This is probably one of those situations where you know exactly whether or not you're going to buy this. Do you like Kevin Smith podcasts? Do you like the youtube animated versions of said podcasts? Do you want to own it on a hard copy to watch on a big screen TV? Then there's little reason to read reviews. However, this DVD contains all of the "first season" of youtube shorts Kevin Smith commissioned after Steve Stark animated two segments of the smodcast oddball stream-of-consciousness comedy podcasts. This little tidbit of information about the making of these cartoons is almost nowhere to be found on this disc. There's no documentary, no interviews, no artwork, and no commentary (yes, I realize that would be commentary on commentary). There's not much as far as extras in this package when compared to previous Smith DVDs, like Zack and Miri and Clerks 2. This is a little disappointing if you're like me and watched these shorts for free multiple times, until you could got to a point where you weren't quite laughing as hysterically every time.
What you do get for your $15 (or whatever it is at the time you read this) on this DVD of cartoons you may have already seen is a brief intro and outro at the beginning and end of the DVD, new (albeit very small) segments added into a couple of the shorts (most notably, the Harry Potter ones), slightly more detailed animation, and two filmed live podcasts. The two live action podcasts are easily the best part of the disc for me. I finally get to see Ralph Garman's face as he does his many impressions, including the clown one that always disturbs Kevin so much. The only problem is that the Hollywood Babble On show seems heavily edited. I could be remembering wrong, but it felt like many of the stories covered were cut short and the Jerry Lewis bit ran on for much longer in the original podcast. The way they work the photos they are discussing into the episode is also just weird and cheap looking. The real surprise was the Jay and Silent Bob Get Old show. I listened to the first ten episodes online, but my interest in the show waned, so this particular episode I don't think I had listened to yet. Jay Mewes' presence on stage is something to behold and the energy of this particular show is infectious.
The other nitpick I have is that the sound is really hit or miss. I can understand it being a little off in the cartoons and live shows because of the way it was recorded, but the real problem is in the live action bookends and cartoon transitions. I kept having to grab the remote to adjust it when it got randomly really loud and then really soft. Those are the only places where sound quality actually shouldn't be an issue. And while I do like the Stark designs on the DVD case, the actual packaging of the disc is a little bland with just repeated versions of the same stuff on the inside and outside.
But that stuff doesn't really matter all that much. If Season 2 were released in the exact same way on DVD, I'd still buy it because I like these cartoons and I want to support them in any way I can. Just know that this really is not for everybody and showing them to the wrong friends is likely to emit looks of horror and/or confused boredom. Though for the rest of us, we'll still be chuckling at this bizarre inside joke turned physical product.