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Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job: Season 5
The aptly titled Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! is a truly bizarre series that has just finished up its fifth and final season on The Cartoon Network's Adult Swim block. Created by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, the same demented genius' behind the late, lamented Tom Goes To The Mayor (rest in peace!), this show takes that animated insanity of that earlier show and gives it a live action make over. The series doesn't really have any sort of discernable plot nor does it have any recurring storylines even if sometimes character reappear. This is essentially a warped sketch comedy show made up of skits and fake commercials. Think of it as Saturday Night Live or The Kids In The Hall as seen on public access through the eyes of a retarded acid head. Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! is strange. Usually it's pretty funny, but this material is definitely out there, even more so than Tom Goes To The Mayor.
This fifth and final season is made up of ten episodes running approximately twelve - thirteen minutes each. Here's a look:
Comedy: The season opener starts out with a Cinco advertisement for pants that'll allow you to poop in them and it kicks things off with the series' grossest start yet. From there we learn how Tim and Eric are going to venture into comedy and start a Saturday Night Live style format, and we get a sneak peek at an upcoming cop drama called Quall Of Duty in which David Liebe Hart and James Quall take on all sorts of bad guys.
Puberty: When Eric hits puberty before Tim and scores loads of chicks thanks to his ridiculous man bush, Tim gets jealous and decides to find a way to catch up to his best friend in the body hair department. Will Forte shows some kids how to build forts out of furniture pillows and David Liebe Hart brings everything full circle with his own awesome song about the joys of puberty.
Re-Animated: Last year, public access singing sensations Casey Tatum was killed in a car accident. Well, in season five his brother decides to bring him back from the dead and put their performing duo back in the spotlight. It doesn't quite go as planned, however, but hey, Uncle Muscles is back and Patrick Duffy shows up in an infomercial for Man Nip.
Choices: Tim decides to write a tell all novel about his experiences entitled 'Choices: The Problem With Eric Wareheim.' This obviously upsets his best friend, who feels betrayed and the two have to figure out how to resolve their differences. While this is going on a family is saved from ruin by Cinco H'amb and Dr. Steve Brule delivers some news you may not want to hear.
Crows: When this episode begins, Tim is attacked by crows who peck out his eyes. Tim tries to help him and they soon realize that they're all in very deep trouble. More people get their eyes pecked out while a boy band called The Paynus Brothers start a spanking craze amongst the youth of America. Cinco launches a new product called The Sleepwatching Chair in which you can sit and watch your best friend as he sleeps.
Lucky: Tim decides to try out the new Cinco product, the Musky Tusk necklace, in hopes that it'll bring him good luck and hoping to outdo Eric and his lucky rabbit's foot. In a fairly controversial moment, David LaPierre tries out 'Dream Cream' and has a nocturnal fantasy about eating BBQ with a mustachioed man and a strange boy while Cinco advertises a new tanning system. For whatever reason the boy in the 'Dream Cream' sketch was digitally altered from the original broadcast version.
Stuntmen: Tim and Eric head to outer space where they wear ridiculous outfits while back on Earth Steve Manahan gets sent to prison when he's caught touching a clown. This causes some problems for his father who runs Donald's Original Child Clown Outlet. On a show called Feminine Perspectives the Stontmehn Brothers, Tim and Eric decked out all in denim, perform an exploding pumpkin stunt and it all goes horribly wrong.
Handsome: Tim and Eric argue about who is the world's ultimate handsome man, a discussion which winds up sending them on a quest to figure out just who can lay claim to that title. While they're travelling around trying to get the answer to their question, Cinco launches a Face-Time Party Snoozer product which proves to do exactly what it claims to when tried out at a party.
Greene Machine: This episode basically revolves around a gigantic vending machine that is also a database compiling details on the life's work of Tairy Greene, the actor famous for such projects as Little Dancing Man, but which also compiles information on similar projects like Little Danson Man, which stars Ted Danson.
Man Milk: The final episode of the series is a half hour spectacular in which Tim and Eric start lactating. With the holidays coming soon, the pair decide to bottle their milk and give it to friends and family members as gifts. Unfortunately, they don't think to pasteurize the milk and everyone who drinks it dies. While they're trying to figure out what to do, Ben Stiller and Ben Hur start a comedy team, David Liebe Hart sings a song about sexually transmitted diseases, and Paul Rudd falls for a man who he sees dancing on his computer screen.
Just like the four seasons prior, season five has an interesting array of guest stars including regulars like Bob Odenkirk, Zach Galifianakis and John C. Reilly but also unlikely candidates like Marilyn Manson, Michael Gross (yes, the dad from Family Ties), William Sanderson, Paul Rudd, David Cross, Karen Black, Rainn Wilson, Corbin Bernsen, Jack McBrayer, Danny Trejo, Patrick Duffy, Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, Ted Danson, Peter Cetera, Richard Marx and famous Jewish porn star Daphne Rosen! Seeing such a varied selection of guest stars appear in material as out there as this just adds another dimension of weirdness to an already completely bizarre show, but it also allows the various guest stars to try their hands at material you wouldn't normally associate them with - Michael Gross' cameo being a perfect example.
While this last season is definitely going to appeal to established fans of the series, it isn't quite as funny as the four that came before it. There's plenty of hilarious material here, but this time out things are definitely more awkward than they have been in the past. The 'Dream Cream' sketch is a good example - yes it's funny to see LaPierre rubbing cream all over his chest and eating it in his sleep for a few seconds but to focus on it for so long and then have him running around with a kid, well, it's uncomfortable isn't it? The humor is there and you can't help but laugh at it, but you might feel a little weird for doing so. The opening episode is another example, as when Tim and Eric launch into their bad SNL type comedy, we tend to focus on the audience just sitting there, not reacting at all - this is funny at first, but it goes on just a bit too long to the point where it loses its humor and becomes... awkward (which is probably the point).
Regardless, with that said, what was great about the first four seasons of the series remains great this fifth time around. The Cinco commercial parodies are still hilarious and incredibly creative, skewering the worst that late night TV has to offer and continuously coming up with clever and increasingly grotesque ways to spin that type of material into comedy gold. The skits here, which run the gamut from genuinely funny to hilariously gross and hit all points in between are not going to win the duo any new fans but will certainly please existing ones. Loads of pop culture references are scattered throughout the series and the musical bits and dance routines are always good for a laugh. This season does go into noticeably darker spots than previous ones however - not everyone will be able to laugh at every jokes; case in point the whole clown child molestation bit - but then, if we all liked the same things, television would be more boring than most of it already is, right?The DVD
Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Season Five looks like it's supposed to look. This show is done fast and cheap by a small cast and crew and it's intentionally made to look like a public access show. So, if you keep that in mind, you'll have no real problems with the video quality here. The 1.78.1 widescreen picture presents the material in its original broadcast aspect ratio (previous seasons were fullframe).Sound:
The English language Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound mix sounds very good on this DVD. An optional 2.0 Stereo Surround Sound mix is included in English as is a closed captioning feature. There are a few bits that are meant to sound intentionally abrasive and so the levels bounce around here and there to accommodate that but otherwise the audio on this disc is fine. Dialogue stays clean and clear and whatever distortion is in the mix is intentional.
The menus on the disc are deliberately laid out in such a way as to make it tricky to find what you're looking for, but once you make your way around the disc you'll find a decent amount of extra content here starting with some footage from the Awesomecon 2009 event that Tim and Eric held. Look for a bunch of deleted and extended scenes from sketches seen throughout the season and karaoke bits for a few of the musical numbers that are included in the ten episodes of the show. There's also a really nice (sincerely nice) tribute to the late Richard Dunn who was on the series from the beginning and who passed away after the final episode was shot. Menus and episode selection are also here, and you can watch each episode individually or by way of a 'play all' button.
Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Season Five brings the series to a close and there are a lot of us out there who will miss it dearly (and who will look forward to the Christmas Special - currently available as an exclusive on the Adult Swim Website - thanks to Joshua Biddle for pointing that out). The fifth season isn't the series' best but it's still funnier than 95% of what's out there and certainly more creative and original. Hardly a show for all tastes or a series that ever tried for mainstream appeal, this season, like those before it, is frequently hilarious, often times creepy, and always worth watching. The DVD set looks and sounds fine and contains a decent bit of extra content as well. 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.