HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Drunk History: Season 4
HTS Overall Score:73
With the way the media is going today I almost wonder if people will have to read modern history drunk just to be able to get through it in the history books. However, Derek Waters and Jeremy Konner have already made that precedent with their TV show “Drunk History”. For those who are just catching up with the show, the premise is pretty simple. Derek Waters acts as the “guide” for the show, interviewing 3 celebrities and having them tell their favorite history story…….while completely sloshed (don’t worry, Waters is usually pretty hammered as well, being that he’s a gentleman and doesn’t allow his guests to get drunk alone). Thus hilarity ensues as we get to point our fingers and laugh as our favorite celebrities slur their words and tell history in their own words. Which can be truly painful or completely belly laugh inducing.
If you’ve seen the previous three seasons you already know what you’re in for. The 4th season doesn’t break any new ground or doing anything completely off the rails to try and make itself “fresh”. Really, you can’t do a whole lot with the premise of the show as it’s really rather simple. Get people drunk and watch them tell historical stories with some hilariously dubbed re-enactments using A-list and B-list (and certainly some C and D list as well) actors. The real pull of the show has always been laughing at the inane “shorthand history” lessons that come from the mouths of drunken comedians and other Los Angeles based talent. I’ve been amazed at the amount of actual re-enactment talent that Waters and Konner have been able to pull into the show. We see such actor as Liev Schreiber, Patton Oswalt, Ed Helms, Kat Dennings, Bob Odenkirk, Lin Manuel Miranda (who does a hilarious “Hamilton” skit) and a LOOOOOOOOOOOOT more.
Season 4 is really on par with the excellence of season 3 (if you can call a show about getting hammered and laughing at yourself while you try and retell history “excellent”) as the show has finally caught it’s groove. Highlights from the season include Andrew Jackson getting into a barfight, an episode where we get to look at Election issues (which is a surprisingly funny episode), and a skit with Lin Manuel Miranda where Hamilton is glorified as coming in on flaming ship (I can’t quote the whole line as it contains some language, but needless to say it’s side splitting and one of the best stories of the whole season).
Waters has gotten better with the camerawork of the show as well as guiding his guests these last couple of seasons. While he still gets sloshed with his guests throughout the show, he seems to have tempered just a little bit and acts as more of a guide than he uses to. Probably a result of realizing that getting just as blitzed as your inebriated interviewees didn’t help him in the editing room.
With the show being as popular as it is, and with the similarities between the sketches at times, I STILL have to wonder how much of the show is scripted. You can say that this is all 100% pure improve if you want, but there is a certain cynical side of me that is honestly curious just HOW MUCH of the show is coached and pre prepared for. Ah well, either way, it still makes for hilariously stupid fun. “Drunk History” is not a show that you need to watch week after week, but it’s fun for popping in the disc and relaxing when you really don’t want to THINK about anything. If anything, you at least need to look up the Election episode and the Hamilton skit, as both of those had me rolling no matter how many times I’ve seen it.
Not Rated by the MPAA
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=93522[/img]Season 4 comes in the standard DVD format spread across 2 DVD Dual Layer discs to give the show PLENTY of breathing room. Being only 3.5 hours I really was expecting to see it come on a single disc, but with 2 DVD-9's compression artifacts are pretty much non existant. The aliasing and haloing I noticed on the first couple of seasons isn't really present for this season and the cinematography looks a LOT better as well. There's still a bit of smoothness to the image as the cameras that Waters uses aren't top of the line, and the grading that they use for their period piece re-enactments tends to add a bit of a "sheen" to what we're seeing. Black levels are solid (although washing out does still occur because of certain color grading's for certain skits), and shadow detailing is admirable.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=93530[/img]The show is presented in a 5.1 Dolby Digital showing as well as a 2.0 stereo track as well. They both are surprisingly similar, as the show is really just a dialogue heavy show. Derek’s voice is locked to that center track along with the drunken narrators and the musical score and a few sound effects from the reenactments filling in the other 4 channels. The LFE is still pretty potent, especially with Hamilton coming in on his flaming ship of doom. Honestly, there is very little to complain about from a technical standpoint, but the limitations of being a VERY dialog intensive show just lend itself to being locked up front in the three main channels instead of giving us the wild 5.1 mix that comes from big blockbuster shows and movies.
• Election Special
• Extended Drunk Narrator Moments and Deleted Scenes
“Drunk History Season 4” is exactly what you would expect of the show. Funny, witty, stupidly hysterical, and devoid of any highbrow humor AT ALL throughout the short skits. The drawing power comes from the guest talent and the well done visual re-enactments on screen. I really tip my hat to the two creators as they have seriously ramped up their production values and talent acquisitions as the show has progressed over the last 4 seasons, bringing more and more big name actors and guests into the fold. The technical merits are pretty standard for the show, with great video and audio, and some decent extras.
Starring: Derek Waters, Liev Schrieber, Kat Dennings
Creators: Jeremy Konner, Derek Waters
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1, English DD 2.0,
Runtime: 213 Minutes
DVD Release Date: March 14th, 2017
Buy Drunk History: Season 4 DVD on Amazon
Recommendation: Fun Watch
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