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Paramount Studios presents
Punk'd: The Complete Second Season (2003)

BJ : So what did you think of that?
Hilary : I really don't think I would have given him the finger, then gotten out of my car and hit him with a smoothie and a baseball bat.

- BJ and Hilary Duff (as themselves)

Review By: Kevin Clemons   
Published: October 28, 2004

Stars: Ashton Kutcher, Al Shearer, Dax Shepard
Other Stars: Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff, Halle Berry, Nick Carter, Tommy Lee, Tracy Morgan, Outkast, Wilmer Valderama, Usher Raymond, Missy Elliott, Katie Holmes, McG, Mya, Ashanti, Lil Bow Wow, Taye Diggs, Rachael Leigh Cook, Beyonce Knowles, Jesse James
Director: various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for language
Run Time: 04h:45m:12s
Release Date: October 12, 2004
UPC: 097368864146
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
C+ BB+B- B-

DVD Review

The first season of Punk'd came on like gangbusters with its popularity rising throughout its original thirteen episodes, while also propelling Ashton Kutcher into the celebrity stratosphere. When the series returned for its second season expectations were high, as were the stakes, and the series catapulted into a pop culture phenomenon. In the second season such stars as Matthew Perry, Outkast, Usher, Hilary Duff, Halle Berry, and Lindsay Lohan each get punked and it makes for a better all-around experience than the debut season.

As many celebrities were undoubtedly expecting to be visited by Ashton and his crew (filled out by Dax Shephard, Ryan Pinkston, and Al Shearer) the stunts had to be bigger and more lavish, and for the most part the second season is successful because of this. With everything from a driving lesson with Hilary Duff that also teaches road rage, Katie Holmes unknowingly involved in a love triangle, and the season's biggest prank featuring Outkast and a very expensive rental car that gets involved in a serious auto accident.

While the series does become repetitive after awhile, and Kutcher does tend to get very annoying, this is an often hilarious show that has an abundance of energy. Watching the celebrities get angry at the situations they are involved in is absolutely hysterical at times, including hip hop star Missy Elliott whose personalized jewelry is mistakenly given to the wrong messenger. When Elliott threatens the store owner and employees it makes it all the more funny to see her so irate.

The Outkast sequence is easily the most ambitious that the Punk'd crew has ever been involved in. After winning an award, Outkast members Andre 3000 and Big Boi find that their $375,000 rental car has careened through the very large front window of a retail store. The most impressive thing about this prank is the massive amount of detail that went into it. From firetrucks, a wrecked storefront, and several hovering helicopters, the prank looks and feels like a real accident scene. The interaction between the crew and the stars is priceless, and it is very entertaining to see the pair have a near meltdown on national television.

Other highlights in the second season include Taye Diggs getting a physical from a doctor who gets a little too "handsy," Jaime Pressly being accused of running a sweat shop with her new clothing line, and superstar Usher being tricked when his brother is accused of shoplifting from an L.A. store. But the absolute highpoint, outside of the Outkast piece, is Hilary Duff taking her driving test while encountering some serious road rage from both other drivers and her instructor. The site of Duff, who I normally dislike but learned to, thanks to this piece, flipping out after her instructor not only beats another car with a baseball bat but also loses the car is priceless.

One slight flaw with the second season is that it seem that the popularity of the series has gone to Kutcher's head, and they have moved away from punking ordinary people, which was the best part about the first season. The second season does have several red carpet interviews that are hilarious as such celebrities Wilmer Valderama, Alicia Silverstone, Rose McGowan, Dule Hill, and Nicole Richie are embarrassed at the expense of a fake news reporter from the Punk'd crew.

Rating for Style: C+
Rating for Substance: B

 

Image Transfer

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


Image Transfer Review: Punk'd is presented in its original 1.33:1 aspect ratio and the video quality is generally very good. Colors are done very well with no bleeding and deep tones, while sharpness and detail are each of high quality.Nice job.

Image Transfer Grade: B+

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby Surround track for Punk'd is very basic throughout as the entire mix is largely anchored in the center channel. Dialogue is crisp and clear for the most part but there are times where it sounds a tad harsh with some noticeable distortion. The surround speakers are used sparingly with the music played during beginning and end of the segments coming across nicely.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 3 cues and remote access
8 Deleted Scenes
1 Featurette(s)
8 Feature/Episode commentaries by host Ashton Kutcher, producer Jason Goldberg, and stars Steve Ranazzisi, and Ahmed Ahmed
Packaging: 2 disc slip case
Picture Disc
2 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extras Review: Audio commentary is offered by co-creator and host Ashton Kutcher, producer Jason Goldberg, and stars Steve Ranazzisi, and Ahmed Ahmed for each of the eight episodes. There is little to be learned about the actual making of the show but the group does keep things lively with some very funny stories (many of which have nothing to do with Punk'd) as well as some anecdotes that involve why they punked certain celebrities.

There are deleted scenes for nearly each prank as well as a completely new prank from the red carpet of an environmental benefit. Most of these excised bits are fairly unfunny but there are a few laughs to be had. Finally, a brief featurette is included on the making of the Outkast prank. This is a good piece that shows the hard work that Kutcher and crew go through for a ten-minute joke.

Extras Grade: B-

 

Final Comments

Overall, the second season of Punk'd is successful in that it is very entertaining and funny, but by the end of this two-DVD set, it becomes rather boring. Selected pranks are worth watching more than once, making this a fine rental.

 


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