Judge Clark Douglas once sold out a 7-seat room.
It's about to get hot in here.
After being underwhelmed by George Lopez's sophomore HBO stand-up special Tall, Dark and Chicano, a friend of mine urged me to check out his previous effort Why You Crying? I did so and was pleasantly surprised, as that debut special was an effective demonstration of just how side-splittingly good Lopez could be when he had the right material. When I heard that Lopez had released his third stand-up special for the prestigious pay cable channel, I was eager to discover whether it would be a return to form. The answer: not really. While the special is funnier and more engaging than Tall, Dark and Chicano, it's also pretty messy and unfocused.
The special opens with a pre-taped bit featuring a host of Lopez's celebrity friends. We see appearances from Cheech & Chong, Eva Longoria, Ray Romano, Conan O'Brien and others, but none of these folks is given anything entertaining to do. Instead, they're simply onhand to deliver variations on, "Hey, George! You're gonna kill in your stand-up show tonight! Go get 'em!" After this bit concludes, Lopez spends the first portion of his show boasting about selling out a massive 7000-seat venue. I realize this showboating is a part of Lopez's routine at this point (the previous special began in similar fashion), but there's little comic value and it mostly serves as an easy way to kill a few minutes of the 56-minute set.
Once the show gets underway, Lopez manages to deliver a steady supply of decent laughs, most of which are of the tried-and-true, "Ethnicity A does stuff like this, but Ethnicity B does stuff like this!" variety. He's particularly impressive when he careens back and forth between English and Spanish; never leaning too heavily on the latter to alienate any non-Spanish-speaking audience members but hitting it regularly enough that those capable of doing some basic translation will get to appreciate a few extra punchlines. There's some strong physical comedy at times as well, as Lopez recreates some memorable characters with nothing more than some striking facial expressions.
Unfortunately, there are more than a few occasions when the whole affair feels kind of half-finished. Early in the special, Lopez tries to get some audience participation going and has the crowd repeat a couple of his jokes. It never really works, and he thankfully abandons it as he heads into the show's second half. There are also a few moments in which Lopez seems to be setting up a joke he never really delivers. "Barack Obama is the closest thing to a Latino we've got," he laughs at one point. That line feels like the intro to a routine, but no, Lopez is moving on to the next subject. He gets in a decent dig at Mitt Romney (claiming that the Latinos won't vote for him until he embraces his Mexican heritage), but the routine ends just as soon as it starts getting rich.
The DVD transfer is pretty solid, with strong detail and depth throughout. Aside from the brief pre-taped bit at the start, there's not much in terms of memorable visuals, but it gets the job done. The Dolby 2.0 Stereo track is sturdy as well, though there's a good deal of echo at times. The only supplement is a brief behind-the-scenes featurette on the creation of the special.
George Lopez: It's Not Me, It's You is roughly on-par with most of the comedian's opening Lopez Tonight monologues. It's one thing to create this sort of fun, light, hit-and-miss affair in less than 24 hours, but it's not quite enough for an HBO special. There are some laughs, but Lopez should have polished this one up a bit more.
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