For those not familiar with The Andy Milonakis Show, in a nutshell it's a sketch comedy show about Andy (a thirty year old who thanks to a growth hormone problem looks like he's in his early teens) who lives in an apartment next to an old Jewish guy named Larry and a weird black dude with a speech impediment named Ralphie. He periodically receives visits from an old woman named Rivka and a nameless old black man wearing a flannel shirt, smoking a cigarette and holding a dead fish (this guy is both completely hilarious and utterly terrifying at the same time – like much of this show!). Andy has little misadventures, many of which involve his friends and neighbors, and he also tends to head out onto the streets to talk to other New Yorkers.
What the show provides is a completely absurd mixture of skits and interviews done guerilla style with various random citizens of the Big Apple with the odd animated cartoon thrown in to the mix just for kicks. None of it makes a lick of sense and it's all just really, really, really weird. It's also damn funny.
First and foremost when thinking about what makes the show work is Andy himself. He's a brat, or at least he plays one really well, who often gives in to his selfish needs and mistreats his friends. He's a prankster with a love for messing with home delivery services and busting out primitive freestyle raps. He's a fat kid in a red shirt who'll eat strange things for your amusement and who periodically flies around on his pet dog who he seems to both adore and fear. Andy is the center of the strange universe that this show exists in, and everything seems to revolve around him.
As funny as Milonakis can be, the show would not be the same without the supporting cast. Ralphie may or may not be mentally retarded, we don't really know, while Larry continues to amass a collection of can openers that he's been borrowing from Andy and not giving back for God only knows how long. Rivka is just so flat out strange looking with her lip curling up and her thick Coke-bottle glasses that you can't help but be amused by her very presence and the crazy guy with the fish shows up at such random and inopportune times that he is always good for a laugh even if you won't really know what exactly it is you're laughing at.
The second season of The Andy Milonakis Show contains eight half hour episodes that are presented here uncut and like the first season, these episodes sometimes contain some fun guest stars. Appearing in the second seasons are Seth Green, Jimmy Kimmel, snowboarder Shawn White, Julez Santana and a few other notables. The guest stars are always involved in the skits – Shawn White goes snowboarding with Andy while Kimmel explains how 'he made' him at which point we see Andy being created by a bearded Jimmy in a funny Pinnochio parody that eventually goes horribly wrong much to the dismay of a convenience store owner.
The comedy in the show won't appeal to everyone. Humor is, after all, extremely subjective and so much of this material is just so completely out there that it isn't really the most accessible sketch comedy show in the world. It makes oddities like The Kids In The Hall seem positively normal by comparison but it is definitely hilarious stuff if you're to appreciate the unfiltered absurdity of it all. It's low brow at its finest but at the same time it can also be rather clever which makes it unique, stupid, irritating and wonderful all at the same time.
The 1.33.1 fullframe transfer on this set maintain the show's original aspect ratio and for the most part they all look pretty good on DVD. Some shimmering is present in a few scenes but there's no need to worry about edge enhancement or compression artifacts. Color reproduction is fine and there's as much detail in the image as you'd want to see. For a show that's shot on DV things look quite strong here and there aren't any issues with print damage or debris, the picture is clean and stable throughout playback.
The English language Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo track on the set isn't going to make you want to make this your new demo DVD but it sounds as good as it needs to. Dialogue is clean and clear and while sometimes the outdoor bits have a bit of background noise, you won't ever have a problem understanding anyone. The music is punchy and strong as are the effects but the levels are properly balanced and nothing ever gets buried. There are no subtitles, alternate language dubs or closed captions provided for this set.
Each of the episodes in the set has an optional commentary track with Andy, who is joined periodically by a few of the other performers including Ralphie, Larry, Rivka and Billy. These tracks aren't in the least bit informative, in fact, they're pretty much just nonsense, much like the show. That being said, they can be pretty funny. Much of what we hear is observational humor, remarks about what's happening on the screen rather than how it happened or how it was put together. Don't expect much in the way of serious trivia or an honest discussion of how the show is put together, instead we get a lot of ribbing and riffing on one another and the kind of general goofing off that one would expect from Andy and his crew.
On the second disc you'll find roughly ten minutes worth of unaired skits. You can watch each on individually or if you select the first one and just let it play it defaults to a 'play all' function. Some of this material is pretty funny and a lot of it is just as good as the skits that made it into the broadcast episodes so it's nice to seem them included here as they are definitely good for a few laughs. There are also a few minutes of outtakes in here and we get to check out how some of the skits and ideas used in the show can backfire which again is quite amusing. Also included on the second disc is the music video for the second season theme song. Each disc has animated menus and episode/chapter selection options.
If you're into absurdist sketch comedy and nutty man-on-the-street impromptu interviews then you should give The Andy Milonakis Show a shot. It's as wacky as wacky can get but it's just stupid enough to work especially in episodic doses. The Complete Second Season looks and sounds good and it's got some fun supplements on top of the episodes earning this set a solid recommendation.
Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.