HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Kroll Show: Seasons 1 and 2
HTS Overall Score:78
Sketch comedy shows can be really hit or miss sometimes. I love “Key & Peele”, but the guys can get a little wearing after a while. I’d seen Nick Kroll in his comedic acting jobs before and he could be funny, but I never knew just how funny the man was until I saw “The Kroll Show”. “The Kroll Show” reminds me a lot of “Mr. Show” and is as funny as “Key & Peele” is without the audience segments. The show is 100% sketches that bang away with a rapid fire speed that keeps the skits fresh and the audience on their toes. Certain sketches will have an overarching story that continues between episodes and is split up into 3-4 little mini sketches even on one episode. It kind of reminds me of the way “Robot Chicken” works in that its constantly moving, never letting the ball drop and hit the ground in an effort to keep the audience constantly engaged and never bored.
Sketch comedy is about the personas, and Nick Kroll plays a goodly amount of incredible personas that will have everyone deciding which one is their favorite. His range is extremely wide, giving us the 17 year old punk C-zar (who is my personal favorite, I was rolling on the floor every time he came on screen) who lampoons those stupid rap stars, a stoned out looking Hollywood plastic surgeon for dogs, and his cross dressing publicist “Liz G.” who’s teamed up with Liz C. to make “PubLizity”. Having different personas is great, but as we’ve seen with other sketch comedy teams, making them work all the time is a different story. Sure there’s a few misses with the character skits, but that’s to be expect of something that’s this diverse. Not everything is going to be firing on all l4 cylinders, but I’d say 95% of the material is laugh out loud funny, if not downright hysterical. I was really surprised when I laughed myself silly at the 1st episode and CONTINUED laughing all the way through the first season. Usually I’m laughing, then I’m checking my phone with other shows because not every skit tickles my fancy. Not so here. Phone was here, I was dying with laughter and I had my wife coming in to check on me because I was making so much noise.
The show borrows very heavily from the already inundated world of television for the ammo here. Kroll targets all of the ridiculous and crazy shows that exist (unfortunately) and just lampoons the tar out of them, especially reality television. “PubLizity” and the dating show elements are downright hysterical, not because they are imitating a reality show, but because Nick has this amazing ability to replicate the shows to perfection and show just how ridiculous they are. I have to say that Nick dressing up as Liz is one of the funniest impressions of a guy playing a girl that I’ve seen in recent years. The over the top ludicrousness of Liz is topped only by the ludicrous nature of a REAL reality TV show (if you can say the world “real” with regards to reality TV with a straight face).
Nick pulls no punches with the politically incorrect as he creates a full skit based off of a “normal” person in a school of handicapped students ….In Canada. Just hearing those little tidbits is enough to make an HR person have a heart attack, but Kroll is able to pull off the show with incredible panache, giving us plenty of laughs while skating just under that line. Rick Dicks is by far one of my favorite recurring sketches as he teams with John Daly to portray a couple of Rich jerks who just get drunk and high and mess up people’s lives. John Daly meshes perfectly with Kroll and the two have a chemistry that is downright perfect. With Amy Poehler coming in later on as Daly’s sister only leads to more perfection, as Season 2 had me in stitches.
I could go on and on as the show just has a TON of unique sketch characters and I’ve only scratched the surface. I don’t say this often about comedians, but “The Kroll Show” is one of the CONSISTENTLY funny sketch comedy shows that I’ve seen in a very very long time. I cleaned through the entire two season boxset in a matter of days and really wish there is more out right now. Comedy Central is getting ready to air the 3rd and final season of the show, which kind of makes me glad as it allows for Nick Kroll to go out with a bang instead of try and milk the show until it’s no longer even remotely funny.
Not Rated by the MPAA
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=35769[/img]“The Kroll Show” is presented in a standard television aspect ratio of 1.78:1 on an Mpeg2 encoded DVD set spanning three discs. There’s never any issues with compression as three discs was more than enough to fit the 418 minutes of content with ease. Blacks look nice and I couldn’t detect any banding or crush anywhere. Colors are spot on as well, with plenty of pop to them. The only sin this disc has committed was being an HD show in a standard definition release as the 480p resolution looks a tad soft and lacking in fine detail for the most part. It’s quite decent, but that little bit of softness is just a tad disappointing considering the sharpness on the HDTV version I compared it to. It does the job quite well, though, and will leave fans quite pleased.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=35777[/img]A 2.0 dolby digital track in the modern age is like finding a leprechaun, but Comedy Central still uses them in many of their recordings and thankfully it’s no big deal, as the majority of their shoes are almost completely dialog based. “The Kroll Show” follows that pattern relies very VERY heavily on the mains for all the content. Dialog is consistently even across all the skits and balances very well with the limited effects in front two speakers. There really isn’t a lot of ambient noise, but there are a few instances, such as the ice dating scene, where you can hear the other skaters off in the background or the barking of dogs for “PubLizity” sketch. Comedy Central releases are usually rather mature oriented with the humor and language and you never know what type of home video release you’ll get. Sometimes the dialogue is uncensored and other times the extreme language is bleeped out like the TV release is. “The Kroll Show” follows the latter’s lead as it bleeps out the major language and keeps it a bit safer for general audiences.
• Kroll Karaoke
• Original Music Videos
• PubLIZity Interview
• Uncut Armond Trial
• Audio Commentary by Cast & Creators
I laughed, I cried, and then I laughed again and cried again (mostly from laughing too hard). I don’t say this often with sketch comedy acts but I can’t believe I missed this airing on Comedy Central. It’s got all the earmarks of their shows (which is not always a good thing), but somehow manages to make it unique and fresh in a world of copycats and innovation stagnation. The home video release is solid on the specs and I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw an ACTUALLY good array of extras. Extras that are not only large in quantity but are downright hilarious to watch. If you haven’t seen “The Kroll Show” and are unaccustomed to mature sketch comedy, I’d definitely check it out, if you’re a fan, this is pretty much a no brainer to get.
Starring: Nick Kroll, Jon Daly, Jenny Slate
Creator: Nick Kroll, Jonathan Krisel,
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 2.0
Runtime: 418 Minutes
DVD Release Date: December 9th, 2014
Buy Kroll Show Season 1 and 2 DVD on Amazon
Recommendation: Watch It
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