HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Key and Peele Seasons 1 and 2
HTS Overall Score:70
Have you ever heard the phrase “too much of a good thing”? That’s unfortunately the case with Key and Peele. Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peel were made famous through their inclusion on the last few seasons of “Mad-TV”. They’re two friends who have the incredible ability to play off of each other and create some great sketch comedy. I love sketch comedy, I really do. My only beef with sketch comedy is the fact that it’s hard to keep the momentum rolling. With Mad-TV it’s not nearly so bad because they’re only in the episodes for a scene or two and it moves on to a new group of people. In this case we have a bit of the age old “too much of a good thing” that I mentioned earlier. When you have a show that’s NOTHING BUT the two of them the novelty wears a bit and comedy is less and less funny when it’s constantly in your face.
Key and Peele stand up before a live studio audience and banter with each other in between sketches, ala Mad-TV. The two jokingly refer to themselves as bi-racially gifted since they are both a mix of African and Caucasian, giving them full licence to rip on both sides of the fence with glee, and they really do make some memorable characters ala Mad-TV and Saturday Night Live. Peele’s Impersonation of Obama is one of the funniest things that I have seen in my LIFE. The vocals, the inflections, the body movements are so impeccably recreated that it’s mind boggling. Think of how Frank Caliendo could so beautifully spoof President G.W. Bush. Same situation, different president. When peele comes on with his Obama skits I literally drop everything I’m doing to watch it. It’s that stinking good. It’s a bit flip of the coin, though, which skits are good and which skits just fall flat. The impersonation of Lil John was funny the very first time, then every time after that I stood there looking at my watch as the same old schtick was beaten into the ground. Then in the next skit I’d be rolling on the floor as Key and Peele go off about mixed martial arts fighting (truly one of the 1st season’s funniest episodes). If you hate reality TV as much as I do, their skit on Reality TV chefs was truly inspired.
The good and the bad thing about the show is the repetition. If you like the same thing over and over, you get that, just with different scenarios, and there’s a comfort in knowing that you’ll get the same type of humor. The bad thing, is that it’s the same thing over and over again, just with different scenarios. As with most comedians, the longer and longer they’re in productions, the less and less funny it becomes as they begin stretching for new material and recycling the same old jokes for new laughs. With Standup it’s easier to swallow, since they come up with new routines once every few years. When you have a tv show you’re forced to come up with new material every few weeks at LEAST. While I love Key and Peele in small does, after a while everything blurs into one undistinctive whirl as you can pretty much tell what they’re going to do from week to week.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=15122[/img]The 1.78:1 AVC transfer for both seasons are quite good by modern standards. Being a modern TV show it’s shot with digital cameras and the results are quite pleasing. The colors are smooth and bright, there is no real grain to speak of, except some VERY mild mosquito noise in some scenes. The detail is good, but nothing spectacular since the focus of the show is on the comedy rather than on special effects, but the prosthetics look very clean blend smoothly with the video. Black levels are good, but again, nothing spectacular since I do notice a bit of a washed out tone on some of the blacks in the show. Usually dealing with bright outdoor scenes as the whites bloom a bit. Contrast is good and skin tones look very natural. I have to say it does the show justice, without any major flaws to hinder or have us wince over.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=15123[/img]The 5.1 Dolby TrueHD track is really a comedy track to the core. Front heavy and focusing mainly on the vocals it doesn’t really emphasize full immersion. There is some mild ambient noises during the skit, as footsteps come from behind, or a traffic in the background, but really the surrounds are more of a courtesy thing since the track is really more of a 3.0 track to honest. Now on to the good. The vocals are very cleanly represented here and the front soundstage is impeccable as you can hope for. The vocals are locked firmly in the center with most of the ambient noises and “effects” coming from the mains. There’s some solid LFE in a few scenes, but mostly it just compliments the audio instead of really making your seats vibrate. Serviceable and quite pleasing, it’s a comedy track at its core and comes with the downfalls of that genre.
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It's rather funny at times, but as I said earlier, too much of a good thing can get wearing very quickly. Sooner or later material starts to feel repetitive and dull, which is exactly what happens here. it's very much a flip of the coin experience, with some skits being insanely funny, and others just falling flat as a pancake. The show matures in some was, as it goes on, but at the same time you can only do the same thing so many times before it starts to get boring. If you're a fan of the show, then this blu-ray release is about as good as it gets, if you're just curious it's one of those things that I'd honestly suggest a rental first. Comedy can be timeless, and it can be transitory, and "Key and Peele" seem like the latter, entertaining at times, but just as often boring it's one of those things that you watch once for a chuckle and then move on.
Starring: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele
Created by: Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English: DD Stereo
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Runtime: 396 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: March 25th, 2013
Buy Key and Peele Seasons 1 and 2 Blu-ray on Amazon
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