To protect and serve...is not their goal
Loves: "Reno 911!," "The State"
Likes: "Cops", Improv
The Story So Far...
Paramount has made "Reno 911!" releases an annual event, releasing the first season on DVD in June of 2004, and following it with the second season in June of 2005. DVDTalk has reviews for both sets: Season One: Robert Spuhler | Aaron Beierle, Season Two.
A new addition to the squad this season brought the genders into balance, as Cheresa Kimball (Mary Birdsong) joined the force. Though she starts out as a no-nonsense cop, the pervasive mediocrity of the Reno Sherriff's department brings her down the level of the rest of the crew. There's not much unique about her character outside of her hardcore approach, but her presence allows for quite a few jokes about her sexuality.
There were a few more changes, but that's no surprise for fans of the show, as the show avoids getting stagnant by mixing it up. The busts keep their usual variety, with some old friends like Terry the gay rollerskating whore (played by Nick Swardson) and Chief Carl making appearances, but the running jokes, like the old license-plate reading gags, have been completely revamped. This time, a series of school seminars, amateurish Police Tek 2000 commercials, and ill-cued press conferences, help fill the gaps between the "action" scenes with hearty laughs.
This season, several of the cops have spotlight episodes, including Jonesy's flirtation with a career as a singer, Raineesha and Garcia's run-in with Liberace's piano and Dangle meeting a young man who might be his son. It's obvious that the plots are a bit out there, which is the only way it could be. Not that it matters really, since stories like "C.S.I." shooting in Reno or a trio of Reno's finest being quarantined for SARS are just skeletons for the cast to hang their jokes onto.
As is usually the case with the show, the guest stars are great, including Matt Besser ("Upright Citizens Brigade") as a too-honest drug dealer and Zach Galifianakis playing Frisbee, a crazy militia man living in a school bus with his small family of gun-runners. The best of the bunch though is Brian Unger ("The Daily Show") who plays Reading Ron, a public television host. Shooting an episode with the Reno cops, he's pushed to the edge by their very inappropriate comments and actions. Several laugh-out-loud moments are found in this episode, one of the most complete and hilarious in the third season.
I'm not sure why, but no character draws more laughs than Trudy (Kerri Kenney), whose naive yet mental personality gives her an innocence that makes almost everything she says that much funnier. Her bizarre relationship with effeminate serial killer Craig gives her an odd new angle, but she's at her best when she mindless throws out whatever she's thinking, and ends up either insulting everyone or freaking people out. Thanks to that, she's able to get away with some memorable lines. Her performance when recreating a crime with Dangle borders on brilliance.
This set is "uncensored," which means the language goes unbleeped, but the blurs are still in place, covering up faked nudity.
The audio, a Dolby Digital Stereo track, is very good TV sound, with clean dialogue and well-mixed background sound and music. There's nothing dynamic about it, but there's nothing wrong with it either. It's just solid audio.
Three episode-length audio commentaries are included here, on episodes five, (director Michael Patrick Jann and Kenney, with special guests), six (Kenney and Birdsong), and seven (Carlos Alazraqui and Cedric Yarbrough). The tracks are very comfortable, and the participants just cut loose, having an enjoyable conversation about the series. The Kenny/Birdsong track is a bit quieter than the others, but they bring the twisted comedy as well.
Disc Two: The second disc has another pair of episode-length audio commentaries on this disc, with Robert Ben Garant and Lennon on episode 10, and Niecy Nash and director Brad Abrams on the finale. Like the other tracks, these commentaries are the kind you create when good friends get behind the mic, as they chat about making the show, or whatever else comes to mind.
There's a 30-minute reel of extended outtakes on this disc also, with three lengthy scenes. One features homeless nuisance Junior the Third, and the other two are taken from "CSI: Reno." They are similar in quality to the first set, though the CSI scenes, with the cops standing outside of trailers, can drag a bit. They are most effective in showing how good the cast is at improvising. Also included is a set of fourth-season commercials, which are done as toy ads for "Reno 911!" action figures. Leave it to the Reno crew to make even their promos hilarious. The disc wraps with three Comedy Central Quickies promos.
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