Directed by Ray Claffey et al
Studio: Paramount/Comedy Central
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Running Time: 308 minutes
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo English
MSRP: $ 26.98
Release Date: May 13, 2008
Review Date: May 4, 2008
As if they didn’t already have enough of these types of cartoon shows, Comedy Central presents Drawn Together: Season Three, the final season of episodes featuring a satirical amalgamation of animation and a Big Brother-type reality series. Neither great nor terrible and wildly erratic in quality from episode to episode and within individual episodes, Drawn Together never quite reaches its potential as a satirical comedy series, but it certainly tries hard.
Eight cartoon characters live together in a comfortable suburban home: ambisexual Captain Hero (Superman in spandex short-shorts), sassy Foxxy Love (think Wanda Sykes in Josie and the Pussycats), animé Pokemon-double Ling-Ling (whose subtitled dialogue is sometimes masked by upcoming Daily Show promos), Princess Clara (one Disney princess who got away), Toot (a fat, raunchy version of Betty Boop), Spanky Ham (Porky Pig on an unending laxative overdose), Xandir (a gay, grown-up Jonny Quest), and Wooldoor Sockbat (Spongebob Squarepants anyone?). These characters are all about eating, having sex, and generally enjoying life, often at the expense of the others. There isn’t one bodily function or one bodily fluid that doesn’t rear its head during every episode. The show is unafraid of raw language, sexuality of all flavors and in multiple numbers, and death and destruction (naturally, all of the star characters bounce right back from injuries with nary a scratch).
The episodes in season three cover a wide range of satirical topics from gun control, college fraternities, nursing homes, shopping malls and their parking lots, to racial profiling, gay panic, foster care, and religious rituals. To get the majority of the jokes, one must possess an intimate knowledge of television and movies for the last twenty years as well as a juvenile mentality that finds severed limbs with copious blood, broad swipes at every possible race, religion, and sexual orientation, and, yes, male nudity (oddly, not much female nudity for a show squarely aimed at teen males and older). Undeniably, there are clever lines here and there, deserving satirical targets, and character voice work that’s often very funny. One simply wishes the shows were consistently better. And these episodes are undeniably uncensored: every curse word and every bit of gratuitous nudity is there to be savored.
The voice cast is quite wonderful. Top billed Adam Corolla does Spanky, Jess Harnell is often a scream as Captain Hero (the episodes seem more often than not to feature him prominently), and Cree Summer has Wanda Sykes down pat as Foxxy. Tara Strong does well with both the valley girl-princess Clara and the raucous Toot while Jack Plotnick gives Xandir more respect than the writers often do. James Arnold Taylor does Wooldoor and Abbey McBride does Ling-Ling, both characters who often have lesser material than the others.
Here is the list of episodes from this two-disc set of third season shows. An asterisk (*) denotes an episode with a commentary:
*1 - Greeks & Freaks
2 - Wooldoor Sockbat’s Giggle-Wiggle Funny Tickle Non-Traditional Progressive Multicultural Roundtable
3 - Spelling Applebee’s
4 - Unrestrainable Trainable
5 - N.R.A. yRay
6 - Mexican’t Buy Me Love
*7 - Lost in Parking Space, Part I
8 - Lost in Parking Space, Part II
* 9 - Drawn Together Babies
10 - Nipple Ring-Ring Goes to Foster Care
11 - Foxxy and the Gang Bang
*12 - Breakfast Food Killer
13 - Charlotte’s Web of Lies
14 - The Elimination Special, Part II: The Elimination
The program’s 1.33:1 aspect ratio is reproduced faithfully in these DVD transfers (when the characters go into the diary confessional room, the aspect ratio goes to a letterboxed 1.78:1). The shows are very colorful, and the discs capture the deep saturation and strong, bold lines in the animation with authority. Without anamorphic enhancement, there are jaggies to be found, but they’re not as prominent as one might expect. The shows look absolutely pristine with no dirt, debris, or hairs present. Each episode is divided into 5 chapters.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track does a more than adequate job with the raucous nature of the program’s sound design. Voices are rooted to the center channel and are always intelligible. Music and sound effects are parceled out to the right and left channels appropriately. Occasional use of pop music like “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” and “Tequila” or mock-ups of songs like “Summer Nights” from Grease add heft to the music mix and also sound very good.
The set offers four audio commentaries (see above episode list) which feature a mix of producers, the episode director, and occasionally voice actors basically guffawing over the cleverness of the writing and animation and often talking about things that have nothing to do with the production of the shows themselves. The final commentary is the best one, offering what should have been on the others: a decent amount of information about where the idea for the show came from and how it was developed for the final aired episode.
Three montages of season premiere promos leading up to the opening of the program are presented. The first season’s promo set runs 3 minutes (basically introducing many of the characters in the house), the second season runs 1 ¾ minutes, while the final season runs 2 ½ minutes.
Comedy Central show excerpts from South Park (the “Leprechaun” episode, 2 ½ minutes) and The Sarah Silverman Show (the “Date with God” show, 2 ½ minutes) are offered.
Trailers for South Park Imaginationland, TV Funhouse, and Drawn Together Season 2 are presented.
Drawn Together ended its third season without ever fully realizing its potential. However, for fans of the series, this two-disc set of its last season of episodes is now available.