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Buy from Amazon

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Warner Home Video presents
Tom Goes To The Mayor: The Complete Series (2004-2006)

Tom Peters: Well, basically, I've done a lot of research and we think that the best way to protect our youngest citizens in Jefferton here is to surround them with bear traps.
The Mayor: Wonderful, Tom. Wonderful.
Tom Peters: It's basically for their protection, so I don't know why you wouldn't want to do that. Of course, obviously there's a little bit of risk... Actually a lot. A tremendous amount of risk. I hate to say it, but I will guarantee that a number of kids will be injured or possibly killed in the project.

- (Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim)

Review By: Rich Rosell  
Published: June 29, 2007

Stars: Eric Wareheim, Tim Heidecker
Other Stars: Bob Odenkirk, Ron Lynch, Stephanie Courtney, Craig Anton, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Ian Black, David Cross, Jeff Garlin, Jeff Goldblum, Patton Oswalt, Sarah Silverman, Fred Willard, Jack Black, Kyle Gass, Jordan Cohen, Mark Womack, Dave Foley, Paul Reubens, Stuart Maesche, Brian Posehn, Gary Busey, Robert Loggia, Bob Balaban, Janeane Garofalo, Garry Shandling, Michael Cera, Todd Barry, Brian Doyle Murray, John C. Reilly, Judd Hirsch, Tom Kenney, Louie Anderson, Sean Hayes, Fred Armisen, Michael Hitchcock, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Dustin Diamond, Edward Herrmann, Maria Bramford
Director: Eric Wareheim, Tim Heidecker, Bob Odenkirk

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (mature humor, language)
Run Time: 05h:48m:00s
Release Date: April 03, 2007
UPC: 053939785128
Genre: television


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

DVD Review

Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming has been the bastion for some wonderfully dark and subversive animated series, of which Tom Goes To The Mayor is yet another proud entry.

With its distinctive flip-book-like animationówith all characters reimagined through a Photoshop filteróthis one is uniquely identifiable visually, and operates with its own specialized brand of absurdity. The creation of Eric Wareheim and Tim Heideckerówith a nod from Bob Odenkirkóeach 11 minute episode is set in the cookie-cutter strip mall suburb of Jefferton, and features eager go-getter Tom Peters (Heidecker) approaching the bizarrely dim bulb mayor (Wareheim) with some new scheme for improving the community, typically with disastrous results.

This three-disc set carries all 30 episodes of the now-on-hiatus series two-year run on Adult Swim, and it is a mass of surreal humor, the kind where bear traps and a mechanical sea serpent seem like theoretically good ideas for improving the community of Jefferton. The recurring gag that Tom has to literally reintroduce himself to the mayor each episode, or that the city council base of operations is a trashy buffet restaurant is just a stepping off point for a string of nonsensical storylines about things like the mysterious Hobo Town, a World War II themed restaurant or the dangers of eating too much pudding.

There are a large number of guest stars spread across the series run, some that seem totally unexpected for a show like this (Edward Herrmann, Jeff Goldblum), while others seem like a natural fit (Fred Willard, Paul Reubens). Either way, there are quite a bit of recognizable faces and voices that are worked into the stories, whether it be Bob Balaban as Tom's somewhat distant father (The Layover) or Michael Ian Black as one of the mayor's equally strange college pals (Vehicular Manslaughter). And silly things such as the Python-esque secret handshake that Black's Dr. Ian Black and the mayor share is typical of the protracted nonsense that happens on the show on a regular basis.

And in those individual 11-minute chunks, Tom Goes To The Mayor never really has the opportunity to pummel a joke too far into submission, because there just isn't enough time; the wacky Tenacious D. song about bear traps does come dangerously close to overstaying its welcome, but still manages to wrap up just before it becomes a complete irritant. Overall there's an unhinged scattershot approach to the plots, or seeming lack thereof (matchmaker to dogs, selling big cups), and it is that mass of unpredictability that more or less defines the Wareheim/Heidecker approach to comedy. It can be an acquired taste, but it is enjoyably strange.

In the immortal words of one Tom Peters ill-fated ideas: "Rats off to ya!"

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 30 eps are presented in their original 1.33:1 full-frame, spread across three discs. While the series might initially appear like it was slapped together with scissors and glue, the blemish-free transfers here seem brighter and more vivid than the original broadcasts. Edges and backgrounds seems more defined, and the sometimes strange mix of colors used appears gaudy and rich.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: The audio is presented in 2.0 stereo, and is workable in its simplicity, delivering clear voiceover work. Some of the sound effects come on a little too loud at times, but that's a minor beef for a series built around intentionally absurd wackiness.

Suitable, albeit harsh.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 30 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
6 TV Spots/Teasers
8 Deleted Scenes
Production Notes
2 Documentaries
7 Featurette(s)
30 Feature/Episode commentaries by Eric Wareheim, Tim Heidecker
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
3 Discs
3-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extras Review: Creators/stars Eric Wareheim and Tim Heidecker provide a commentary for each episode, which is thirty if you're counting. Even for a show as bizarre as this, the flow of the content is surprisingly a little less manic than on some of the other supplemental material on this set. Occasionally seemingly more introspective than you might anticipate (for example, a discussion of the father issues of The Layover), though there's always that underlying thought that it's all a big joke they're playing. It might be necessary to listen to every commentary, but picking and choosing the ones for favorite episodes can work pretty well in small doses.

The rest of the extras are split across the three discs, with disc one housing That's Amazing! How Do They Make That Show? (21m:22s), which claims to be an "intimate" look at things like script development, the unique photo shoots and naturally the "blu-ing" process that gives the show its distinct look. The Night of 1,000 Stars: Celebrity Sessions (11m:25s) chronicles the work of some of the guest stars, and shows them recording their dialogue and posing for the stills that will get used in the animation process. A Look Behind (11m:57s) is another behind-the-scenes look, essentially covering much of the same material from That's Amazing!, only a bit more focused. There's also a pair of "Original Toms", meaning the first two experimental epsóTom Goes To The Mayor 2002 (03m:55s) and Tom Goes To The Mayor Returns 2003 (06m:33s). Both of these are slightly different from what the show eventually evolved into, but the same general concept and look are there.

Disc 2 carries Whoops!, a set eight short deleted scenes from a few assorted eps, as well as Tiny Tune Town: Music From The Show, a mini jukebox interface that allows viewers to play their favorite bit of music from the series, or at least pick from the 18 choices here. And yes, the Tenacious D "trap" song is one of the options. Here's The Scoop: Married News Outtakes (09m:20s) is a fairly redundant set of bloopers shot during the live action Married News team bits; these characters are fine in moderation, but nine straight minutes is something of an endurance test. And then there's Bob Zone: A Tribute To Bob Odenkirk (06m:35s), part wacky comedy, part kiss-the-ring schmoozefest of Odenkirk's involvement in the series.

On Disc 3 there's another backstage look, entitled Boiling Point!: Behind The Scenes Season Two (24m:11s) that addresses some of the complexities encountered as the series hit its sophomore run, all presented with the expected level of witty buffoonery. An Artist's Touch: Artwork From The Show (07m:49s) is an automated slideshow of photos and drawings of some of the memorable supplemental items in the Tom universe (hello Funputer!). Disc 3 wraps with a set of six Adult Swim and Tom Goes To The Mayor promos.

Extras Grade: B+

 

Final Comments

Pile on the weirdness with the entire 30-episode run of yet another truly bizarre Adult Swim series. An acquired taste to be sure, Tom Goes To The Mayor goes for surreal absurdity in a Groundhog Day sort of way, over and over again. And it's funny. Stupidly. gloriously funny.

Highly recommended.

 


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