were too short but they captured the humor of his earlier work (I just wish Jimmy could've taken part in them). There were also four Man Show Miracles: Tagged Up, Lost Weight After Marriage, Packed Efficiently, and Leftovers, but each seemed like forced humor to me. Lastly, the DVD had a bit over five minutes of Juggies on trampolines. I think skimpier outfits and a longer running time are called for in the next season set. The box itself was one of the six-disc foldout types that have become increasingly popular with nice pictures and some liner notes. One interesting fact is that the liner notes had listed five episodes per DVD but the show was actually four shows per disc (except for the last one). I guess quality control let it slip but I'm glad since it helped keep the first five DVD's looking good.
Final Thoughts: I liked this season set a whole lot, much like Man Show, Season 1, Volume 1 and Man Show, Season 1, Volume 2. With the current hosts doing so poorly, I think these sets are a good way to capture all the best fun for replay value. From the solid picture and sound, to the great humor and gags, this is one DVD set you're going to want to check out as a keeper!
Ziggy Sokky, Ziggy Sokky, Hoy! Hoy! Hoy!