Movie: One of my favorite types of release these days is the television show on DVD. Contrary to what some people think about replay value, these shows allow fans to see uncut, unedited shows that aren't trimmed for syndicated commercials (if not content) and often provide extra episodes that never aired (like Firefly). Even sets that only provide the episodes themselves with few extras (which are becoming rare since fans have shown they'll pay extra money for those value adding extras that most sets include) offer up shows in their regular order, not the random order many programmers seem to favor on cable. One of my favorite shows on cable a few years back was The Man Show, and it has benefited greatly by being offered in a series of DVD sets as reviewed here on DVD Talk (Man Show Season 1.1, Man Show Season 1.2, and Man Show Season 2). The show itself was a half hour comedy based on the usual topics men care about, women, breasts, beer, good times, and how men are treated by a society that seems to think of us as the mindless drones we sometimes prove to be.
The hosts were a couple of regular guys, Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel, who would poke fun at a number of topics that were politically incorrect and often quite accurately portrayed (showing the best, and worst, traits of men). Today's review is of The Man Show Season Three, a season that saw the guys hit their peak (they only had one more season before they moved on and another couple of guys, far less talented guys, took over) as they entertained fans with guest appearances by some of the hottest porn stars such as Jenna Jameson, Briana Banks, and Raylene), some of the world's top race car drivers such as Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Richard Petty; actor Adam West (Batman), comedians like the annoying Carrot Top (Scotty Thompson), B movie stars like Julie Strain, old athletes like William "The Refrigerator" Perry, and a whole lot more (keeping in mind that I'm not even familiar with everyone that appeared on the show). One of the biggest highlights of the season, aside from the numerous Juggy skits, was the return of the Man Show Boy (Aaron Hamill) who was given several shows to really shine as a fat, obnoxious kid that would go out of his way to piss people off (making me laugh myself silly in the process).
The general format of the show remained mostly unchanged with the theme song playing, the guys coming out to talk about some aspect of life that irritated them, and then the main skit of the episode, followed by a secondary but shorter skit, a few made up audience questions and the ending credits shown with the juggy dancers bouncing on a trampoline. If that wasn't a recipe for success, I don't know what would be. In terms of specific things I liked, I'd have to admit the Wheel of Destiny was great and could've been used more often. For the uninitiated, that was like the popular Wheel of Fortune game except you spun it around and "won" a prize. Some of the prizes were great (playing with porn stars, winning tickets to parties at the Playboy mansion, free flashes by juggy dancers, riding in the original Batmobile with Adam West, and other cool stuff) but other "prizes" were pretty harsh (like having the guys trim off your eyebrows, getting soaked in maple syrup and cornflakes, having sumo wrestlers sit on your face and the like). It was the chance of a lifetime and allowed contestants their 15 minutes of fame long before reality television was so common.
Other themes were the bashing of Oprah Winfree (be it with the Oprah Jimfree skits or general comments the guys made towards the mogul media influence looked up to by simple minded women everywhere), lots of partially dressed women in the form of juggy dancers, guest stars, or even audience members that weren't afraid to show the guys their feeding glands. Like the earlier seasons, there were two "best of" shows that acted like compilations of some of the better episodes (although, for the purpose of a DVD collection, they were somewhat moot) and fans will likely want to know if there was as much nudity as in the Man Show Season 2 set (sorry, most of the pixels used to cover the breasts seemed to be fully in place as the show originally aired) but that wasn't the real selling point of this set. I'll have mixed feelings when the final set starring Adam and Jimmy is released since it'll be the end of a show I could've watched forever.
Here's a list of the seasons as they appeared on the 4 disc set, this time using dual layer discs to fit more material on the individual discs. I believe the air dates were correct (all the internet sources seem slightly different) except perhaps episode 322 which I believe aired on 8/19/2001 rather than the 7/1/2001 date listed and the production number was suggested as the order they were made in but I had my doubts given the holiday themes used in some of them. The titles were self explanatory as to the majority of content, at least of the major theme/skit they each had.
The Man Show: Season Three
Episode 301: Sperm Bank: 7/1/2001:
Episode 304: Drunken Pilots: 7/8/2001:
Episode 312: Got Gas: 7/15/2001:
Episode 318: Sock Puppet Porn: 7/22/2001:
Episode 309: Salute To Advertising: 7/29/2001:
Episode 302: Oprah Jimfrey/Wheel of Destiny: 8/5/2001:
Episode 315: Man Show Boy Hits The Beach: 8/12/2001:
Episode 322: Movie Show: 7/1/2001:
Episode 324: Juggy Water Park: 8/26/2001:
Episode 305: Labor Day Special: 9/2/2001:
Episode 306: Breast Feeding Juggies: 9/9/2001:
Episode 308: Man Show Boy Gets A Fake ID: 9/16/2001:
Episode 325: Las Vegas Season End: 9/23/2001:
Episode 314: Man Show Boy Sells Beer: 12/2/2001:
Episode 317: Elevator Full Of Juggies: 12/9/2001:
Episode 321: Juggs Judy: 12/16/2001:
Episode 320: Christmas Show: 12/23/2001:
Episode 303: Toplessness In America: 12/30/2001:
Episode 310: Bathroom Interviews: 1/6/2002:
Episode 316: Undercover Bartenders: 1/13/2002:
Episode 311: Officer Adam/Golf: 1/20/2002:
Episode 319: Wife Disguise Kit/Wheel Of Destiny: 1/27/2002:
Episode 313: Assoholics Anonymous: 2/10/2002:
Episode 307: Mardi Gras: 2/17/2002:
Episode 323: Outdoor Show: 2/24/2002:
Episode 326: Wild Wild West Spectacular: 3/3/2002:
If you're a fan of the show and get sick of watching the reruns that air with commercials, and out of their original order, on Comedy Central, this set from Eagle Rock Entertainment will easily be worth a rating of Highly Recommended to you as it was to me. It wasn't perfect in terms of the sketches (some fell flat enough that the guys goofed on themselves afterwards) but the quality entertainment provided here gave men everywhere a chance to rise up and be counted against the slings and arrows of the vastly larger "hate men" movement that seems to have taken hold of network & cable television, syndication releases, and movies these days where men are just about the only targets allowed (let's face it, you can't attack people of color, religion, other nationalities, women, or any other special interest group beside men, Republicans, and corporations or you face censorship, limited distribution, or cancellation). Like previous seasons, The Man Show: Season Three never used mean spirited attacks on anyone (contrary to what some feminists seemed to scream about shrilly when the show aired) and that contributed to the poignancy of the themes addressed.
Picture: The Man Show: Season Three was presented in the same 1.33:1 ratio full frame color it was shot in for airing on the Comedy Central cable channel. The colors looked accurate, the focus was sharp, and while there were a few moments from time to time where some compression artifacts popped up (as I recall, the third disc had some), they were few and far between. My original fear that the four discs would look lousy due to the need to jam a lot of episodes on them proved unfounded although I'd be lying if I said this season looked better then Season 2, which edged it out in the visual department.
Sound: The audio was presented in the usual 2.0 Dolby Digital stereo English. It was clear with minimal separation and limited dynamic range but it still sounded at least as good, if not somewhat better, than the airings on cable television (I've since moved and upgraded cable systems so the sound is a lot closer in terms of quality differences).
Extras: The Man Show: Season Three had a handful of cute extras this time but nothing that really added a lot of value. There was a decent feature called Unseen Girls on Trampolines that had more of the footage all straight men appreciate watching (women bouncing around on trampolines with skimpy bikinis or other outfits is always nice but they could've been skimpier outfits...). There were also a few shorts that would've fit in with the original airings; Women in Sports, If I Had a Son, Alien, and How It Really Happened, but none of them were particularly funny or worth a second watching. Lastly, there were a couple of dance montages with juggy dancers; one with Angylique Gorges and the other with Vanessa Kay. I didn't see any new footage in them but fans of the gals like me always appreciate seeing them in the spotlight. Lastly, in the DVD box, there was a "limited edition" beer coaster but cardboard drink coasters aren't really something that last or that I care about.
Final Thoughts: The Man Show: Season Three was easy to rate as Highly Recommended due to the hilarious material so often found in the now defunct series. Jimmy has moved onto a pretty funny late night network show and Adam has apparently landed on his feet back in radio but I'd love to see them do a Man Show Movie some day since the material would be ripe for the picking (imagine a two hour Man Show taking only the best bits, using only the top porn stars, and offering a new generation a chance to see the talent these two average guys could display). The technical matters on this DVD set, along with the complete season being so well preserved for posterity, and the sheer amount of comedy for the cost make it one worth getting and keeping.