The show that started out as basically a Cops parody (which is pretty funny on its own trailer trash merits) has become a holy grail of sorts for the Comedy Channel. The show has now spanned four seasons and a major motion picture. Reno 911 can be best described as a faux reality show with a good deal of improvisational comedy performed by some very capable actors and actresses. It loosely has a plot from season to season. This season focused on the pregnancy of Depu…y Wiegel. However, it is not critical or necessary to focus on the plot and you can watch most of the episodes out of order and still get the desired effect. Episodes include incidents from Carrot Top trashing a hotel suite to a Citizens Patrol member (great cameo performance by Paul Ruebens)keeping one step ahead of the police on a murder case.
To be honest, when I first saw this in my mailbox I was really on the fence. I had caught the show a couple of times and it basically produced a meh feeling. I didn’t get it I suppose. Sure there were a few funny gags but from the little tidbit I caught, I wasn’t very interested. However, as with most shows you start understanding it more once you sit through fourteen episodes. Now I’m not going to say that I’m hooked and will buy every season before and after. But I can honestly say there is a lot of brilliance to be had. The comedy is smart but doesn’t feel canned. Everybody in the cast has a truly equal part. Sure you have favorites (Deputy Johnson and Deputy Jones) and can do without others but they all come together in hilarious fashion. There are times when the humor seems a little forced (but that’s more the fault of the premise rather than the cast of characters) but those times are few. It’s good television that doesn’t suffer from big name actors and they play off each other rather well.
Standard Full Frame 1.33:1 television aspect is what we are given here. Sure its typical, sure its expected but we always wish for a little more. However, it is clear for the most part as it is supposed to give the feel of a reality show. The colors are good (even when it is hot pink) and I couldn’t really see any problems.
Keeping up with the standard fare, we also get Dolby Digital 2.0 in English. The audio is decent, dialog is clear and explosions sound okay. But again, keeping with the reality show spirit it’s what we expect. No subtitles to be found but everything should be alright in that arena.
Automatic Trailers: Reno 911! Most Wanted Uncensored, Roast of William Shattner(I really need to see this in full), and South Park Season 9.
Profiles in Valor: Spotlighting Lt. Dangle, Dep. Johnson, Dep. Garcia, & Dep. Jones. These shorts take you behind the scenes in character about the officers that make up Reno 911.
Comedy Central Quickies: The Colbert Report – Fart Jokes, Reno 911 – PoliceTek 2000, and South Park – Evolution. To be honest, these aren’t that funny; there is far funnier moments for each of these shows.
Audio Commentary – Episode 4: There is only one commentary on the first disc. The commentaries are the type where you pretty much leave your mind at the door. If you are looking at getting important information about the show, you’re better off reading the Wikipedia entry. But they are fun, and do have good splices of humor. Another important thing is that the cast members who do the commentary are usually featured in that particular episode. Wow, relevance. What a concept.
Profiles in Valor: Spotlighting Dep. Junior, Dep. Kimball, Dep. Wiegel, and Dep. Williams.
Extended Scene: Lt. Jim Dangle explains Reno911!.com: Hilarious extended scene where the Lieutenant goes over the police department’s web site. Wow, who knew that reporting a break in could be so fun and quick.
Audio Commentaries – Episode 8, 9, 11, & 14: More good stuff, 9 and 14 are of particular interest.
Okay, I get it. I won’t watch it every chance I get, but I’ll check out new episodes here and there. Reno 911! is a very funny reality-esque show that features some very talented actors and actresses and some wonderful improvisational comedy. There is a lot to enjoy here and the fourteen episodes should keep you busy. One note of caution, the dvd cover does say Uncensored. Well the language certainly is, the cast swears like sailors but it does add to the hilarity. However, the nudity is censored. Now this can be a good thing (Episode 10 *shiver*), and this can be a very bad thing (Episode 9, oh Dep. Johnson and they use black bars, not fuzzies!, even in the commentary, the actress complains :)). It is false advertising, but we’ll live (I guess). The dvd has a host of extras to enjoy and while it won’t make you feel well rounded about the show, they are very entertaining. If you never seen the show, I would suggest you pick up Season 1 or Most Wanted set; but for fans you probably already have bought this one. Recommended.
*Note: the episodes don’t have names, just numbers and descriptions. They ran from late 2006 to early 2007.*
Special Features List
- Automatic Trailers (3)
- Audio Commentaries (5)
- Profiles in Valor (8)
- Comedy Central Quickies (3)
- Extended Scene: Lt. Jim Dangle Explains Reno911!.com