Nick Cannon Presents: Wild 'N Out - Season One
Paramount // Unrated // $39.98 // March 7, 2006
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted April 2, 2006
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Graphical Version
The Movie:

Although his debut in "Drumline" made an impact, Nick Cannon has since been stuck in some mediocre efforts (see "Underclassman" or - better yet - don't.) "Wild N' Out" gives Cannon (a former member of the The Improv and The Comedy Story in Los Angeles) a chance to show his comedy skills as he's joined by a group of comedians from various backgrounds (there's former members of the Groundlings and Second City, as well as many with former feature and TV credits) and a new celeb each week to split into two teams and play a series of improv games. The result is a mixture of "Chappelle's Show" and "Who's Line is it Anyway?".

The series certainly tries to fit as much as possible into each episode, as sketches ("Judge Mo' Dollars", for example) are thrown in-between at least a few improv games every time out. There are also musical performances, but they (as well as some other music) have been edited out of the episodes for this set, unfortunately (one can only guess that this was due to music rights costs.) The improv bits don't always work, but the freestyle comedy rap battles ("Wildstyle") are frequently hilarious (one bit directed at Cannon - "I Saw 'Love Don't Cost a Thing', too bad nobody else did.") and some of the other games (one where a member of each team has to keep water in their mouth while the other teammates tell jokes and try to get them to spit/laugh and another where one has to guess celebrity impressions) get some big laughs.

Overall, I thought this was a mostly entertaining series. Some of the skits aren't as clever as they think they are, but the best moments of the improv games are about as entertaining as anything MTV has to offer these days.

The episodes are promoted as being uncensored, but there are still some bleeps to be found on this set.

Episodes - Season 1:
1. Guest Star: Christina Milian
2. Orlando Jones
3. Ying Yang Twins
4. Fonzworth Bentley
5. Kanye West
6. Kenan Thompson
7. Kevin Hart
8. Method Man
9. Omarion
10.Eva Pigford

The DVD

VIDEO: "Wild N'Out" is presented in the show's original full-frame aspect ratio by Paramount. The picture quality is perfectly fine, looking equal to broadcast quality. The show appears to be filmed on digital video and while sharpness and detail usually look terrific, the crowd shots can look a bit soft and one or two shots showing the participants running around can appear a tiny bit blurry. Some minor shimmering showed up at times, but no pixelation was noted, nor were any instances of edge enhancement. Colors remained bold throughout, with no smearing or other issues.

SOUND: "Wild N' Out" is presented in Dolby 2.0 and sounds perfectly fine. Dialogue is easily understood and the music (theme, background) that is included here sounds full and crisp.

EXTRAS: "Wildstyle" is a favorite part of the series and the first section on the bonus disc allows viewers to watch an approximately 30-minute montage of some of the best "'Style" moments from the season, including some extended bits. Next up is about seven minutes of screw-ups showing what happens when improv goes off the tracks.

"Unaired Skits" offers five deleted sketches ("Motel Sisters/Sex Tape", "Jesus Juice", "Bum Strip", "Urban Prison Network", "Judge Mo' Dollars: Chicken & Prosititute"). I wasn't much of a fan of the show's skits while watching the season and these don't fare much better, especially the bizarre "Bum Strip". Finally, we get a brief featurette on the "Wild N' Out Girls", a photo gallery and previews for other titles from the studio.

Final Thoughts: When the performers are battling back-and-forth in improv games, "Wild N'Out" can be energetic, sharp and hilarious. However, the skits just didn't work for me - they feel generic and too obvious. Still, at its best, the show is one of MTV's most entertaining offerings in a while. The DVD presentation offers a few enjoyable supplements and fine audio/video quality. Recommended for fans.


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