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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Drawn Together - The Complete Series
Drawn Together - The Complete Series
Paramount // Unrated // November 17, 2009
List Price: $59.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ian Jane | posted November 21, 2009 | E-mail the Author
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The Series:

Anyone who hasn't clued in to Comedy Central's quirky animated series Drawn Together missed out on something great. The series, which wound up with its third and final season, is an animated parody of reality shows as it tells the tale of eight cartoon character stereotypes all forced to live together in the same house while the cameras hide nothing from the audience (us).

The characters - Superman-esque Captain Hero, sexy soul sister Foxxy Love, Pokemon knock off Ling-Ling, a Disney-ish Princess Clara, the Betty Boop-ish Toot, a Porky Pig knock off named Spanky Ham, a homosexual adult version of Johnny Quest-meets-Link-from-Zelda guy named Xandir, and a Spongebob Parody named Wolldoor Sockbat - will all seem familiar to anyone even remotely schooled on vintage cartoons and many of the parodies and twists spun off of these clichés are quite clever.

The episodes themselves run the gamut from fall on the floor funny to just so-so, but thankfully this batch of fourteen episodes has more hits than misses. Here's a peek...

Season One:

HOT TUB: The series opener begins when the eight classic cartoon characters all move in to a big home together where they're going to be starring in their own reality TV show. Things gets off to a rough start immediately when Clara assumes that Foxxy must be part of the hired help because of her skin color, resulting in Foxxy's decision to enlighten her new housemate and teach her a thing or two about making assumptions about people. The rest of the cast do their best to get to know one another and get their feet wet in this new group endeavor.

CLARA'S DIRTY LITTLE SECRET: Clara's worried that she might be knocked up but once the housemates explain to her how baby's are made, that fear is put to rest. Besides, who's want to go between Clara's legs when her girl parts are cursed? That's right, a family curse is responsible for her private parts having literally turned into a tentacle monster. The only way to break the curse is for Clara to find true love, a mission the crew are more than happy to help her with.

GAY BASH: After his housemates berate him long enough, Xandir decides to come out of the closet and try to deal with his homosexuality. Not surprisingly, his girlfriend dumps him when he admits it to her which results in his then denying it all over again, though no one is believing it for a second. While all of this is going on, Spanky is exploiting Ling-Ling's sewing abilities by branching out into sweatshop sneaker making.

REQUIEM FOR A REALITY SHOW: There's a competition going on in the house for food rights and Ling-Ling, Xandir and Foxxy are the winners. Toot, on the other hand, is trying to deal with her eating disorder by enlisting Xandir's help. With the rest of the house's population in desperate need of food, Spanky forces Wooldoor to help him catch Clara's pet so that they can eat it.

THE OTHER COUSIN: Clara has a cousin named Blah who is... special. He comes to visit her at the house and Captain Hero bets Spanky that he'll be able to get into her pants before she leaves. Meanwhile, Ling-Ling is dealing with serious depression issues, which means that Toot, Xandir and Wooldoor can reap the benefits by getting a contact high from licking him!

DIRTY PRANKING NUMBER 2: Spanky thinks it'll be hilarious to take a dump on some pizza, an act that Clara becomes mesmerized and obsessed with to the point where her father forbids her from seeing Spanky anymore. Meanwhile, Xandir and Captain Hero come to terms with their differences and try to figure out how to best live as roommates.

THE ONE WHEREIN THERE IS A BIG TWIST, PART ONE: In the tradition of Donald Trump, a millionaire named Bucky Bucks shows up at the house and has a competition where he sets up a board to figure out how to best run the house. All of the house mates are obsessed only with prizes except for Tootie, who is trying to convince the people she lives with that they should just blow the house up and be done with it.

Season Two:

THE ONE WHEREIN THERE IS A BIG TWIST, PART TWO: Picking up where Season One left off, the cast has crash landed on a remote desert island that isn't nearly as deserted as they thought initially. They eventually make their way back to the house, all except for Toots, who the housemates are going to have to replace at the insistence of their producer.

FOXXY VS. THE BOARD OF EDUCATION: When Spanky gets a nasty virus, he has to figure out if it's worth marrying a gay man in order to get the health insurance he thinks he needs to save his own life. Meanwhile, a scandal ensues when it turns out that Foxxy doesn't have a license to solve mysteries resulting in a conspiracy that takes place at the school she decides to attend.

LITTLE OPRHAN HERO: Captain Hero has always thought that his home planet exploded and that his parents were dead. When he finds out that this isn't true, his world is rocked and he tries to figure out the truth about his origins. Meanwhile the housemates decide to open up a suicide hotline business.

CAPTAIN HERO'S MARRIAGE PACT: Captain Hero's ex-girlfriend, Unusually Flexible Girl, has come to visit him which reminds him of a marriage pact that they made together years ago wherein they'd get hitched when they turned thirty if they weren't already married. Foxxy, on the other hand, is about ready to call it quits with reality TV and get her band, The Foxxy Five, back together.

CLUM BABIES: Wooldoor finally hits puberty and discovers the joys and pitfalls of chronic masturbation. The housemates soon learn that his 'clum babies' actually have medicinal properties but Clara, whose strict religious upbringing forbids self pleasure, wants to stop him before any of his junk can be harvested, meaning no one will reap the potential benefits.

GHOSTESSES IN THE SLOT MACHINE: Things take an eerie turn when paranormal activity in the house sets the crew on edge. Foxxy learns that a thousand dead Indians haunt the house and they try to appease the spirits by making an offering to them while the Indians try to build a casino on what they consider to be their land.

SUPER NANNY: Captain Hero sees anything titled 'super' as a threat and so he decides to challenge the Super Nanny that he sees on television. Ling-Ling, on the other hand, is trying to learn how to drive with the help of Doctor Wooldoor who is trying to teach him about what it means to become an American.

TERMS OF ENDEARMENT: Captain Hero's got x-ray vision and he decides to use it to watch the girls when they're in the shower. This eventually gives Foxxy a brain tumor and riddled qith guilt, Captain Hero decides he's going to call it quits and give up the super hero business. He doesn't realize, however, that if he gives up his powers he'll become a quadriplegic. Foxxy, on the other hand, has run into some problems with the Feds and the only one who can help her is... Captain Hero.

CAPTAIN GIRL: Wooldoor has always dreamed of becoming Captain Hero's sidekick and he finally gets his chance when Captain Girl is killed by the evil Mad-Libber - but is he up to the job? Meanwhile, Toot learns about the trials and tribulations of parenthood when she takes care of a baby from Nicaragua.

A TALE OF TWO COWS: Toot went to Fat Camp when she was younger and she gets an invite for a camp reunion. She wants one of the housemates to go with her, but they hate her because she's fat and so they refuse, though she eventually forces Xandir to go by finding a cheat code. Meanwhile, Dr. Wooldoor finds and takes home a live action pet, throwing everything in to disarray.

XANDIR AND TIM, SITTING IN A TREE: Captain Hero's secret identity, Tim Tommerson, visits the house and winds up taking quite a liking to Xandir. While they 'bound' the other housemates freak out when they learn that Entertainment Weekly has given their show an F and so they set out to get even with the magazine.

THE LEMON-AIDS WALK: When it's revealed that the mighty Captain Hero sucks at sports, he decides to show everyone who's boss by winning the AIDS walk. He ingests countless steroids and trains pretty hard while Wooldoor gets into trouble for stealing a bunch of candy.

A VERY SPECIAL DRAWN TOGETHER AFTER SCHOOL SPECIAL: Xandir, still wrestling with his homosexuality, wants to come out to his parents but he's not sure how. He asks his housemates for help and they decide the best way to figure this out is through some group role playing. It goes horribly wrong, of course.

ALZHEIMER'S THE ENDS WELL: Clara gets a makeover done between her legs to get rid of the monster that resides there and replace it with normal female sexual organs. Meanwhile, the aging Toot's behavior leads the housemates to diagnose her as having Alzheimer's disease at which point they decide to throw her into a senior citizens homes.

THE DRAWN TOGETHER CLIP SHOW: The second season ends when, based on fan demand, the producers hit us with a 'greatest hits' compilation of the best moments from the first two seasons - of course, what you consider to be the best may not be what they consider to be the best.

Season Three:

GREEKS & FREAKS: Captain Hero is stoked when some Greek people move in next door, but he's confused as he thinks they're a fraternity, not actual Greek immigrants. A funny subplot involving Ling-Ling's father lusting after Toot proves to be amusing.

WOOLDOOR SOCKBAT'S GIGGLE-WIGGLE FUNNY TICKLE NON-TRADITIONAL PROGRESSIVE MULTICULTURAL ROUNDTABLE: Wooldoor wants the children who watch his show to learn to accept others but Princess Clara is worried that his show is going to turn everyone into homosexuals.

SPELLING APPLEBEE'S: The housemates decide to have a spelling bee but Foxy doesn't want anything to do with it even if a the grand prize is a gift certificate to Applebees. Meanwhile, Clara tries to keep her secret car crash fetish a private matter.

UNRESTRAINABLE TRAINABLE: Captain Hero learns that an incestuous tryst with his sister, Captain She-Ro, has resulted in a 'special' kid intent on destroying the city while Clara's erratic behavior has a drastic effect on Wooldoor.

N.R.A. y RAY: The house is robbed so Captain Hero decides to buy a gun for self defense while Foxxy hides her career criminal grandson from the cops in the group home.

MEXICAN'T BUY ME LOVE: Captain Hero only wants to be cool, like Foxxy and Clara, whereas Foxxy yearns for superpowers like the Captain has. Ling-Ling, on the other hand, wants to learn how to cook Mexican food!

LOST IN PARKING SPACE PART I: Clara finds God and annoys everyone with her constant Rapture-speak. Everyone decides to go to the mall without her and when she notices they're gone, assume they've been taken to Heaven without her. In reality, everyone is trapped in the mall's parking garage.

LOST IN PARKING SPACE PART II: Foxxy gets trapped in the Hot Topic dungeon and Clara learns to love Satan in this thrilling conclusion.

DRAWN TOGETHER BABIES: Remember Muppet Babies? This isn't like that. The Drawn Together crew are sent to therapy while the babies are left on their own with a babysitter who they accidentally kill.

NIPPLE RING-RING GOES TO FOSTER CARE: When the authorities find out that Ling-Ling is only three, they put him in a foster home. Captain Hero finds a walkie talkie that lets him talk to his teenage self and proceeds to hand out very bad advice.

FOXXY AND THE GANG BANG: Foxxy gets hypnotized in hopes that she won't be such a slut. While under, she has a realization that she was once gang raped, and so she decides to get revenge on those who did this to her. Meanwhile, Toot decides to have sex with as many of the people as India as possible.

BREAKFAST FOOD KILLER: A cereal mascot is found dead and Wooldoor gets the job as his replacement. Neither he nor his housemates have any idea just how wrong the world of cereal mascots really is, however...

CHARLOTTE'S WEB OF LIES: Spanky Ham makes time with a spider who turns out to be a psycho stalker. Ling-Ling has anger issues and eventually has to confront the teenage boy who made him into the brute he is today. Meanwhile, Captain Hero is tricked into washing his testicles!

THE ELIMINATION SPECIAL PART II: THE ELIMINATION: Brian Dunkleman hosts the series musical finale where one of the characters must leave the house forever!

The first season is the weakest (and shortest) of the bunch but once the writing team hits its stride by the time the first season ends and the second season starts, Drawn Together turns out to be pretty damn funny. It's offensive, you can tell from the episode titles and synopsis that it has no problem poking fun at people with disabilities and medical conditions as well as at different social groups and social stigmas, meaning that those put off by such topics probably won't see the humor in any of this. That said, if you're able to laugh at the world around you and don't necessarily see this type of humor as evil or nasty (because it's isn't always that way) there are a lot of laughs to be had. The series does a great job of playing off of both animation clichés and reality TV clichés and often times it is quite clever in how it blends the two. All of the episodes in this set are presented uncensored.

The DVD

Video:

Each episode is presented in its original 1.33.1 fullframe broadcast aspect ratio. This material looks very good on DVD with nice, bright color and strong blacks. There aren't any mpeg compression artifacts to complain about nor is there any edge enhancement. A little bit of shimmering pops up sometimes but otherwise the episodes on this set look very nice indeed.

Sound:

The sole audio track in this collection is an English language Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo mix with optional English language closed captioning. This track is quite good with some nice channel separation and very clear dialogue. There aren't any problems with hiss or distortion and everything is well balanced. A 5.1 track might have been fun for some of the more chaotic moments but other than that, there's nothing to complain about here. Extras:

Season One:

Commentary tracks are supplied for the following episode: Hot Tub, Clara's Dirty Little Secret, The Other Cousin, and The One Wherein There Is A Big Twist, Part 1. Featured on the tracks are producers Bill Freiberger and Jordan Young, directors Dwayne Carey-Hill and Peter Avanzino, cast member/voice actors Tara Strong, Cree Summer, Abbey McBride, Jack Plotnick and Jess Harnell, some guy named Carlos and series creators Matt Silverstein and Dave Jeser. The tracks can get pretty rowdy at times with that many people involved but if you appreciate the humor of the series you'll find more of it here. You'll also learn about what goes in to creating the series and about some of the ideas that the cast and crew came up with that were axed before the show got to the drawing board. Fans will enjoy these tracks and they are pretty funny at times.

Also included in the Season One extras are a collection of deleted scenes, just over five minutes worth, but this is all pretty minor and inconsequential stuff. Regardless, it's here and that's good. More interesting and amusing is an interactive Censored/Uncensored Game in which you choose one of a few lines from the series and you have to figure out if it's being delivered in censored or uncensored form.

Rounding out the extras for the first season are four unseen Next Week On Drawn Together segments are included that are actually pretty funny, making you wonder why they weren't used on the air, a Karaoke sing along option, animated menus and chapter stops.

Season Two:

Once again, this season is highlighted in the extras department by a solid collection of audio commentaries for four episodes, and with most of the participants from the first season's commentaries back, you know what to expect. Lots of rowdy humor and funny joking around in between more serious bits where the actual production of the show is discussed. There's a fair bit of talk here about how the characters and series have changed from the first season which is actually pretty insightful and fun to listen to. On top of that, Silverstein, Jesser and a few others provide an alternate commentary for the Terms of Endearment episode where they actually comment on the standard commentary that's been supplied for that episode.

Also worth checking out is a collection of eight behind the scenes interview bits where the series' creators and the principal cast members get their chance to talk about their work on the show and provide some background information on who they are and what they do on the show. These were originally made available on the Comedy Central website but it's cool to see them preserved on the DVD release.

Rounding out the extras are yet more Karaoke sing along options, alongside, of course, menus and chapter selection options.

Season Three:

The main extra features on this set are the four audio commentary tracks that appear on the Greeks & Freaks, Lost In Parking Space Part 1, Drawn Together Babies and Breakfast Food Killer episodes courtesy of the show's directors, voice actors, and producers. These tracks are all over the place. Sometimes they're informative and interesting, other times they're self congratulatory and dull. There are some decent stories and bits of trivia in here if you're a fan, however, which makes them worth skimming through.

Aside from that, this set includes a few season premiere promo spots that aired on Comedy Central in the weeks before the first episode of the third season aired. Clips from a few other Comedy Central shows are found on the second disc, as are ads for other Comedy Central DVD releases and a Karaoke sing along option. Animated menus and chapter stops round out the supplements. A red band trailer for the Drawn Together movie is also included.

Incorporated into a few of the discs are a Drawn Together drinking game (available in Trainable versions and expert versions) and a Drawn Together Truth Or Dare game. Other than that, what sets this collection apart from the individual season collections already released on DVD is the packaging. In addition to housing all of the six discs that make up the series, this boxed set also includes a Drawn Together board game. How much you'll enjoy this stuff is obviously going to be dependent on how much you dig the series but it's kind of neat to see this sort of 'tangible' extra content included alongside the extras that are on the discs themselves.

Final Thoughts:

If you've already got the individual season collections you're going to have to be a pretty hardcore fan to want to upgrade as all you'll really be gaining is the various games that have been included in the packaging. That said, the series might not quite fire on all cylinders in the first season but the later two more than make up for that. The show is gleefully offensive and not afraid to take pot shots at, well, pretty much anyone or anything. This makes it pretty raunchy in spots but thoroughly funny far more often than not. 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.

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