J. Davis may be unlucky in love, but Judge Bill Gibron finds his romantic misadventures quite funny.
Our review of The Misadventures Of J Davis: The Hostile Takeover, published September 21st, 2011, is also available.
Grows on you…yeah, yeah, like fungus. Ha ha.
As far as one can decipher, James Davis (or Jay Davis, J. Davis, or simply J Davis, depending on where you look) is a Chicago comedian whose Funny or Die series The Misadventures of… has been a crude comic constant on the site for some time. The narrative centers on a genial nice guy looking for willing women in a world filled with freaks, felons, and diminutive female pimps. Add in the mandatory scatology of a post-Apatow world, and some cultural specifics, and you've got something that's, at first, rather ridiculous. After a while, however, it definitely begins to slowly but surely grow on you. We find humor in the little observed moments and even his attempted catchphrase ("bounce 200 grapes off my butt cheeks") becomes a merry—and memorable—mantra.
Part of the reason is that Davis uses the 10 to 12 minute episode format as a means of experimentation, taking out what doesn't work and capitalizing on what does along the way. As a result, the gross out gags of Episode 1 (involving a leaking colostomy bag—yuck!!!) are slowly replaced by the costumed character fun of "Uncle Pete" in another installment. The slob sister date of another segment (complete with unseemly armpit and crotch hair) transforms into a Dolemite-like narrative involving a favored if unsavory strip club and the various oddball criminal personalities within. Over the course of nearly 90 minutes, Davis becomes more comfortable in the various guises he takes on. From desperate and dateless to the significant other of a crime boss's daughter, the many misadventures become funnier, instead of falling flat.
For those curious, here is a list of the episodes offered:
• "Up for Anything"
In between two of the latter installments is a hilarious spoof of a standard sexual harassment video usually shown to workers in a corporate setting. It's one of the funniest things on the entire disc.
As a DVD, it's hard to gauge overall product quality. The disc provided to DVD Verdict appears to be DVD-R without any prepared art. The menu leads to a simply set of options—"Play" or "Scenes," and tech specs speak of a series shot and set for web-views only. The image quality is all over the map, mostly looking like bad home videos, and the sound quality can be lax on occasion. Still, the 1.85:1 anamorphic image isn't all bad, and Dolby Digital Stereo mix really elevates the overdone hip-hop used as a score. As for extras, we get an interview with Davis that helps explain his approach to the series. In essence, it's he and his buddies hanging out, having fun.
With an universe of product to pick from on the world wide web, something like The Misadventures of J Davis can easily get lost. If you find it, and the time to appreciate same, you'll probably enjoy this uneven effort. It's often side splitting. It's occasionally stupid. But it's pure outsider entertainment, for better and for worse.
Not guilty—if just barely.
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