Cartoon Network // 2008 // 112 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Michael Rubino (Retired) // August 21st, 2009
"Another day another dollar, Donnigan"
To say that Cartoon Network's Adult Swim is a bizarre block of programming would be an understatement. But for as creepy and inaccessible as some of its shows can be at times, Adult Swim is also host to some cutting edge comedy. Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! manages to embody just about everything the programming block stands for. Great job?
The third season of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! features ten brief episodes. Here's a rundown of the season:
* "Resurrection" -- Tim comes back from the dead with the ability
to materialize porcelain tigers. Special guest John C. Reilly.
* "Chan" -- Channel 5 celebrations 100 years of Jackie Chan, and Tim carries on a "sexual romance" with Eric's wife. Special guest Will Forte.
* "Rascals" -- Tim kills Eric's rascal, and Bob Odenkirk springs into action to save the friendship. Special guests include Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianakis, and Ed Begley Jr.
* "Spagett" -- Tim's sauce-faced character gets a feature movie by Steven Spielberg (Howie Slater). Special guests include John C. Reilly, Steve Schirripa, and Brian Posehn.
* "C.O.R.B.S." -- Cops on Recumbent Bicycles try to stop some Columbian terrorists trying to take over the sugar factory. Special guests include John C. Reilly and Ray Wise.
* "Jim and Derrick" -- Two bros host a kickin' sketch comedy show fueled by Turbo Fuel Maximum Energy Soda and a DJ. Special guest Elisha Cuthbert.
* "Jazz" -- Tim and Eric introduce everyone to the world of live jazz music. Special guests include Maria Bamford and Bill Hader.
* "Muscles for Bones" -- Show regular Richard Dunn is in need of bones, so Channel 5 throws a telethon featuring performances by Casey and his Brother, David Liebe Hart, and others. Special guests include "Weird Al" Yankovic, John C. Reilly, and Will Forte.
* "Larry" -- An office worker gets jealous of a heated love affair between Mr. Henderson (Tim) and Carol (Eric). Special guests include Zach Galifianakis, Rainn Wilson, with music by The Bird and the Bee.
* "Brownies" -- Tim and Eric eat brownies before they go to sleep and dream that they're scaling Brownie Mountain. Special guests include John C. Reilly, Michael Ian Black, Bob Odenkirk, and Ray Wise with music by Black Francis.
Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!: Season Three may just be the most coherent collection of sketches Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim have produced. That isn't saying much, of course, as this show continues to confound many with its surreal editing, vulgar humor, and disturbing existential breakdowns. But Season Three does feature many recurring characters, and each episode seems to have a basic storyline -- so at least that's something.
Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! (TEASGJ! for short) prides itself on taking a lo-fi public access atmosphere and twisting it until it's good and crazy. The sketches fit into one of three categories: fake commercials, usually for products made by the massive Cinco Corporation; reality-based skits involving Tim and Eric going about their daily lives; and slickly produced parodies of genre television. Invading every skit, regardless of its level of realism, are absurd, spastic editing tricks. Characters will suddenly grow fake tongues, blink with bulging eyes, or melt into deformed smiles with cheap Photoshop effects. Then, before you know it, everyone's screaming at each other, staring blankly at the camera, or completely breaking down with a loud, droning siren. The show's absurdity makes it infuriating at times, pushing buttons you didn't even know existed. But for those who get it, it's pretty darn funny.
This season, TEASGJ! has far more successes than failures. In "C.O.R.B.S.," Tim and Eric play wise-cracking cops who are tethered to recumbent bicycles. Much like "The Snuggler" series from the previous season, the sketch is like an '80s primetime drama with frightening accuracy. Even better is the MTV-styled episode "Jim and Derrick," where the two stars inhabit the most obnoxious bro-characters imaginable. The Jim and Derrick comedy skits are lame (in a good way), and the show is awash in promos for some extreme energy drink. The season does receive something of a conclusive ending, as Tim and Eric overdose on brownies and enter into a mind-melting nirvana. As every character from the season zooms past them in a vortex, Black Francis (of Pixies fame) sings a song about Brownie Mountain. I actually felt a sense of closure -- and not because any of the characters died -- as if they were implying that this entire series is fueled by an overdose of sugar.
Sprinkled throughout the episodes are recurring sketches like "Brule's Rules with Dr. Steve Brule" and "Tairy Greene Acting Seminar For Children." While these inserts are hysterical (especially anything with Galifianakis), others like "The Beaver Boys" and "Burps with Tim and Eric" miss the mark. Still, even when a skit doesn't work, a new one is right around the corner to cleanse the comedic palette. Each 11-minute episode features a handful of skits and commercials, so even the worst ones (like "Jazz") usually have at least one redeeming skit (that would be the Jazz skit.)
It's hard to really judge any of the audio or video contained within the show, because it was designed to be all over the map. Some sketches have the audio cranked up so loud you can hear people's lips parting before speech, other times the mics are turned so low nothing's audible. Much of the A/V presentation feels like an Andy Kaufman trick. If you judge it by its best examples, like when Tim and Eric are just being themselves, then the show is pretty good in full frame with Dolby 5.1 Surround.
Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!: Season Three fits all ten episodes on a single disc and still has enough room for a good assortment of extras. There are a handful of deleted scenes from various episodes in the season, including more great riffing with the jazz band and a series of sketches called "Kazual Swordin'." Unfortunately there isn't a way to skip right to any of the skits, so you'll just have to sit through them all each time. The same goes for the blooper reel, which is, again, pretty amusing. Also included on the disc is the extended 21-minute version of the "Muscles for Bones" telethon episode as well as a special 11-minute episode of "Gettin' It Dunn" with Richard Dunn. Rounding out the set are some promos Tim and Eric shot for the third season. Sadly, the commentary tracks and special features found on the Tim and Eric Adult Swim website are nowhere to be found here.
This show, like anything else on Adult Swim, is certainly not for everyone. Some sketches come off so bizarre and obtuse I just sit in amazement that something like this made it to TV. There really isn't anything like it out there; that may or may not be a good thing depending on your comedic tastes.
Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!: Season Three may be the show's strongest season to date. It's finally cohesive enough to be slightly accessible, and the recurring characters and storylines are always appreciated. Tim and Eric's unique comedic vision may be divisive, but who doesn't love a couple of cops on recumbent bikes?
Not Guilty. Great Job!
Review content copyright © 2009 Michael Rubino; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Cartoon Network
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 112 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Deleted Scenes
* Blooper Reel
* Extended Episode
* Bonus Episode
* Official Site