Infinity Entertainment // 2007 // 300 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Gordon Sullivan // April 16th, 2008
Can you say "I'm buying" in twelve languages?
I'm a fan of alcohol -- not just getting drunk, which has its own charms, but of all the cultural and historical stuff that goes with it. I like to know how my favorite spirits are made and where my favorite drinks come from. I also enjoy the social aspects of drinking, like the atmosphere at a good local bar. Three Sheets combines my love of knowledge with my love of culture, as host Zane Lamprey wanders the world learning about alcohol and the cultures that surround it.
"You got your drinking in my travel show."
"You got your travel in my drinking show."
Thus was Three Sheets born. Three Sheets: Season 2 follows comedian Zane Lamprey as he trots the globe, visiting places famous for their drinking culture. Infinity Entertainment brings us all 10 episodes of the MOJO network's show on one disc, with a disc of extras:
* "Czech Republic"
* "Puerto Rico"
* "South Korea"
I'll outline the elements of Three Sheets by telling you about my favorite episode, "Three Sheets in Kentucky":
* "The Region"
Each episode includes some interesting shots of the location. The Kentucky episode includes some great shots of the countryside.
Each episode includes some information on how the local alcohol is produced. In the Kentucky episode, Zane visits the Pappy Van Winkle distillery to get some firsthand knowledge of how bourbon is produced.
* "The Professor"
Usually once an episode, Zane calls on an anonymous character he calls the Professor to dispel some myth or explain a process related to alcohol production. He explains the difference between bourbon, Scotch whisky, Irish whisky, and Tennessee whisky when they're in Kentucky.
* "The Watering Hole"
Zane goes to one or more local establishments in search of drink. He visits the Bourbon Bistro and the Sherwood Inn in Kentucky.
* "The Locals"
Zane seems to find friendly locals wherever he goes. In Kentucky he manages to get groped a number of times by a friendly bartender.
* "The Food"
Zane always samples local food so he doesn't have to drink on an empty stomach. He has a homestyle breakfast for the morning after in Kentucky.
* "The Hangover"
Zane also samples local hangover cures after nights of drunkenness. In the Kentucky episode, his homestyle breakfast (with a shot of Jim Beam in the coffee) is the hangover cure du jour.
* "Steve McKenna"
Zane's college drinking buddy, mentioned a number of times throughout the first two seasons of Three Sheets, finally makes an appearance in the last episode of the season, joining Zane in Kentucky.
Although the Kentucky episode is my personal favorite, all of these elements combine in each episode to make an interesting show, full of both information and entertainment. In addition to the above elements, there are often local shenanigans, like fencing in Croatia and moonshine making in Kentucky. These little surprises (as well as the inherent regional differences) keep the show fresh despite its formula. Also, while other cooking/travel shows are very self-contained, Three Sheets makes regular references to Zane's previous adventures, giving the show a continuity which creates an interest in Zane's further adventures.
Three Sheets originally aired on the MOJO HD channel, and I recall it looking pretty good. Sadly, the HD origins are not evident on this DVD set. All 10 episodes are stuffed onto one disc, and it shows. The video looks overcompressed, with some obvious macroblocking and noise. I was totally disappointed . The audio is a serviceable stereo mix; it's nothing special, but it gets the job done.
Although the disc can't overcome poor video, it tries with a generous helping of extras. The big extra is a Three Sheets special, the "New Year's Eve Pub Crawl," which follows Zane around the isle of Manhattan as he drinks in various internationally themed bars. Previous guests (like Jim the Cop from the Puerto Rico episode and Steve McKenna) return to help Zane celebrate. It's a fun viewing experience, and I can see it featuring regularly in my future New Year's plans. There are also outtakes from six of the episodes, which feature informative pieces cut for time, as well as moments from the various drinking establishments that Zane visits; not essential, but a very nice addition. There are also photo galleries from seven of the episodes featuring shots of Zane, the locations, and other objects of interest. I would have preferred a little more documentary style input from Zane and the others responsible for the show, but these extras are likely to give Three Sheets fans what they're looking for: more drinking and more Zane.
I like Zane Lamprey. He's pretty funny, and he manages to get drunk without getting obnoxious. Plus, he does a good job seeming ignorant of stuff he almost certainly knows before it's explained on the show. But I can see how many others could find him annoying. If you don't like Zane, then there's very little chance you'll enjoy Three Sheets.
If you're looking for in-depth info on the featured alcohols, this isn't the show for you. Yes, the show covers the important info about each location, but it leaves a lot out. For instance, as a bourbon aficionado, I didn't learn a single fact from the Kentucky episode. This show is much more about culture and fun than education. That being said, if you're new to the particular products of a region, then this show will give you a decent overview.
Although I enjoyed this season of Three Sheets, I don't see it having a lot of replay value. Zane's funny, but I didn't find him funny enough to want to watch these episodes again anytime soon. The biggest replay value would come from playing the Three Sheets drinking game (by drinking what Zane drinks when he drinks it) or from introducing friends to the series. A rental is recommended.
Zane's an affable host, and the 30-minute episodes never overstay their welcome. I imagine this set would be a perfect way to satisfy multiple viewers, like if you like drinking and your partner likes travel shows. With Three Sheets you're both happy. The technical and replay values may not be high, but Three Sheets is worth a look anyway.
Three Sheets is found not guilty. The court hopes to see it again soon, with better picture.
Review content copyright © 2008 Gordon Sullivan; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Infinity Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 300 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* "New Year's Eve Pub Crawl"
* Photo Galleries
* Official Site