The funniest courtroom since...well...ever
Honestly, Black isn't even needed, though he does well in what's essentially an MC's role, because the show is all about the two "lawyers" arguing their cases. I don't know who cast the show, but the choices were inspired, as not only are they funny, but they even feel appropriate as attorneys. Guys like Patton Oswalt, Paul F. Tompkins and Andy Kindler, dressed in their legal finest, could easily pass for at least a court-appointed defender, while Greg Giraldo actually studied law at Harvard. (For completeness' sake, Kathleen Madigan is also here.) No one can touch Andrew Daly's bombastic performance, though, as his cherubic smile and twisted mind combine to create a lawyer who gets paid a retainer in dead kittens.
The episodes here point out how tenuous the concept of the argument can be, as some of them sort of make sense, like pitting weed against beer, or YouTube versus porn, but the most are somewhat random. Donald Trump versus Viagra? Paris Hilton versus Dick Cheney? But sometimes, even when there's no connection, it can be inspired, like having Korean madman Kim Jong-Il face-off against Tila Tequila, or a battle between two cult leaders, Oprah and the Catholic Church. It looks like the second season will attempt to make the cases make more sense, which should only aid the conceit, though honestly, when you have two great performers, they'll overcome anything, like Daly and Oswalt running the best show on the silliest argument, Las Vegas versus the human body..
What none of them can really overcome is the same problem seen on "Politically Incorrect" and that's the length of the show. Take the commercials out of the show and there's maybe 20 minutes of show, which flies by. At least here, the structure, which features opening statements, case presentations, inquisitions and the always over-the-top Ripple of Evil forecasting, works with the segment lengths, unlike the momentum-killing breaks on "PI." Still, when Oswalt gets going on the evils of the human body, or Daly is riffing on the dangers of beer, you don't want it to end.
The audio, which is uncensored, matches the video, as the Dolby Digital 2.0 track does it's job and does it well, though the very pedestrian mix features nothing dynamic, nor does it need to, as the comedians' dialogue is clear and clear. It's a simple delivery for simple material.
It's followed by a quartet of videos that have also been available on the "Root" web site. "Your Day in Court" is a quick, funny three-minute piece with Lewis talking about what you should do if you have to go to court, while "Meet Judge Black" is a 1:30 look at the show's star. There's more mini-profiles in "Meet the Lawyers," 2:47 of Black talking about his comics. Last up is "Polibits," a very short note by Black about how politicians lie. If all we are getting is previously-released web content, why not include all of it, since there's way more still on the site?
Things wrap with a selection of DVD previews and four Comedy Central Quickies.
The Bottom Line