The aptly titled Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! is a truly bizarre series that has just finished up its five season 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 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.
This fourth season is made up of ten episodes running approximately twelve - thirteen minutes each. Here's a look:
Origins: This trip back to 1996 shows us how Tim and Eric got their start during the early days of the mainstream internet and how their start up was attacked by a hacker. While all of this is going on, we're treated to a video for the song Make My Bub-Bubs Bounce and a commercial for the amazing Cinco Mouth Decorator, sure to land you that janitorial position you've been after.
Snow: Cinco's new D-pants are must have for those who suffer from diarrhea while Cinco Napples, pitched by Alan Thicke, are just what the doctor ordered. Tim and Eric take on eighties sitcoms when they get snowed in and decide to make the best of it by having some friends over for a snow day party involving hot coco, gay innuendo, and urine. Tairy Green (Zach Galifianakis) offers some aspiring actors a few more tips.
Balls: Eric, in a quest for more pizzazz, has a third testicle surgically implanted in his sack but it soon gets sucked inside his body. Tim tries to get it out via surgery, but he can't quite get to it so the pair decide to use the technology of Lamaze to expurgate it from his body. Whoopsie Goldberg gets a new reality show, Frank Stallone sings about turning his daughter's bedroom back into the computer room, and Cinco wants us to buy a urinal shower.
Universe: Doctor's Tooper and Gust appear throughout the episode to explain the many wonders of the universe, not one of which they seem to truly understand, while David Liebe Hart stars on Gettin' It Dunn. Food poisoning is promoted by a children's choir and two retailers battle it out to decide which is better - discount prices, or premium prices?
Tommy: When Tim and Eric have trouble realizing Eric's dream of bringing his Pig Man sketch to life, they hire Tommy Wiseau to help bring the epic to life, with some help from Jessica Alba. Meanwhile, Cinco tries to capitalize on the male business traveler market with their Mancierge service run by Fred Willard.
Road Trip: After Tim runs Eric down with his van, they head on a road trip to Fort Lauderdale where they plan on throwing a raging party in their parents hotel room while they're out for a few hours. Cinco tries to sell a grieving mother a replacement kid, Cinco-Boy, while Channel 5 promotes its new hit movie, Back To Squall with Jonah Hill, James Quall, and David Liebe Hart.
Brothers Cinco: The inner workings of the world's favorite corporation are laid bare when it's revealed at Cinco-Con that Terry Cinco is suspected of murdering his wife. His brother Mark decides this is a great way to unveil their new E-Trial Software, which gets rid of the need for pesky lawyers and lets you select your own jury and submit your own evidence all from the comfort of your own home over the internet.
Hair: This episode is even more all over the place than usual as Tim graduates from barber college and ventures out into the world with his new skill set, Cinco introduces the C-Bund, a practical alternative to pants. Throw in some karaoke/Dad madness, some videography experiments and a guest appearance from The Kids In The Hall's Scott Thompson and you've got yourself an even awesome show than usual.
Tennis: Richard Dunn officiates at a deadly tennis match in which Tim and Eric compete, while Grum does some PR work for a new film. Spaghett makes an appearance as the new Cinco spokesman just in time to launch their latest offering, Cigarette Juice and more!
Presidents: While Ben Hur hosts the Ben Hur Awesome Show, Tim and Eric decide to run against each other in the Presidential Election while children deal with bloody nipples and Dr. Steve Brule brings you more information that can prolong your life and improve your health.
Just like the three seasons prior, season three has an interesting array of guest stars including Bob Odenkirk, Zach Galifianakis, Alan Thicke, Jonah Hill, Fred Willard, Michael Ian Black, Will Forte, Scott Thompson, Flight Of The Concords, Bob Odenkirk, John C. Reilly (who is really more of a regular than a guest star at this point), Tommy Wiseau (of The Room who also directs an episode) and even the mighty Frank Stallone.
This penultimate season is a good one, mixing up the weird photography, musical numbers, bad eighties-era video effects and gross out humor that the show made a name for itself with and an acerbic wit and clever eye for parodying the dumbest aspects of popular television. From the pitchmen like the late Billy Mays to talent shows to pop culture interviews to sports broadcasts, nothing is really safe here. The pair take things to such a bizarre extreme and to such frequently awkward heights that you can't help but laugh at it, even when you don't think you should be. The mix of out of place public access performers and witty sketch comedy writing is a good one, giving the show its own unique place on the TV-sphere, and while not every single bit is a winner, more often than not season four is pretty damn funny and one of the more consistent of the entire run.
With the show having come to an end this year, we've got one DVD release left to wait for (and possibly another after that if they decide to do any of the specials or odds and ends as a compilation) Until that happens, Tim And Eric Awesome Show Great Job! season four will stand as a testament to one of the most creative and flat out bizarre series to have ever graced the airwaves.
Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Season Four 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.
Like previous seasons, there's a good selection of extra material here, though most of it is on the short side. First up is a collection of Deleted Scenes, some of which feature David Leibe Harte and his amazing ventriloquism skills, a singing Josh Groban, some odd animation and a musical number or two. Most of this stuff is in the same vein as that which made it into the final cut of each episode, so if you're a fan, do take the time to check out this twelve minutes or so worth of material. There are also six extended scenes here which, well, extend some of the bits that you saw in the series - Balls, Live With Dad, Mancierge, President, Tommy, and Universe. Just under five minutes of amusing Bloopers are found here (Zach Galifianakis pops up again), as is a great one minute bit called Restaurant Fart that's sort of related to the Hair episode. A few other bonus skits like Cast Of Tennis, Road Trip Dummy, Pusswhip Banggang, and a live version of< i>Brownie Mountain are also pretty funny.
The most interesting extra is Awesomecon 2009, which is just under four minutes of clips from the annual get together that Tim and Eric host in California. It's interesting to see what the pair can get up to in front of a live audience but just as interesting to see how that audience reacts. Zillionaire, a one minute outtake, and a Karaoke option that lets you sing along to your favorite songs from season four (belt out Computer Room with me, let's go!) close things out along with some bizarre static menus and episode selection. It's also worth noting that if the disturbing cover art on this release isn't enough for you, there's an even more disturbing option on the flip side of the reversible insert - a very nice touch and a must see for any fan of serious art.
Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Season Four is just as a good as the three that preceded it and while it shows plenty of creative direction and style, it remains as grounded in the early seasons' principals of lunacy as ever. If you liked the first three go-rounds, this is, in many ways, more of the same and you're bound to enjoy this latest effort just as much. On the flip side of that coin, if you aren't a fan, this won't change your mind. Those who love the show, however, can definitely consider this release 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.