Vivendi Visual Entertainment // 2007 // 170 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // February 14th, 2012
Make it Wain.
David Wain, known primarily for his time with MTV's The State, the brief Comedy Central series Stella, and the fine directorial efforts of Wet Hot American Summer and Role Models, pumps a high concentration of absurdity into this web series. Each episode clocks in at just a few minutes and all four seasons total less than three hours.
What you lose in runtime you gain in deliriously ridiculous comedy. I suppose Wain's type of shenanigans could be considered an acquired taste, but unless Chuck Lorre sitcoms are all you would think is funny in this world, I have a hard time seeing how anyone could suppress befuddled laughter at the sight of Wain putting on lipstick and women's clothing and turning into Rashida Jones.
Look, this is absurd stuff, but it's so out there and ridiculous it works. If you're familiar with The State and Wet Hot American Summer, you know what you're in for (though part of me would have appreciated going into Wainy Days completely befuddled): surreal humor, non-sequiturs, and what feels like stream-of-conscious comedy.
For example...Inside David Wain's head as he writes an episode -- "I should just push this woman down on the sidewalk as I walk past her. And then give her baby stroller a nudge."
The series essentially revolves around "David Wain" searching for love in New York City, so episodes tend be focused on dating and failed sexual encounters. This leads to plenty of impromptu tongue baths, terrible relationship advice, and an unfortunate surprise close-up of a prosthetic wiener cradling a martini. This theme benefits Wainy Days by offering at least an atom of consistency to ground Wain's feverish lunacy.
Lastly, we get guest stars. Wain has delved deep into his address book to stockpile the show with one of the most impressive cameo rosters web television has ever seen: Paul Rudd, Michael Ian Black, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Julie Bowen, Amanda Peet, Lake Bell, Jason Sedeikis, Rashida Jones, Elizabeth Banks, and a steady stream of The State alumni.
Wait, was this web series thing just a ploy to make out with all these beautiful famous women? Diabolical!
The DVD is extras-rich but mediocre in the technical department. Episodes receive mediocre full-frame transfers and 2.0 stereo mixes. Bonus features include episode commentaries; a "makeout megamix"; outtakes; a live show with Wain, Rudd, and guests; Garfunkel and Oates singing "David Wain is sexy"; and four early David Wain short films.
This is weird and funny. Watch it. Not Guilty.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Vivendi Visual Entertainment
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 170 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Live Footage
* Short Films
* Official Site