HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Key and Peele Season 3
HTS Overall Score:73
Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele took Comedy Central by storm in 2012 by making their own show, after being made famous on Mad-TV and have done quite well for themselves. Sticking with the sketch comedy routines similar to Mad-TV and Saturday Night Light, they added their own unique flair and twist to the genre, having very few, if any, guest stars and instead focus on themselves and their many different “personas” on screen. The first two seasons had a lot of hits and misses as they found their footing, but season 3 is back with a vengeance and some really funny material to keep it spiced up. The audience time is less, the skits are less random, and the series focuses more on social commentary than just making stupid jokes (although there is plenty of stupidity in there for good measure).
Unlike the last several seasons, there isn’t a lot of repeating material. We have some, like the East/West sports teams skits, but most of the episodes feature fresh material that just works better. The unfortunate thing is that we have less of Peele’s Obama impersonations and that means less of Key’s role as Luther, the angry Obama translator. As much as I like the fresh material, Peele as our commander in chief is one of the most incredibly funny and SPOT ON impressions that I have ever hear. I’m not even an Obama fan, but I’d sit and watch Peele play that character all night long. The duo are extremely talented and right now they seem to be in the peak of their career, as their skits are moving at a rapid fire pace and stay fantastically un politically correct and wickedly inappropriate at times. Nothing is off the table as the pair target just about anyone for their scathing social commentaries. They aim that bullseye on gay culture, sports teams (which are incredibly hysterical if you follow modern sports), politics, and since they like to say they are Bi-racial they have fun ripping on black culture with a glee and gusto that will bring tears to your eyes.
Since there is a lack of recurring guest characters, most of the drama and funny spots are taken up by either Key and Peele and we get to see them run the whole gambit of characters, especially when they have to play both sexes on screen. Key is about the only other black comedian since Eddie Murphy who has nearly sent me into a seizure of laughter over his white man impression, and Peele playing a dolled up prissy brat of a woman is worth of an Oscar. That and I had to wonder if I cracked a rib or not.
The show reminds me of a mix between “South Park’s” scathing commentary with Saturday Night Live’s ludicrous sketch comedy acts, that in many ways has been more Saturday Night Live than Saturday Night Live has been in 20+ years. It’s witty, it’s irreverent and the two main stars have an incredible chemistry that just works well on screen. You can see the buddy buddy relationship that they have in real life translate to the show and it adds a flair all its own. My only complaint with the show has to do with the nature of sketch comedy and the pitfalls that it always has. Sketch comedy gains its strength through short skits that last for a short burst and then they’re on to the next one. This is also its greatest weakness as with so much different material not everything is going to resonate with the viewer. The wide range of comedic styles and stories will leave you laughing one skit and then bored the next as they can’t all be of the same humor level, and as such create an uneven pace. If you’re well acquainted with this type of humor and have loved Mad-TV or SNL, then it won’t be a big deal and you can role with the punches, however those who don’t watch a lot of Sketch comedy may find it odd at times.
Not Rated by the MPAA/Canada PG
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=27393[/img]The 1.78:1 AVC transfer for season 3 is an impressive jump of image quality over the first two seasons. Shot digitally it the image looks crystal clear from sketch to sketch, whether it be in the audience room, or the actual shorts themselves. There are a couple of times when we see a few different aspect ratios during skits and some of them were digital made to look like they were from the 80's, however those are brief and most certainly intentional. Lighting is very natural and skin tones look amazing throughout and, as you can guess from comment about the clarity, detail is through the roof. All the wigs and bald head prosthetic lines show up easily (and are used as part of the gags I might add), black levels are appropriately deep and inky throughout. I noticed a few shots that had some mosquito noise in them, but only a few brief instances in the whole show. It's nice to see each season getting progressively better in the video department, but I don't think we're going to see a huge upgrade next seasons since this is about as good as it's going to get.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=27401[/img]Just like the 1st 2 seasons, 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 nice comedy track and comes with the limitations of that genre.
• The Van and Mike Show
• The Super Episodes: The Best of Seasons 1 and 2
Key & Peele both have awesome chemistry between each other and that's, many times, the key to a good set of comedians. What makes them even funnier is watching when one or the other throws in some impromptu gags during the stage portions and watch as the other guys doubles over or struggles to keep a straight face. However, midst the fun of sketch comedy there is still the distinct problem of trying to create a full television show out skits, too much of a good thing gets a little wearing over time. As a result, we get some skits that are absolutely hysterical, and others just fall flat as a pancake. Luckily this season has more hits than misses so there's plenty of belly laughs to be had and thankfully keeping the show at 21 minutes without commercials is a nice way to get a good laugh and not have it get too much. Audio is nice, and the video took a pleasant uptick for the better this season, so if you're a fan, this is definitely worth checking out.
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: 286 Minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: September 23rd, 2014
Buy Key and Peele Season 3 Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Check it Out
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