Judge Brett Cullum checks out the funnier second year of the sketch show that is unquestionably still gay. Lots of rainbows and at least one unicorn makes him giggle.
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The Big Gay Sketch Show returns to Logo for another eight episodes of totally gay and sometimes funny skit comedy. During the second year the show goes a little more out there, and tries out new characters as well as returning favorites from the first season. Overall the quality has improved, and we even get glimpses of executive producer Rosie O'Donnell as she joins "celesbian" Chastity Bono (daughter of Sonny and Cher) in the balcony as "Statler and Waldorf" type curmudgeons watching the show and complaining about the quality. Rather than offering one package for both seasons we get a simultaneous release of the first year and The Big Gay Sketch Show: The Complete Second Season.
During the second season the cast includes:
You'll notice there are two men missing from season one during this run. One of the cast changes that had everyone scratching their heads was when the heavyset Michael Serrato disappeared from the series for the second year. Rumors swirled he was fired, or the studio brass said he was too heavy, all sorts of strange speculations. According to Michael Serrato's MySpace page, the comedian had scheduling conflicts with the second season tapings of The Big Gay Sketch Show. They recorded the entire run of episode over the course of two or three weeks, so he had another opportunity that somehow overlapped. He says he plans on returning for season three, yet that remains to be seen. Here's to hoping that happens, because Serrato was one of the first year standouts. Also missing this year Dion Flynn who was replaced by Colman Domingo. No official word there either aside from the usual "scheduling conflicts" statement.
The writing gets better in this second season, the skits are more daring, and in the end the whole pink affair is funnier. The tentative nature of the first year is starting to wear off, although you do wish they would focus less on the "gay" and more on the comedy. The season is raunchier and some of the performers are allowed to be more outside the box and politically incorrect. Hopefully the show will continue on this trajectory, and then we could find The Big Gay Sketch Show gaining traction and comedic credibility.
Logo does a nice job with the DVD which is distributed through Paramount. As with The Big Gay Sketch Show: The Complete First Season, this one is a two disc set with the eight episodes on the first disc and extras on the second. The episodes are all uncut for language as opposed to what was shown on basic cable. Menus only allow you to pick episodes rather than individual sketches. The transfers are full screen and simple stereo, and it's just what you'd see on television as far as quality goes. Extras are solid this time around as they were with the first season. First up is "The Big Straight Sketch Show" full half hour parody where the cast gets to play it up as if they were heterosexual…well, it almost happens. Julie Goldman continues her "Celesbian Interviews" this time talking to fellow cast members Nicol Paone and Kate McKinnon. There are five bonus sketches including more Craigslist with Maya Angelou, lesbian girl scouts, fag hag friends, loving to hate The L Word, and a bondage version of Three's Company. Also included are cast interviews, bloopers, and behind the scenes footage.
The Big Gay Sketch Show: The Complete Second Season captures the show upping the comedy quotient while still maintaing a very gay identity all the while. It still suffers a little from playing to stereotypes rather than against them, but it's nice to see gay people poking fun at themselves for a change. For too long the LGBT community has been the butt of jokes, and now the rules have changed enough to allow for a queer comedy showcase on cable that inverts everything. If you're searching for progressive comedy, it's a show well worth checking out.
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