HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Jim Gaffigan Show: Season 1
HTS Overall Score:72
It’s strange that one of the highest paid comedians took this long to finally get his own series. It’s all the rage these days, as pretty much every major comedian has a sitcom or single camera TV show to call their own, but it took Jim Gaffigan three different tries with three different networks before TV Land picked up his show. Gaffigan is one of those comedians that you can show just about anyone and have SOMETHING to laugh about. His comedy routines tend to stay rather clean with lots and LOTS of reference to the man’s love affair with food, and the jokes contained within this season reflect that shtick as it has worked well for him thus far (I mean, who doesn’t know his little jingle about hot pockets……those tasty but terrifyingly caloric little pockets of yumminess). The series is a one camera show that revolves a slightly fictionalized rendition of the actor’s life in New York City and living with his family of 7 people inside a tiny two bedroom apartment (something he’s talked about a lot in his standup as well).
While the show is fictionalized, a lot of Gaffigan’s real life humor bleeds through as well. We have skits dealing with the fact that he married WAAAY out of his league (just as true in real life) and the fact that he’s living with his bride and FIVE blonde and pale munchkins in a small apartment in one of the busiest cities on earth. However, real life CAN get a little boring sometimes, so therein comes the fictionalized parts. Season 1 starts out with a fairly week intro episode where we are introduced to Ashley Williams, who plays his wife Jeannie, as well as her old boyfriend turned gay best friend, Daniel (Michael Ian Shane), but within the first 3 episodes the show starts to even out and get REALLY funny. Much of the humor revolves around Gaffigan’s love of food, his second love of food, and basically anything he can fit in his mouth, and a good dash of hilarity from the devoutly Catholic couple (another staple of his standup act).
The show itself is a fairly simple and sometimes a bit cliché, but Gaffigan keeps the laughs coming more times than not. He has this knack for being able to slip food jokes into just about ANY situation and make them funny. There’s a scene where Daniel is trying to bond with his father while Gaffigan is drooling over porter house steaks and inserting comments about needing waffles during a suspected heart attack. We have a few more adult jokes thrown in compared to many of his acts, but nothing overtly offensive or anything. There’s just a few bleeped out know words when Gaffigan gets a bit toasty and starts making fun of his whole “clean” mantra that he’s known for. The highlight of the series is the anniversary episode, where it’s a veritable “Who’s on first?” three ring circus of misunderstandings in hotel room over a locked bathroom door.
“The Jim Gaffigan Show: Season 1” is just what you’d expect of the hot pocket touting comedian. It’s funny (hysterical at times), sardonic and wryly biting over his own faults, but kept at a cleanliness level that lends itself towards many different audiences. The season is short but sweet, not overstaying it’s welcome and actually ends with the audience looking forward to more humor for chubby, pale comedian. I laughed a LOT once the first few episodes took some time finding their groove, and Ashley Williams works really well with Gaffigan, actually making you believe that she IS Jeannie Gaffigan. The only real downside to the whole series was Adam Goldberg playing the skeezy and opportunistic standup comedian Dave. There were a few funny spots with Dave and crew, but mostly he acts as an irritant to Jeannie and the audience. Sadly the very last episode of the series is the one writing point that I have to contend with. Gaffigan flips his lid and goes into the whole “It’s a wonderful life” scenario where his wife and kids no longer exist in his life and he has to find out that he was better off with them than without. It just felt WAAAAAAAAAAY over utilized as that particular scenario has been used so many times that its inclusion in the series was not necessary or wanted.
Not Rated by the MPAA
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=70449[/img]“The Jim Gaffigan Show: Season 1” is split across 2 DVD-9 discs with zero extras on the two discs so compression is never really an issue with barely 2 hours of content per disc. The single camera sitcom looks very pleasing to the eye with crisp details and warm colors. The show is mainly set amongst the differing buildings of New York City, so it’s fairly intimate and set up close, but there are times when the dynamic duo venture out for some night life and the camera opens up to show the vastness of the big apple. Fine detail is very nice, with some softness from the digital source, but otherwise a very nice looking one camera show. Blacks are nice and inky, but sometimes suffer from digital noise in the darker bit and some very bright white levels can wash out the image once in a while.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=70457[/img]Being a one camera sitcom, “The Jim Gaffigan Show” sports a very basic 5.1 Dolby Digital track that really just focuses on the dialog between the actors. The music by Reggie Watts fills out the surrounds and low end nicely when called upon, and there is some mild city noises that kick up the activity, but otherwise this is a fairly straight forward and front heavy experience. The track is simple and concise, but does its job well and leaves nothing to frustration or incompetence.
• Nothing (not even a hot pocket)
“The Jim Gaffigan Show” works quite well on several different levels and seems to market itself to several different demographics. The humor is quirky and relatable, and Gaffigan’s affability is pure catnip to many. I had honestly wished for his REAL wife to come onto the show as Jeannie, but Ashley Williams really surprised me with her chemistry between the two. The first season starts off with a rocky pair of episodes, and then really finds its groove after that. The disc sadly comes with ZERO extras on the two DVD-9’s, but the audio and video look very impressive for a one camera sitcom. Recommended for a watch by people of all ages.
Starring: Jim Gaffigan, Ashley Williams, Michael Ian Black
Created By: Jim Gaffigan, Peter Tolan
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG2
Audio: English: Dolgy Digital 5.1
Runtime: 232 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: May 10th, 2016
Buy The Jim Gaffigan Show: Season 1 on DVD at Amazon
Recommendation: Good watch
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