In 10 Words or Less
From Oprah peeing to the Tron Guy
Loves: Funny internet clips
Likes: Daniel Tosh, Tosh.0, Web Soup
Dislikes: Gross-out comedy, viewer videos
Hates: Clip-show bits
The Story So Far...
Comedy Central's biggest hit in recent years, Tosh.0 features wise-ass stand-up comic Daniel Tosh, as he presents a variety of internet videos, offering jokes about them and participating in sketches, sometimes with the star of the original video, most noticeably in the show's flagship segment, Web Redemption, where Tosh offers someone who made a poor impression in a viral video to clear the air and come out on top for once. The first home-video collection, Hoodies, collecting the first 10 episodes, was released in June of 2012, followed by Deep V's, with the final 16 episodes of the second season, in December of 2012. DVDTalk has reviews of both sets.
Reviewing two releases of Tosh.0 back to back (having reviewed the show's second volume just recently) quickly illustrated the issues inherent in reviewing such series: every episode is pretty much the same, and without any story or continuity, there's not a lot that differentiates one collection from another. It would be one thing if there was some legendary bit, but there's no single segment I desired to revisit. Instead, it's the overall series that's entertaining, and having a large batch of episodes to enjoy ensures a good time.
First, a refresher for those new to the party (if you know Tosh.0 skip to the next paragraph): each episode starts with a grabber of an internet clip, often shocking in terms of its grossness or pain-induction, before Tosh takes the stage and guides the audience through 22 minutes of clips, interviews and sketches. Each episode features a few regular segments, but it's mostly a melange of oddities and funny internet clips. Sometimes Tosh will recreate a clip, especially if it's a physical feat, like his "I'm Better Than You, Nah Nah Nah Boo Boo, Stick Your Head in Doo Doo" series of oneupsmanship, but normally he's just making fun of what's happening, like he "20 seconds" segment, where he reels off a string of jokes about a clip, the many "...of the Week" bits like "Recio's Black Clip of the Week" or the always wonderful (and disturbing) "Guess What Happens Next," where the video is paused so you can ponder what soul-crushing improbability is on tap.
Each episode features two focal points, the Video Breakdown and the Web Redemption. The breakdown is usually a particularly striking or bizarre clip, and Tosh goes into detail recapping what's happened, and adds plenty of comedic value. Sometimes these are just a low-point for losers that Tosh playfully narrates, like a guy who defecates in a mall planter, but more often it's some sort of horrific injury or assault, like a prankster who almost has his head kicked off or a guy who catches his leg in a basketball hoop while dunking. There are some clasic clips in this segment this time around, including a pastor losing control of a motorcycle in church and a vigilante who pulls the pants off his target.
This set includes some of the most famous web personalities ever seen in Tosh's Web Redemption, starting with the Tron Guy, a man who created his own ill-fitting Tron-like leotard, and became internet famous for it. Though it's easy to make fun of people like a backyard wrestler who nearly paralyzes himself doing a backflip onto a mattress or a football fan who explodes into tears, Tosh smartly lets them be a part of the joke, and, if possible, lets them look a bit better in the end. It doesn't always work, with the screaming Nintendo 64 kid being a good example, but more often than not, it's a fun time that's not at the expense of the participant, be it the trampled cheerleader, the make it snow girl or the amazing Crystal Light Dancers, brought back together in a Web Reunion.
One of the more interesting things this season shows, through the Web Redemptions for David After Dentist (a kid interviewed by his father as he comes out of anesthesia) and the Phillies fan's daughter (a little girl who throws back a home run ball), is how good Tosh is working with kids, which you may not expect considering the tone of the series, which is loaded with racist, misogynistic, homophobic comedy. He pushes the envelope, but can reign his act in as well.
Usually, when the show ventures outside of the clips and main features it can get a bit slow, like during the Viewer Videos (one of which is from Funny or Die, so can we one day please kill this segment?) or bits like Tosh's one-man recreation of a car full of douchebags, sometimes it hits, as seen when he has "Old Lee" creepily read Miley Cyrus' tweets. The interviews, which have thankfully become less frequent, walk the line between bad an entertaining, resulting in the brief, yet cringe-worthy chat with Nickelodeon star Fred (which was saved by one joke in a follow-up interview with a Fred fan) or the one-note, yet funny exchange with the sexy Wii Fit girl. There are so many clips out there. Just keep showing them and making fun of them. That's all we need.
The release schedule for Tosh.0 makes little to no sense. The first set, called Hoodies, collected the first 10 episodes. Fine. But then the second set, Deep V's jumped ahead to the middle of the second season, skipping 15 episodes. Then, the third set, Cardigans plus Casual Jackets, a) jumps back to the first season, bringing home the 15 episodes between volumes 1 and 2, b) is not available on Blu-Ray, unlike the first two sets, and c) is only available from Wal-mart. It almost makes the Family Guy releases look good by comparison. This set arrives on three DVDs, packed in a standard-width keepcase with dual-hubbed tray. The discs include options to watch all the episodes, select shows, adjust the settings and check out the extras. Audio options include English Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 tracks, while subtitles are available in English.
Without the benefit of a Blu-Ray presentation, the video here looks less impressive by comparison, starting in full-frame with the first episodes, while the rest are in anamorphic widescreen. However, because the studio segments aren't as crisp as they are on Blu-Ray, the special effects aren't as dramatically out of place, and the low-res internet clips don't look as terrible. Colors are appropriate and there's a good level of fine detail in the studio segments, but the majority of the show is made up of cruddy internet clips, so it's not going to look so great.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks (which are mostly uncensored) stick closely to the style of the previous releases, putting Tosh up-front and center, while the audience and any music present is placed in the surround fields. The clips are obviously lo-fi, and the show doesn't get too adventurous in its audio, so don't expect anything dynamic in the mix. The tracks also don't have the power of the previous blu-ray releases.
Building on the extras in Volume Two, this set's extras, a set of 15 clips, run over 106 minutes in length. Like last time, most of them are extended interviews from the Web Redemptions, but you also get another extended (though shorter than Human Centipede) spoiler, this time for Orphan, along with some interviews with crew members, like one of the writers, a few of the post-production staffers and the show's stylist, who shows off ideas for clothing themes. Maybe by volume four we'll hear from Tosh himself.
The Bottom Line
Though it's got its limitations (mainly in terms of its availability (both in format and location)) this set features some of the most well-known internet celebs Tosh has offered redemption to to-date and some of the most memorable segments, and with a healthy dose of bonus content, it may be the best release for the show so far.
Francis Rizzo III is a native Long Islander, where he works in academia. In his spare time, he enjoys watching hockey, writing and spending time with his wife, daughter and puppy.Check out 1106 - A Moment in Fictional Time or his convention blog called Conning Fellow
*The Reviewer's Bias section is an attempt to help readers use the review to its best effect. By knowing where the reviewer's biases lie on the film's subject matter, one can read the review with the right mindset.