Comedy Central // 2010 // 200 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Daryl Loomis // December 15th, 2012
Don't you see that forcing me to listen to jam band music will only create a second tragedy?
The show finished airing over two years ago and, finally, Comedy Central has released the third and final season of The Sarah Silverman Program on DVD. These ten episodes, sometimes funny, sometimes gross, and often willfully offensive, demonstrate exactly why Sarah Silverman's fans love her and why, eventually, the show had to go.
The adventures of Sarah Silverman (The Aristocrats) and her close-knit group of weirdo friends and family finish out thusly:
The Proof Is in the Penis: Laura (Laura Silverman, All American Orgy) tries to get Sarah to grow up and get a job by telling her that she was born with both a penis and a vagina. Meanwhile, Brian (Brian Posehn, Spy School) and Steve (Steve Agee) are haunted by the ghost of the man they killed with their remote.
The Silverman and the Pillows: After her brunch is ruined by a children's book reading, Sarah shows how easy it is to make children's programming and steals an old man's reading show.
A Slip Slope: Sarah inadvertently kills a man with a childish prank and sues Home Alone. She wins five grand, as well as the job of censorship czar of Valley Village Television.
Nightmayor: When she discovers that a mayoral candidate has a ridiculous name, Sarah starts a campaign to elect someone with an even dumber one, only to have that new mayor turn out to be an anti-gay, anti-brunch monster.
Smellin' of Troy: After Brian hurts his finger, Steve takes over as the singer of Brian's metal band, only to create a viral hit making fun of the injury. Sarah reconnects with her imaginary friend (Andy Samberg, Hot Rod), who leads her down a path of drugs and group sex.
A Fairly Attractive Mind: When Sarah realizes that she's mentally challenged, she finally starts to get her life together. Brian and Steve switch bodies after they simultaneously try to answer their mysterious new dragon phone.
Songs in the Key of Yuck: When Steve forces Sarah to attend an awful jam band concert, Sarah takes LSD and discovers she really does love the music. When she demands they stay for the next night, she does it sober, comes to her senses, and convinces all the drugged out attendees that they all hate it too.
Just Breve: Steve, depressed that he and Brian can't adopt a baby, creates a robot child for them to love. By the power of Satan, the robot comes to life and goes on a murderous rampage.
A Good Van is Hard to Find: After starting a crusade to make it okay to jump into random vans, she realizes that it's not the drivers who are perverts, it's the vans themselves that make them that way. Brian and Steve fight about doing the laundry.
Wowschwitz: When Laura creates a Holocaust museum in Valley Village, Sarah tries to one-up her with a museum of her own that's more lighthearted and fun, only to bring in a former Auschwitz guard as her special guest.
The enjoyment of The Sarah Silverman Program is directly proportional to one's tolerance of Silverman's comedy. If you think she's funny, which I do, then the show works very well. If not, while there are other things to like about it, she so completely dominates each episode that it might be hard to give it much of a chance. It's crass, with ridiculous plotlines and bizarre flights of fancy that don't make any sense. To some, that's a turn off; to me, it's one of the things that make the show so much fun.
The other thing -- the main thing -- I love about the show is the cast. While Sarah Silverman mugs and gyrates about the scenes, the rest of the group keeps the episodes grounded without making them any less ridiculous. My favorite is Brian Posehn, whose real life metal-loving, comic-reading, gaming nut persona is put on screen exactly as I know it, and his relationship with Steve Agee is surprisingly sweet, given their personalities and similar look. Equally sweet, though far more milquetoast, is the marriage between Laura Silverman and Jim Johnston, who always seems to be playing a dorky cop (probably because he's great at it). Both are essentially normal couples who have to deal with their friend and sister's insanity, and the combination of personalities work really well.
Plus, this season, there are more great guest stars than ever before. Along with Samberg, we have Adam Scott (Stepbrothers), Patton Oswalt (Young Adult), the great comic Maria Bamford, and Ed Asner (Mary Tyler Moore) as an ancient Nazi commandant. Even Billy Crudup (Watchmen) and early MTV stalwart Kurt Loder make appearances as themselves. They're a great group who are sprinkled around the season, and each one is a treat to watch, which makes for a very solid final season for The Sarah Silverman Program.
Comedy Central's two-disc set of The Sarah Silverman Program: Season 3 is an excellent way to send off the show. The first seven episodes are on the first disc, and the second carries the final three and the extras. It's all very good, starting with an excellent 1.78:1 anamorphic image that looks as good as when it airs. The colors are bright and black levels are solid, with good detail all around. The surround mix is equally strong, with good action in the front channels and a little bit in the rear, though that's mostly reserved for music.
A solid slate of extras accompanies the episodes. It starts with commentaries on four episodes with various members of the cast and crew. They aren't the greatest discussions in the world, but there are some fun moments and some good information thrown in here and there. Next, we have a half hour talk with Silverman, and various other writers and producers. It's broken up into specific sections, some dirty and others normal. Overall, it's the best supplement on the disc. "Odds and Ends" gives a brief behind the scenes featurette on each episode. They're of varying styles, some are better than others, but they're interesting enough. All in all, this is a very good package.
The Sarah Silverman Program isn't the best show Comedy Central ever aired, but it had a great three year run. Even though I love the cast and think the show ended on a high note, I'm not sure how much more it had in it. But those three years were high quality television that I'm glad to have in my collection, especially with a strong set like this.
Review content copyright © 2012 Daryl Loomis; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Comedy Central
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 200 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Writers' Conversation