Tommy Lee Goes to College is a show that was really sort-of set-up to fail from the beginning. NBC used to be the #1 channel on television, but they slipped badly in the ratings once the big reality television boom hit. In a bid to catch up, they took a chance on this show, which would have been much more at home on MTV or even FOX. The end result was something that was surprisingly similar in tone and charm as another rock-and-roll reality show; The Osbourne’s. The thing is, the NBC audience is just no… prepared or interested in a show whose target audience is 18-24 year olds.
The fact is, this is not a show that is meant to be serious, or even really all that realistic. It is intended solely for fun, pure and simple. In that light, this show is a slam dunk. It is clear that the editors took very liberal license with the raw footage that they were given to work with. Still, the point of this show is not to provide an accurate portrayal of college life, it is to provide some mindless comedic entertainment.
I was actually pleasantly surprised by the soundtrack on this show. I was expecting to find the typical flat television documentary-quality soundtrack, but this is much more dynamic than that. There is some very impressive use of the subwoofer, especially in the scenes where Tommy is performing in the drum line. However, some of the audio (which was obviously captured live) was a bit hard to hear. Therefore, subtitles are used where necessary, though they are probably not quite used often enough. All told, however, this is a surprisingly impressive audio presentation that successfully adds to the overall quality of this release.
The video quality is decent, but not quite up to the standards of the audio. The images are in a full screen format, which is to be expected for a show of this kind. The images are clear enough, though, and grain is kept to a minimum. The problems show up with regards to edge clarity. While larger images transfer well, smaller objects have a serious problem with sharpness. Also, it looks like some of the shots from Lee’s drum line performance at halftime of the football game were pulled from broadcast cameras, which makes for some annoying swings in quality during transitions. Overall, the color looks good, however, and the presentation is pleasing, and basically what one would expect to find on a product of this nature.
The special features on this disc reinforce the fact that this show was produced primarily to sell Tommy Lee as a solo recording artist. Included here is the music video for Lee’s single Good Times, as well as behind-the-scenes-style music videos for the songs Good Times, Hello Again and Tryin’ to be Me. While these segments have absolutely nothing to do with the television program, they are mildly entertaining nonetheless. Lee’s music has mellowed out considerably over the past several years, and this is a great opportunity for him to showcase his new laid-back style.
Clearly, the main point of this show is to sell Tommy Lee’s newest album, The Ride. Having said that, this disc is a great way to relax and have a mindless good time for an afternoon. Even better, the entire series only runs about two hours in length, so there’s really not so much here that viewers will tire of the novelty. A really nice audio track, coupled with some relatively entertaining extras, makes this purchase something I can easily recommend to casual viewers in the 18-24 year old age range.
Special Features List
- Good Times Music Video
- Good Times Behind-the-Scenes Video
- Hello Again Behind-the-Scenes Video
- Tryin’ to be Me Behind-the-Scenes-Video