HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Drunk History: Seasons 1 and 2
HTS Overall Score:74
It seems that the Internet is really the breeding ground for modern comedy. Starting out (as many have before it) as a webisode series, “Drunk History” uses real life drunk people to narrate and recreate historical events for our amusement. Derek Waters creates and stars as the guide to this expedition, drinking along with his guests and steering the conversation as the inebriated person starts to wander around, puke in buckets or just lose themselves in incoherent thought. Part of the magic of the show is that not only are these tipsy people trying (emphasis on trying) to retell historical events, but Derek Waters and his crew (along with a plethora of guest stars) play the dialogue OVER a mimed recreation of the actual event. This, of course, includes all of the mis steps, stumblings, wrong words and overall craziness of the drunk narrator.
Derek acts as a host to the series, giving 2-3 different drunk people per episode a chance to recreate a famous historical event or figure based upon geographic locations. The 1st season you see them giving them people that coincide with a particular place, like Boston, Washington DC, San Francisco, etc., but in Season two they expand the categories to include sports figures, musicians, writers etc. Most of the guest narrators are fairly public people, including LA comedians, Writers like Allan McLeod and Mark Gagliardi etc. Each of the narrators are boozed up to a hefty level of inebriation and then Dereck asks them to spill all their knowledge about a certain individual or historical figure and sits back to watch ensuing hilarity.
As with all variety shows there are varying levels of funny over the two seasons. Sometimes the person telling the tale just isn’t THAT inebriated, or has a bland delivery of the story so the level of humor is diminished, but most times the show had me rolling on the floor and giggling incessantly as they swing and a miss at their history lessons, or insert their own interpretations into the story, which makes it even better. Waters drinks along with the victims of the show, but keeps a level of cool that the guests aren’t allowed to be at. Sometimes he coaxes and guides them, while other times he’s putting them on the back and telling them that it’s ok to lay down on the floor where it’s not spinning so much, or helping them hold a bucket while the contents of a bottle or so end up out of the stomach.
If the show itself isn’t a funny enough idea, Waters and crew have taken it a step farther and taken the audio of the guests and hires actors to mime to the dialogue, which includes all the flubs and language that the narrator is spewing forth. We get a handful of regular actors to act as the side characters, but the majority of the people playing the main characters are much bigger names. We see literally dozens in not hundreds of popular stars, from Jack Black, Michael Certa, Comedy central favorite Joe Lo Truglio, Johnny Knoxville, Casey Wilson, Winona Ryder, Terry Crews, John Lithgow, Will Sasso, Chris Parnell, Charlie Day, Adam Scott and that’s barely touching on the celebrity names. With such a funny compliment of actors to play the visuals it adds a whole different realm to an already funny idea. I can’t tell you how many times I ended up laughing myself silly as Jack Black gallivanted around the screen as a chubby Elvis, or Jo Lo Truglio trying to mimic Al Capone my first night watching. Even if you’re not a fan of being around drunk people when sober, the show is able to tickle the funny bone in just the right way, editing out the boring parts and letting us laugh ourselves to the point of exhaustion as the follies of humans under the influence.
Not Rated by the MPAA
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=34289[/img]The series is put on a nice set of 3 DVDs giving a teensy bit over 2 hours of content per disc. That gives us plenty of breathing room to deal with compression and thusly we really don’t have any issues in that department. The only real PROBLEM is that the show has to deal with some aliasing and softness, but the softness is mainly due to it being a DVD in a Blu-ray world. It would have been nice to see them in their Hi-Def glory, but it’s not a show that just begs for HD so I’m willing to forgive it that and laugh myself silly at the content on screen. Colors look nice, and black levels are mostly good, but there is that aforementioned softness and sometimes the black levels would look a bit washed out. Still, it’s a very solid effort for a DVD and does the show proud.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=34297[/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. I have to say, I was actually surprised that there was the amount of LFE present in the show as there is. Cannon shots from the war time narrations are decently weighty and the scene queues have a solid amount of bump to them. I can’t say anything wildly negative about the track, and really its only fault is being a show where 99% of the sound coming from the speakers is dialogue, whether it be from the center channel in the 5.1 track, or the 2 mains in the stereo track.
• Drunk Outtakes & Extended Scenes
• Extended "First Ladies" Episode
• Sober Reveals
Back in my wilder days I could wax eloquent (at least in your internal monologue) with the best of them, and the ridiculous stumbling and mumbling of the inebriated guests was a trip down memory lane. The show ranges from good to great depending on the person and the story, but it never fails to at least entertain the viewer for each 22 minute episode. Most of the time I was giggling, if not downright rolling on the floor as we watch them try SOOOOOOOOOO very hard to tell a coherent story. The audio and video won’t let you down and the limited extras that are included are pretty solid, so I’d recommend at least a watch (and definitely a buy if you’re already a fan of the show). Recommended
Starring: Derek Waters, Bennie Arthur, Maria Blasucci
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1, English DD 2.0,
Runtime: 398 Minutes
DVD Release Date: Nov 25th, 2014
Buy Drunk History: Season 1 and 2 DVD on Amazon
Recommendation: Watch It
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