follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

Microsoft Store

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif

Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Comedy Central Home Video presents
Strangers With Candy: Season 2 (2000)

"I was a boozer, a user, and a loser. I stole a TV, did some more time. But now I'm back in school, and though the faces may have changed, the hassles are just the same."
- Jerri Blank (Amy Sedaris)

Review By: Rich Rosell  
Published: December 14, 2003

Stars: Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert, Paul Dinello, Greg Hollimon
Other Stars: Sarah Thyre, Orlando Pabotoy, Maria Thayer, Deborah Rush, Larc Spies
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (mature humor)
Run Time: 03h:42m:00s
Release Date: November 04, 2003
UPC: 824363002293
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer

DVD Review

Strangers With Candy ran for just three seasons (1999-2001) on Comedy Central, and in that short span of time managed to make its mark as one of the weirdest and funniest shows on television, albeit with a level of humor that continually pushed the limits of cable's looser censorship restrictions. The brainchild of writers Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert, Paul Dinello, and Mitch Rouse, Strangers With Candy is the story of 46-year-old, ex-con, oversexed junkie Jerri Blank (Sedaris), a self-admitted "boozer, user, and loser" who re-enrolls in her old high school (Flatpoint High) in a weak attempt to set her life straight.

Show creators Colbert and Dinello also star as regulars Mr. Noblet and Mr. Jellinek, a pair of Flatpoint teachers who carry on an illicit relationship together, along with Greg Hollimon as dictatorial Principal Onyx Blackman. The premise of the show is like those old After School Specials, where the main character learns a valuable lesson and overcomes some hardship, only in the world of Jerri Blank, she seldom overcomes anything, and usually ends up worse than when she started.

This Season Two set, consisting of all ten episodes from 2000, finds the show settling into a comfortable groove, offering up some of the best moments of its three-year run, with Sedaris once again decked out in fatty pants and buck teeth, as she is transformed into the leering, cocksure Jerri Blank. While Sedaris is seemingly the show's star, Colbert, Dinello, and Hollimon contribute as much to the show's success as anyone, and it is clear that the four of them together are really what makes it work. All four characters are insanely narcissistic, judgemental and illogical, and their skewed view of the world is where Strangers With Candy derives its bizarre, undermining pleasures from.

One of the signature episodes in this set is The Blank Page, where Jerri struggles to not only make it as a cheerleader, but overcome her illiteracy, and has a line of dialogue that long ago became standard issue around my house; when asked what "V-I-C-T-O-R-Y" spells, Jerri responds with "fandango", and then "hobo camp". Man, that really kills me everytime I hear it.

Jerri is not the sharpest knife in the drawer by any means, and her continually self-centered, materialistic ways (like craving a pair of expensive Flair shoes—the ones with the extra long laces) is only offset by her permanently high libido for anything with two legs. And I mean anything. Season Two also features a classic two-parter, when Jerri joins a weird religious cult (Safetrap House) that preys on the friendless, as well as the departure of Jerri's catatonic father, Guy (Robert Gari), who is ripped apart by wild dogs in the season's fourth episode, The Goodbye Guy.

I should probably emphasize that Strangers With Candy is likely not for fans of traditional network sitcoms, where safe humor and simple putdowns are the order of the day. The jokes here are often staggeringly mean-spirited and sexual, and there are really no main characters who are close to being likeable, identifiable, or even pleasant. The closest thing to nice are Jerri's two friends, fellow classmates Orlando (Orlando Pabotoy) and Tammi Littlenut (Maria Thayer), who exist only to be the recipients of repeated mockery and verbal abuse. But that's the charm of the show, the reprehensible nature of the leads, and how Sedaris, Colbert, and Dinello perfectly satirize the dopiness of "message" shows and specials, as when Jerri tries to woo a blind student in Behind Blank Eyes.

It is really a beautiful thing.

It's not often a comedy series can work in a line like "My pinky's all stinky".

Season Two Episodes:
Yes You Can't!
Behind Blank Eyes
The Virgin Jerri
The Goodbye Guy
Hit and Run
The Blank Page
To Love, Honor and Pretend
The Blank Stare, Part I
The Blank Stare, Part II
A Price Too High for Riches

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: All episodes are presented in the original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio, as they were when broadcast on Comedy Central. Colors are evenly balanced and nicely rendered, and the image detail is sharper and crisper than any cable signal I've ever had.

Image Transfer Grade: B


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Nothing fancy, but the simple and straightforward Dolby Digital 2.0 surround mix serves the material well. Dialogue is presented cleanly, and is perfectly clear and audible at all times. Rears don't get any noticeable action, with all the dialogue anchored across the front channels.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Animated menu with music
Scene Access with 10 cues and remote access
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring Reno 911, Tough Crowd, Upright Citizens Brigade
1 Documentaries
4 Feature/Episode commentaries by Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert, Paul Dinello
Packaging: Tri-Fold Amaray with slipcase
Picture Disc
3 Discs
3-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Amy Sedaris, Stephen Colbert, and Paul Dinello provide full-length commentary on four episodes (Behind Blank Eyes, The Goodbye Guy, Hit and Run, The Blank Page), all found on Disc One. The trio have an easy, relaxed chemistry together, and the tracks are a hip blend of production info, anecdotes, and snickering at the antics of Jerri Blank. Funny stuff, and a step up from the relatively low-key Season One commentaries.

Disc Two houses a segment entitled Museum of TV and Radio (44m;09s), in which Sedaris, Colbert, Dinello, Greg Hollimon, and producer Kent Alterman talk at length about the creation and writing of the show, and how they would routinely push the limits of what could be uttered by the characters. Like the commentary tracks, Colbert dominates the bulk of the conversations.

Lastly, there are previews of Comedy Central programs.

Extras Grade: B


Final Comments

You can have your mainstream sitcoms on the conservative big three networks, all I need is Strangers With Candy. This is twisted, daring, and adventurous comedy, and one of the few shining moments Comedy Central has ever had, other than the Upright Citizens Brigade.

Brilliant. Bring on Season Three!

Highly recommended.


Back to top

Microsoft Store

On Facebook!
Promote Your Page Too



Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store