Fox // 2006 // 71 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // December 6th, 2006
From one of the twisted minds behind Family Guy...
Alex Borstein: Drop Dead Gorgeous in a Down-to-Earth Bombshell Sort of Way captures the woman who gives voice to Lois on Family Guy in a rare standup performance. Alex is a funny lady; we've known that since Mad TV, where she came up with the memorable Mrs. Swan. Live onstage, she seems a little out of her element as she jokes and jabs at the stupidity of Hollywood's treatment of women. This feminist rant against the industry would make a perfect companion to Margaret Cho's revelatory I'm the One That I Want. Borstein is astonishingly good at impersonations and singing, but some of her material falters when she tries to come down to earth and play herself. It's not as funny as you would expect given her pedigree as a comedy writer and performer. She certainly has a lot to work with talking about television women, her experiences on Catwoman, and pop culture in general. She offers unique takes on Sesame Street, The Facts of Life, and Scooby Doo. She dishes gossip, but it's not the uncensored, scandalous type of disdain Kathy Griffin offers. Opening act Ted Hardwick is featured, but his lounge-lizard inspired material doesn't add much to the laughs here. (Thankfully there is a menu option to skip his bits altogether -- even if you are chastised for being rude by the text).
The DVD's anamorphic widescreen transfer is clear as a bell. It looks like it was shot on digital cameras, so there are no problems with picture or the stereo sound. The running time clocks in at a quick hour and ten minutes. Extras include a look behind the scenes at the Family Guy studio and office. This segment will be the biggest draw for fans of the show; we get a good look at its surprisingly low rent digs. Creator Seth McFarlane and costar Mila Kunis make cameos, and the tour Borstein offers is worth a look. The only other feature is a chance to hear the credit song Alex performs in its entirety.
Alex is a true talent in comedy, and has some sharp observations about the industry in general. Show business is whack, and Alex Borstein: Drop Dead Gorgeous in a Down-to-Earth Bombshell Sort of Way attempts to provide the bitchslap Hollywwood deserves. Unfortunately Borstein doesn't completely take off the gloves, and seems to tread a little more lightly than she should to send this one over the top. It's certainly worth a look, and there are quite a few laughs to be had with the comedienne. Check out the ridiculous casting calls she whips out throughout the show, calling for women who are beautiful in all sorts of bizarre ways without any substance. I laughed, but not as much as I hoped. In the end I expected much more, and the special didn't live up to what I anticipated. Seems the lady's true talent is slipping into the skin of a character. The highlights of this show came from her hilarious takes on singer Natalie Merchant, and a cruel impersonation of Renee Zellweger. Those segments are priceless! This disc is a great rental for fans of Family Guy who are interested in seeing Alex Borstein come out from behind the character Lois. But you might laugh more simply by popping in a couple of episodes from that cartoon. Borstein's true brilliance is showcased there more effectively.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 71 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Tour of the Family Guy Offices
* Opening Song