After the MTV show Jackass closed production, MTV scrambled to try to find a show that would secure the ratings that Jackass had been doing for so many years. What resulted from that scrambling? The moderately entertaining Viva La Bam which features a majority of the Jackass outcasts and ‘losers’. Since this is the review for the fourth and fifth seasons, one can imagine that Viva La Bam did succeed in finding that audience that would make MTV more money.
While the show original…y began by finding the stars adjusting to their new found success and stardom, the show slowly has become less and less funny as the years drew by. The main reason lies in the editing room. The editing of the show almost makes the characters look cartoonish causing the viewer to lose focus on what the show was originally about. The show was very funny because it was a type of insanity that was sporadic giving the show a unique feel from Jackass. Episodes in this season seem to almost have that sitcom feel to them, which is NEVER a good thing.
Season Four starts off with a bang having a two part premiere following Bam’s parents Phil and April to France. They pick up food from each country in Europe and ultimately we end in a good fight, which was instigated by Don Vito (Bam’s uncle). When they get back to the states all of the guys set out to try to pay off the heating bill. Bam eventually gets tired of receiving notices about the noise in his house. This results in him creating the state of Bam.
Season Five is easily the weakest season of the show. It almost feels as if Bam and his crew KNEW the show was ending. One funny moment comes from Viva La Brazil which sees Bam heading to the south to hang out with pro skater Bob Burnquist. Besides this opening episodes, the season tends to focuses on Don Vito and Bam raining on his parade of joy. That is until Vito says enough is enough and starts fighting Bam. This season also features Raab being united from his mail order bride from season one.
The show’s box declares UNCENSORED! yet many of the expletives are still bleeped out. I assume this is because the show’s target audience, teenagers will be purchasing this set.
Viva La Bam” The Complete 4th and 5th Seasons start out funny, but the laughter (which at times is almost every minute) is not as funny as the previous seasons. Yes, it is funny to see Bam do things to his parents, but a majority of the jokes were unoriginal and seemed like they were being recycled from the previous seasons. This leaves a very sour note in the viewer’s mouth if they are expecting tons of new jokes.
The Video quality is pretty much identical to the previous two DVD releases. The 1:33:1 looks pretty good here. The material is shot with a majority of hidden cameras, which results in the footage not looking crisp or detailed. The other footage looks very nice for what is basically a reality show. The image is consistently clean and problem free considering it is shot on video and often with moving or handheld cameras. A pretty solid transfer overall.
Viva La Bam: the Complete 4th and 5th Seasons is presented with a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack. The audio quality varies highly depending on what is occurring on the screen. Some of the hidden camera footage doesn’t sound as clear but the rest of the audio is just fine. The background music is mixed nicely into the sound mix and didn’t once overshadow the dialogue being presented. Just like the video transfer, the audio is pretty good.
We are given a decent amount of features for a tv show.
- Uncommon-taries: All 16 episodes are given a full length audio commentary which features just about every person possibly from the show. The uncommon-taries are enjoyable for the most part because they don’t hold back at all. The producers easily mock what they have created by pointing out what is stupid and wrong. I especially loved the MTV bashing moments. Classic!
- Deleted Scenes: The deleted scenes we are given are split into two sections, one for season four and one for season five. The scenes run for 40 minutes and are sometimes even more enjoyable than the actual episodes. A majority of the extended scenes are just scenes MTV couldn’t air because they were too ‘racy’ or too ‘over-the-top’. Definitely worth a watch if you want to see what the guys really go through.
- MTV Cribs:Bam’s Crib: I am not quite sure why this was included here since we got a pretty good look at what Bam’s Crib looked like simply by watching the show.
- Viva La Top 5: Bam and his friends count down the top five moments of the show. Everyone involved, even his family, each get their own top five list.
Considering Viva La Bam was pretty funny in the first few seasons, I found seasons four and five to be a bit of a disappointment. While some of the jokes were rather hilarious, some seemed dry and boring. If you are a fan of the show, it is a no-brainer that you should buy this set. However, if you are on the edge deciding whether or not to get this, I suggest renting the first couple of seasons or catching the re-runs on MTV.
Special Features List
- UNCOMMON-TARY: 16 Episodes UN-COMMONTARIES
- DELETED SCENES: 40 minutes of Deleted Scenes
- MTV CRIBS:BAM: Touring Bam
- VIVA LA TOP 5: Cast picks the top 5 moments