Cartoon Network // 2011 // 123 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Michael Rubino (Retired) // May 17th, 2011
"Hi, I'm Patrick Duffy. I'm old and I'm tired..." -- Patrick Duffy
After cinco years, Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! hasn't changed much. The show's possibly-final season features the usual mess of disturbing imagery, oddball actors, and an ironic appreciation for inept public access programming; however, these well-established motifs may be responsible for what is ultimately a very inconsistent fifth season.
The ten episodes included in Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! (TEASGJ!) are:
Tim and Eric try out a Saturday Night Live spoof while David Liebe Hart and James Quall star in a new cop drama "Quall of Duty." Guest stars include Corbin Bersen, John C. Reilly, and Danny Trejo.
Eric hits puberty before Tim. Cameo by Will Forte.
The body of Casey (of "Casey and his Brother" fame) is discovered in the woods and brought back to life Frankenstein-style. Guest starring Wendell Pierce, Patrick Duffy, and Weird Al.
Tim leaves the show in order to promote his new tell-all biography of Eric.
Tim and Eric are attacked by crows while the Paynus Brothers release a new single. Guest starring Marilyn Manson, Rainn Wilson, Michael Gross, and Bob Odenkirk.
Tim shows off his new Cinco Musky-Tusk necklace.
The child clown outlet store is going out of business because the owner touched a child clown. Also, Tim and Eric play stuntmen on a women's talk show. Guest starring Will Ferrell.
Tim and Eric face off to see who is more handsome.
* "Greene Machine"
An informercial for the Terry Greene (Zach Galifianakis) Machine, a giant movie-watching box that features clips from "Tiny Dancing Man." Guest starring Ted Danson, LeVar Burton, Peter Cetera, and Richard Marx.
* "Man Milk"
A Christmas episode in which Tim and Eric distribute their man-milk to all their friends. Guest starring Ben Stiller, Paul Rudd, and Fred Armisen.
Tim and Eric have spent five years building a repertoire of tricks with which to disturb and delight Adult Swim fans. Any given episode of their "Awesome Show, Great Job!" features enough slow motion video, throbbing soundscapes, and slurping noises to make you question what you're watching every thirty-seconds or so. While it can occasionally be both hysterical and brilliant, the series, like much on Adult Swim, isn't for everyone.
Over the past few seasons, the show has turned its once novel concepts, most of which riff on surrealism, David Lynch films, and public access awfulness, into a recipe for anti-comedy gold. But even the most successful television formulas can overstay their welcome. Season Cinco of TEASGJ! feels not only inconsistent, but recycled.
It's quite a feat for something as disturbing and dark as this season is to feel stale. There's a beheading, a shoddily-assembled Frankenstein corpse, a commercial about child clown molestation, and some gutted roadkill, none of which is particularly funny (the clown stuff is especially desperate). Then there are recurring sketches like "Dolled Up" and "Morning Meditation," which are content to simmer in weirdness without any real purpose. After five seasons of the same kind of humor, it seems to have lost its effect.
While the majority of the episodes this season fail to resonate, there are a few shining moments in every installment -- almost all of which come from straight genre parody, something Tim and Eric do exceedingly well. In "Comedy," this otherwise banal episode is saved by the absurdly great "Quall of Duty" cop show, featuring series regulars James Quall and Dave Liebe Hart. In "Crows," the duo spoof the underground cult crapfest Birdemic: Shock and Terror with effective brilliance (I've always appreciated their enthusiasm for specific cult trash like The Room and this new movie about exploding birds).
The best episode of the season is easily "Terry Greene Machine," featuring Zach Galifianakis reprising his role as the pretentious actor. Tim and Eric not only nail the style of an infomercial, but also a Black Swan-style dance film, a Honey, I Shrunk the Kids comedy, and two different early 90s music videos starring Richard Marx and Peter Cetera. It's a clear example of how great this duo can be when they put aside their own tropes.
The same can be said of the last episode of the series, "Man Milk." It's a Christmas special in which Tim and Eric hand out their self-made breast milk to their friends. It's a great sendoff to the various actors/characters that have populated the show over the years; because there's nothing conclusive about the future of the show, it's hard to say if this is even really a "finale."
As with previous releases, the hard-to-navigate DVD comes filled with deleted scenes, extended sketches, and karaoke tracks for the various music videos from the season. There's also a very touching tribute to Richard Dunn, a series regular who passed away shortly after the season ended.
Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Season Cinco is easily the darkest and most violent season of the series. It's also the laziest, relying on old gags and video tricks that have overstayed their welcome. While there are more than a few great moments, its inconsistencies have me wondering if this show has reached its creative peak.
Review content copyright © 2011 Michael Rubino; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Cartoon Network
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 123 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Deleted/Extended Scenes
* Richard Dunn Tribute
* Official Site