The aptly titled Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! is a truly bizarre series that airs on The Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block. Created by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, the same demented genius' behind the late, lamented Tom Goes To The Mayor (rest in peace!), this show takes that animated insanity of that earlier show and gives it a live action make over. The show even carries over Tom's Cinco Corporation and Channel 5's Married News Team bits as well as a few new recurring characters such as the Channel 5 News Health Correspondent, Dr. Steve Brule (John C. Reilly). And while Tom and the Mayor were nowhere to be seen in the first season, they do have a fun, brief cameo in this second go round.
The series doesn't really have any sort of discernable plot nor does it have any recurring storylines even if sometimes character reappear. This is essentially a warped sketch comedy show made up of skits and fake commercials. Think of it as Saturday Night Live or The Kids In The Hall as seen on public access through the eyes of a retarded acid head. Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! is strange. Usually it's pretty funny, but this material is definitely out there, even more so than Tom Goes To The Mayor.
Alongside the recurring characters, the show tends to feature guest appearances. Mr. Show stars Bob Odinkirk (who also produces) and David Cross appear again (they also popped up in the first season) playing a 'Pussy Doodles' (a new art technique in which you strap some paint brushes to your cats) artist and a commercial director respectively while Jeff Goldblum pops up once or twice, promoting his newest project, The Jeff Goldbluman Group which leads to the inevitable and hysterical moment in which we get to see Mr. Goldblum in the Blue Man Group make up dancing around to percussion heavy beats. Tom Skerritt pops in to visit while Tim and Eric try and figure out how to best write a song about him, adding another notch of surrealism to the show's casting. Weird Al Yankovic pops up here as he did in the first season, while Dave Navarro, Zack Galifianakis and Patton Oswalt also pop up briefly.
If off the wall sketch comedy and strange celebrity cameos aren't enough to get you hot for this show, how do musical numbers grab you? Not only do we get a chance to see Tim and Eric dress up and sing about how Tim's never going to wipe his butt again, we get a full blown karaoke style music video in which a woman named Ruth sings and writhes on the bed as she expresses the pure and unadulterated lust that she can't help but feel for her pudgy, hairy neighbor who washes his car without his shirt on. Anyone who has ever spent any time in a karaoke bar will get the joke, and it's a good one.
Other highlights include Dr. Steve Brule's 'For Your Health' segments. This time around, John C. Reilly talks to us about hygiene, but more importantly, he also talks to us about red wine. As we see him imbibe, the most important lesson we take away is that when you drink too much red wine, it's a good idea to have your friends carry you home. So there you go, kids, the show has a social conscience - don't drink and drive. Director Glenn Tennis, the man behind the sci-fi epic 'Crystal Shyps' shows off his new gig on a home shopping network where he peddles memorabilia from his horrible film and fields call ins from his obnoxious brother.
The film also does a good job of playing up the dynamic that can sometimes get complicated between best friends. In one of the episodes, Eric goes on vacation and makes a new best friend in the form Raz, a cool white Rastafarian guy who rides around on a jet ski and literally embodies 'cool.' This of course causes Tim some stress - he loves Eric more than Raz ever could! When Tim's birthday rolls around in another episode, Eric overdoses on sleeping pills so that he won't have to wait any longer, leaving the Cinco Corporation no choice but to send him an instructional VHS tape on how to get his memory back with a little help from a tights-wearing man named Zan. If that weren't enough, Carol returns, once again hot and bothered for her boss. She makes him a sexy video tape which he then uses to humiliate her by playing for the entire staff. She's broken hearted until she rides her bike by the office late one night and sees him pleasuring himself to her tape - vindication is a sweet reward indeed!
As it was with season one, intentional audio and video glitches are constant throughout the show, allowing Tim and Eric to repeat things for short periods of time very quickly. This can sometimes get pretty aggravating and there's never any obvious reason for it, but at the same time it adds to the show's demented sense of humor. If Season One didn't work for you, don't expect anything different out of this latest batch. Those who 'get it' will definitely enjoy this latest batch of episodes, however, as it works on the same sort of level that the first batch of brilliance did. Humor's a subjective thing (obviously) and their humor could probably be considered an acquired taste and not for everyone, but man oh man, does this show ever make me laugh.
Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Season Two looks like it's supposed to look. This show is done fast and cheap by a small cast and crew and it's intentionally made to look like a public access show. So, if you keep that in mind, you'll have no real problems with the video quality here. The 1.33.1 fullframe picture presents the material in its original broadcast aspect ratio. For some reason, some skits are flagged for progressive scan and some are not, but aside from that this material looks just as good, if not slightly better, on DVD than it does on cable.
The English language Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound mix sounds very good on this DVD. An optional 2.0 Stereo Surround Sound mix is included in English as is a closed captioning feature. There are a few bits that are meant to sound intentionally abrasive and so the levels bounce around here and there to accommodate that but otherwise the audio on this disc is fine. Dialogue stays clean and clear and whatever distortion is in the mix is intentional.
Adult Swim has done a decent job with the supplements on this DVD. Each of the ten episodes in the set is available to watch on its own or through a play all feature. In the extras menu, the party starts with the Blooper Reel (3:41) that actually has some pretty funny flubs in it, making it well worth a watch. The Deleted Scenes (13:32) section contains eleven bits that didn't make the cut, including two with Tom and the Mayor that'll make fans of that late, lamented slice of twisted humor a little nostalgic - Gibbons (Brian Posehn) even pops up here! Tim and Eric introduce the deleted bits and explain how it's tough to include everything you want to when working on an eleven minute show. Moving right along, there are also eleven Extended Scenes (17:17) here that present different takes on some of the skits we saw in the broadcast episodes. Fans of Carol and her attempts at office romance will be pleased, as will those who thought the bit with the pregnant ladies lusting after the bearded children's singers was funny (and it was).
The Promos (3:32) section includes seven quick bits that were shown on Adult Swim to promote the second season of the show, while the Karaoke Videos (4:47) section includes videos for four of the songs that appear in the second season, sans vocals but with lyrics on the screen allowing you to sing along by yourself. Kaz Kiss (1:58) is a brief featurette that expresses the producers admiration for a man who pops up in a few different skits and always seems to get kissed while Edgar Allen Poe IV (1:16) is a segment that puts the spotlight on a bit part player who Tim and Eric sometimes use on the show who has twenty unique looks showcased by twenty unique headshots. Awesomecon 2008 (7:35) is a collection of clips from Tim and Eric's park party where plenty of fans get together to celebrate while Tim & Eric Awesome Tour 2008 (49:11) is an awesome collection of live footage from the dynamic duo's live act which toured the United States in 2008.
Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Season Two is simultaneously brilliant and dense but as out there as it is, it's consistently hysterical and this release has to come highly recommended.
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.