Paramount // 2004 // 475 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // March 30th, 2005
You've just been X'd!
What if you were asked to be a part of a reality TV show to get a makeover, and the makeover you got made you look like a hideous clown? How frustrated would you get if you were asked to be at an important meeting with a bigwig studio executive for a potential screenwriting job, and the security guards -- without a single good reason -- refused to let you through the gate? And how much trouble would you be in if you were asked to watch over a pricey sports car, and an overseas rock star's girlfriend vomited on the hood of the vehicle?
If you've seen The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, you know the answer to all these questions: You'd have just been the butt of a well-constructed practical joke! Starring host and master of disguises Jamie Kennedy (Scream, Malibu's Most Wanted), The Jamie Kennedy Experiment wraps up its television run with one final, laugh-inducing season of lunacy, deception, and façades!
The Jamie Kennedy Experiment is a funny show. It's not very original, but it is pretty entertaining stuff. As I watched the third and final season (the first two were unseen by me), I realized that it's just like Candid Camera or MTV's Punk'd, except with a little more flair. Whereas Ashton Kutcher's Punk'd is just playing pranks on stars (with more fratboy attitude than all the characters in Animal House combined), The Jamie Kennedy Experiment takes it a step further and has the host himself actually playing the pranks on various celebs, sports players, rock stars, and friends of all the above.
The premise of the show lends itself well to Kennedy's goofy persona: He gets the chance to dress up in various outfits and disguises and act like a complete fool. In one episode, he plays a belittling Little League father who can't stand it when his young son can't throw a ball properly. In another segment (one of the season's funniest), Kennedy plays a sleazy paparazzo who wrangles an aspiring photographer into sneaking into the room of a superstar (they never say who, but it looks like Julia Roberts) just after her nose surgery (everyone is in on the joke except, of course, the aspiring photographer). The results? Hysterical! The gags range from funny to gut-busting ridiculous, and usually feature Kennedy in some form of disguise.
I was a bit surprised at how much I enjoyed this show. While I liked Kennedy in Wes Craven's Scream trilogy (he played a teen with an unending fountain of horror movie information), I haven't been a fan of his later work (and don't even get me started on Son of the Mask.). However, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment surprised me by being not only funny, but also clever -- some of the gags in this show are inspired. I especially liked a visit to actor Anthony Anderson's TV show and a setup that included his supposed "sister," a would-be actor, and a makeout session from hell (you'll have to watch the show to understand what I'm talking about).
While I did enjoy The Jamie Kennedy Experiment, on a personal note I'd like to add that I think it's time to let these reality-based shows (all of 'em) have a long, healthy rest. It's a good thing Season Three was the final season for The Jamie Kennedy Experiment -- I can easily see the show devolving into repetitiveness and drivel. It was a long stretch between Candid Camera and the new wave of practical jokes shows -- maybe The Jamie Kennedy Experiment and the rest of its colleagues should go out on a high note, rest for a few years, then come back with a (humorous) vengeance.
The Jamie Kennedy Experiment: The Complete Third Season is presented in 1.33:1 full frame, its original TV aspect ratio. Don't expect a whole lot going into this three-disc set -- the fact is that The Jamie Kennedy Experiment was originally shot on mostly video, so the quality here is only mediocre. However, I wasn't expecting, nor did I need, much more than this -- the show thrives on hidden camera secrecy. Though there are moments when the images looked either too light or too dark, overall these discs faithfully reproduce the original TV experience.
The soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround in English. Much like the video transfer, there isn't a whole lot to be said for this soundtrack. Sometimes the dialogue is hard to hear (though subtitles are available, when needed). This is a very front-heavy track; then again, a 5.1 remix wasn't warranted. Considering the show's themes, this soundtrack works fine with the show it's supporting. No alternate subtitles or soundtracks are available on this set.
The extra features on The Jamie Kennedy Experiment: The Complete Third Season are limited: just some outtakes from a few gags, with an introduction by Jamie Kennedy.
Review content copyright © 2005 Patrick Naugle; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Running Time: 475 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Outtakes: "Second Marks" With Introductions by Jamie Kennedy
* Jamie Kennedy World!