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Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Paramount Home Video presents
Reno 911!: Most Wanted (Uncensored) (2003-2006)

Lt. Dangle: I think some of these people are trying too hard. I think that when the truck of anthrax comes, it's going to have "United We Stand" and a Bush/Cheney sticker on the back.
Deputy T. Junior: And a Toby Keith tape playing.
Lt. Dangle: It'll be the Trojan Horse, but instead of a horse it'll be...
Deputy T. Junior: A Bronco.
Lt. Dangle: Right. Or an F150.

- (Thomas Lennon, Ben Garant)

Review By: Rich Rosell   
Published: February 27, 2007

Stars: Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Carlos Alazraqui, Ben Garant, Cedric Yarbrough, Niecy Nash, Mary Birdsong
Other Stars: Cheryl Hines, Mini Olivera, Toby Huss, Paul Reubens, Cathy Shim, Oscar Nunez, Jack Plotnick, Kyle Dunnigan, Tom Bolster, Dick Gregory, Brian Phelps, Matt Besser
Director: Michael Patrick Jann, Thomas Lennon

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (language, adult situations)
Run Time: 02h:28m:08s
Release Date: February 27, 2007
UPC: 097361222547
Genre: television


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

DVD Review

With the first three seasons of Comedy Central's Cops! parody already on DVD, the release of the seven episode collection Reno 911! Most Wanted seems a little superfluous. Especially when you consider that of the seven episodes here, only one is from Season Four, which means that if you're a fan of the show you already likely have the majority of the material available here. But the wisenheimer in me knows the real purpose is to serve as an introductory teaser to draw in new recruits for the release of the feature film Reno 911! Miami.

But maybe, just maybe, you're not hip to the Reno 911! ways, so how about a quick synopsis of the series? The premise skewers the hand-held "day in the life" format of the Fox police series with demented, improvised aplomb, following the fictional members of the Reno, Nevada Sheriff's Department. Lt. Jim Dangle (Thomas Lennon) is the group's occasionally overzealous and slightly dense leader, he of the very tight, very short shorts. The rest of the squad includes the very naive cat lover Trudy Wiegel (Kerri Kenney), hit-first-ask-questions-later James Garcia (Carlos Alazraqui), sunglass-wearing country boy Travis Junior (Ben Garant), cleavage-baring blonde Clementine Johnson (Wendi McLendon-Covey), mace happy Raineesha Williams (Niecy Nash), sex-obsessed "Jonesy" Jones (Cedric Yarbrough), and reformed no-nonsense Cheresa Kimball (Mary Birdsong). The friendship and friction between all of these assorted character types is the main source of the show's humor, along with their lack of any semblance of measurable law enforcement skills.

I'm not sure why these seven particular episodes were picked (there are no commentaries or supplements to shed light on the selection process), but as a cross-section of the first four seasons, the choices all seem like particularly good ones. The two-part Terrorist Training from Season One (also featuring The Office's Oscar Nunez) ranks as one of my personal favorites, and has the Reno squad undergoing extensive Homeland Security training—which they botch miserably—from an elite team of federal agents. The arrival of an envelope full of white powder—an anthrax test—at the morning roll call meeting is considered everything but dangerous, with the officers tasting it, spilling it, passing it around, and wondering aloud if it was a "free deodorant sample."

While the main cast is usually the centerpiece of the largely ad-libbed comedic dialogue, occasionally there are some recurring characters they run across on their daily calls, including repeated busts of clumsy Klansmen, pantless drunks, a comically large-breasted nut, and crazy rednecks. Also spread across this collection is an appearance by a jive televangelist (Religion In Reno), a dangerous English Bobby (British Law), and an angry kid's show host (SARS). The SARS ep is another of the real standouts of these seven, with not only a terrific spoof of children's programming, but one of the funniest attempted cat rescue gags I've ever seen.

Yet the hook for those who already own the first three seasons is the inclusion of the unreleased Season Four show Rick's On It. In this installment, Paul "Pee Wee Herman" Reubens guest stars as a raspy-voiced, beret-wearing member of the Citizen's Patrol, and continually puts the Reno team to shame when it comes to investigating a series of knife-in-the-back murders around town. Rick's crime scene analysis skills and deductive reasoning are unparalleled, much to the aggravation of frustrated Lt. Dangle, and Reubens turns a potentially silly character into a mysteriously weird one.

The downside for newcomers is that you lose some of the nuances of character development that goes on over the course of a season, and it might be confusing at times why Wiegel has a boyfriend in prison ("someone's been bass taping you?") or suddenly appears pregnant. Ditto for relative newcomer Mary Birdsong, whose Cheresa Kimball only appears in the final two eps here, with no background on who she is or where she came from. Maybe not a big deal in the whole scheme of things, but that's where those season sets come in handy.

The seven episodes here do come "uncensored" (like previous releases), meaning all of the Comedy Central bleeps have been removed, and the free-flowing obscenities are all here in their unexpurgated glory.

The episodes included are:

Execution Tickets
Original Air Date: 08/06/03
Season 1

Terrorist Training Part One
Original Air Date: 10/15/03
Season 1

Terrorist Training Part Two
Original Air Date: 10/15/03
Season 1

Religion In Reno
Original Air Date: 7/7/04
Season 2

British Law
Original Air Date: 06/23/04
Season 2

SARS
Original Air Date: 7/5/05
Season 3

Rick's On It
Original Air Date: 7/30/06
Season 4

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A+

 

Image Transfer

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


Image Transfer Review: All episodes are presented in their original 1.33:1 fullframe aspect ratio. As with previous season sets, the image is noticeably sharp and well-detailed, with bright colors, and manages to look more vibrant than it does when broadcast.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: Paramount has issued this best-of collection with a workable 2.0 stereo blend that delivers clear dialogue, but not much in the way of "wow." This is not a show that demands any gimmicky sound cues—given the whole on-the-street mockumentary format—so the format is more than adequate, and probably anything more polished would cheapen the effect.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 42 cues and remote access
3 Other Trailer(s) featuring South Park: The Complete Ninth Season, The Comedy Central Roast Of William Shatner, Mind Of Mencia: Uncensored Season Two
2 Featurette(s)
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: This best-of collection comes in a clear plastic Amaray-style case, inside of a slightly embossed slipcover. There are the expected Comedy Central trailers, plus a pair of extras that are referred to as "short-splitting" on the front cover. The first is the funnier of the two, and it's Top Ten Calls (14m:05s), a random collection of some of the wackier busts handled by the Reno force. The second one doesn't work quite so well—it's a live musical (03m:45s) about stealing cable television, sung by Dangle, Jonesy, Wiegel, and Williams, taken from an MTV awards program.

Each episode is cut into six chapters.

Extras Grade: C-

 

Final Comments

For the Reno 911! faithful who already have the first three seasons on DVD, this seven episode best-of set might merit a rental/purchase just for the Paul Reubens appearance from the not-yet-released Season Four's Rick's On It episode, but that's a tough call.

As a primer to the series, it's a nice introduction and tease for the feature film, and the material is certainly very funny, but I'm a season set kind of guy, so I typically have trouble endorsing these kinds of samplers, no matter how brilliant the content.

 


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