Saturday, July 26, 2008

Mini-DVD Review: Freakazoid! Season 1 (July 29)

It is Saturday, so that must mean it is time for mini-DVD reviews! Today we have we take a look at Warner Home Video's animated series Freakazoid! The Complete 1st Season. Freakazoid! was an animated series on Kids' WB. See Seth Thrasher's mini-DVD review of Freakazoid! - The Complete 1st Season:

Freakazoid - The Complete 1st Season (Warner, $26.98) is finally on DVD. Featuring the craziest hero in all of cartoons, Freakazoid ran for a year and a half on Kids WB in the mid 90s -- right smack dab in the middle of the huge wave of great cartoons of the mid 90s. In 1995 -- the year of Freakazoid's debut, you had on the air dozens of cartoon series all of whom were equally good, if not vastly different series on the air. Lost in the shuffle was this crazy cartoon. Freakazoid starts out as mild-mannered geek Dexter Douglas. After a string of nonsense gets typed into his keyboard while surfing around in cyberspace he gets zapped into the internet where he gains every last bit of information on the internet. Stop and really think about just about every superhero origin story. They ultimately make about as much sense as this one does. Come on, aliens from an exploding planet send their kid here, and he happens to react *really* well to our sun, giving him super-strength, flying, and other powers? Doesn't make much sense either when you think about it THAT way. Anyway, one of the effects of this is that the superhero that results, while very fast, strong, and blue -- is that when he's in Freakazoid form he's pretty much completely insane. It's this insanity that drives much of the show.
Presented here are the first 14 episodes of the series. Considering I was under the assumption that there were only 13 actual episodes in season one, I checked. Included in the set is not only all 13 regular episodes from season one, but one of the compilation episodes (with two acts from previous episodes thrown together) from Summer 1996 as well. This compilation episode is the sixth on the DVD, and features The Cloud (from the later 11th episode), and Candle Jack (from the previous 2nd episode). Redundancy -- neat! Freakazoid used a lot of pop culture references -- and as a result led to guest stars appearing. In addition, a couple of names you might recognize played recurring characters. See if you can spot who voices what – it's incredibly easy! Special guests include Mark Hamill, Ricardo Montalban, Ben Stein, Rose Marie, Bebe Neuwirth, and of course, TV's Craig Ferguson, whose Late Late Show I'm a huge fan of.
I think you can tell when I love a show when I spend so much of a mini review talking about the show. I really wish I could've given this show the full review treatment -- but due to space concerns we now move ahead in the review to the technical side.
This is probably a good time to mention that while disc 1 is one-sided disc 2 is dual-sided. Warner wasn't willing to put more than 6 episodes per disc/side, and so as a result the final two episodes and the features spill over to the next side. The video quality is just fine -- perhaps a bit soft, but that's really not out of the ordinary for animation from the mid 90s. Audio is just fine – And by just fine I mean Dolby 5.1! Yes, for a cartoon from the mid 90s that isn't as remembered as its counterparts, Warner still gave it 5.1 audio. Says so right on the box. In fact, this cartoon got a lot of extra little things put into the release -- there are even several special features! There’s commentary! on three of the fourteen episodes with senior producer Tom Ruegger, writer John McCann, and the voice of Freakazoid Paul Rugg. But wait, there's more! We also have Freakazoid-less Freakazoid promos. The network wanted footage, and they didn't have anything to give them. So, inspired in part by Carnival Cruise Lines, they created some crazy promos for the show. There’s about a minute introduction by the staff to explain just how these incredibly oddball promos came to be, and then the 4 minutes of promos. There's also a feature detailing how Freakazoid went from a super-legitimate hero to the comedy series it became. One day, you wake up and you're in the middle of a colonoscopy...
As if what may be the longest "mini" review in history didn't already tell you, I love this show. Even if the technical side were crap, I’d still tell you to buy it because the show's good. But the technical side is really *really* good too! I was going to give it a solid 4.5, but after having seen what I've given 4's to around here, it deserves the half-point for the full five. 5.1 Audio! Commentary! Promos! Freakazoid! Buy it!

-- Reviewed by Seth Thrasher
(5/5 stars)

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Related links:
SitcomsOnline.com Full DVD Reviews Page
Freakazoid! TV.com Page


Sitcoms Airing Tonight

Monday, June 18

Mom - "Charlotte Brontë and a Backhoe" (CBS, 8:00PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Bonnie locks horns with Jill’s “inner strength” coach, Miranda (Kristin Chenoweth). Also, Christy struggles to bounce back after being rejected from law school.

Man with a Plan - "Battle of the Sexists" (CBS, 8:30PM ET/PT) (Repeat)
Adam and Andi try to get back in their neighbors’ good graces after no one shows up to their potluck.

Andi Mack - "Truth or Truth" (Disney Channel, 8:00PM ET/PT)
When the power goes out in Shadyside, a day of fun and games sheds light on unexpected revelations.

Complete TV Listings


Sitcom Stars on Talk Shows (Week of June 18)

Monday, June 18

  • Jermaine Fowler (Superior Donuts) - Watch Jermaine on Jimmy Kimmel Live! at 11:35pm on ABC.
  • Alison Brie (GLOW/Community) - Alison appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert at 11:35pm on CBS.
  • Jesse Tyler Ferguson (Modern Family/The Class) - Jesse visits Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Louie Anderson (Baskets/Life with Louie/The Louie Show) - Louie stops by Late Night with Seth Meyers at 12:36am on NBC.
  • Vanessa Bell Calloway (Rhythm & Blues) - Vanessa is a guest on a repeat of The Wendy Williams Show, so check your local listings.
  • America Ferrera (Superstore) - America appears on a repeat of Harry, so check your local listings.
  • Bianca Lawson (Goode Behavior/Saved by the Bell: The New Class) - Bianca is a guest on a repeat of The Real, so check your local listings.
  • Heather Dubrow (Stark Raving Mad) - Heather drops by Steve, so check your local listings.
  • Melissa Peterman (Baby Daddy/Working Class/Reba) - Melissa guest co-hosts Access Live, so check your local listings.
  • Jim Gaffigan (The Jim Gaffigan Show/My Boys/Welcome to New York) - Jim talks about Hotel Transylvania 3 on ABC's Good Morning America sometime between 7-9am.
  • Craig T. Nelson (Coach) - Craig cooks with Clinton Kelly on ABC's The Chew at 1pm ET/12pm PT/CT.
  • Katie O'Brien and Katy Colloton (Teachers) - Katie and Katy talk about Teachers on Home & Family on Hallmark Channel at 10am ET/PT.


New on DVD/Blu-ray (June)

Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season Step by Step - The Complete First Season Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season

06/05 - Living Single - The Complete Fifth Season
06/05 - New Girl - The Complete Sixth Season
06/05 - South Park - The Complete Twenty-First Season (Blu-ray)
06/12 - Fresh Off the Boat - The Complete Fourth Season
06/12 - Life in Pieces - The Complete Third Season
06/12 - The Office - The Complete Series
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Speechless - The Complete Second Season
06/12 - Step by Step - The Complete First Season
06/12 - Will & Grace (The Revival) - Season One (Blu-ray)
06/19 - Perfect Strangers - The Complete Fourth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Fifth Season
06/26 - Last Man Standing - The Complete Sixth Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete First Season
06/26 - The Mick - The Complete Second Season
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