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Showing 1-5 of 5 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on June 4, 2004
The Kids in the Hall was a brilliant show. It is so much funnier than Saturday Night Live, and more timeless, too. Saturday Night Live spends most of its time making fun of celebrities, current events, and trends. After a few years it loses its edge. The Kids make fun of life and people's quirks. Sketches from '89 hold up just as well as they did fifteen years ago.
There are many great moments in this set. A husband and wife fighting in the middle of the night over a salty ham, a punk-ish banker lamenting about his job (and using the f-word liberally), an elderly man pooping for the first time in four years, a Vaudeville act with the worst straight-man in history, and many more which are kind of hard to explain. Actually, one of the best parts about Kids in the Hall sketches is how baffling they can be. Many sketches don't have a real joke; you just laugh at how absurd they are.
Despite my praise, the first season does not show the Kids at their finest. Many sketches fall flat; others start funny but drag on far too long. Most of this is good stuff, but you can tell the Kids haven't perfected their craft yet. But I'm not sure we'll get to the good stuff if more people don't buy this one. So I urge you: If you like the Kids, please fork over some money. I mean, I think this set is worth the money on its own, but you'll also help ensure seasons 2 through 5, which are even better.
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on May 16, 2004
As others have noted, the first season is a bit hit-and-miss: the first few episodes are great, the next ten episodes or so are sporadically funny at best, and the final five episodes foreshadow the brilliance that would become the hallmark of the Kids in later seasons. What's fascinating about these episodes is to see their evolution from stage troupe to television sketch comedy writers. The earlier episodes suffer slightly from an unsuccessful transference of material from stage to screen (though "Citizen Kane"--which seems like a stage piece--totally works). Later in the first season, they start taking advantage of TV gimmicks to make more successful bits (like "Mechanic" from Episode #15 or the "Premise Beach" sketches from Episode #18). I will select my five favorite sketches from each disc--
Disc One (Episodes 1-6)
The Eradicator (#1)
Cause of Cancer (#1)
Womyn (#2)
Citizen Kane (#3)
Elvis (#5)
Disc Two (Episodes 7-13)
Teddy Bears' Picnic (#9)
McGuillicutty and Green (#10)
Folk Music (#12)
Skoora! (#12)
Indian Woman (#13)
Disc Three (Episodes 14-20)
Manny Coon (#16)
Power of My C--k (#16)
She's Gone (#18)
Tarantula (#19)
Buddy Holly (#20)
The bonus disc features a nice documentary about the early years of the troupe as well as highlights from their pilot episode. The commentaries on the sketches are not particularly informative, and Scott Thomson is not present for much of the commentaries, which is a drawback. A must, obviously, for fans of "Kids in the Hall" as well as fans of subversive television sketch comedy.
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on May 13, 2004
Like great art, The Kids in the Hall are not meant to be liked by all, but loved by a few. The first season sees some highs and lows that remind me why I love them and why some see no point in the Canadian series.
While "These are the Daves I know" and "Thirty Helens Agree" keep me in stitches, some of the sketches (especially the overplayed "Crushing Your Head" in the first episode) grow less humorous and more tedious as the episode goes on.
I recommend this for fans of Kids in the Hall (obviously) and those who enjoy "The Simpsons," "Mr. Show with Bob and David," and any of the late night fare on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. It's not always funny, but wait a minute and it'll get better.
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on May 7, 2004
Scott Thompson was recently quoted as saying he couldn't believe they ever got past a first season. I can see his point, on many levels.
When the skits were good - they were great. When they weren't, they were still ok (unlike, say SNL). But in massive doses (like in a multi-disk set), the mediocre ones seem painful sometimes.
BUT - the first season contains the best Buddy Cole sketch ever. Plus the Daves I Know, The Dr. Seuess Bible, 30 Helens Agree and a number of other great scenes.
The series did get better as they got experience - and looking forward to those releases. Great package for the fans - and a good one for anyone getting initiating to KITH (though a little pricey).
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on April 5, 2004
Although a number of very good kids' sketches did come out during the first season, the material seen within this DVD is nowhere near the level of comedic genius as their later work (once the boys broke the confines of performing all of their work on stage). That being said, I purchased the DVD for myself, not so much because I was planning on watching it, but because I wanted to do my part to encourage the DVD release of the latter years of the kids' run.
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