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Case Number 08551

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Viva La Bam: Complete Seasons Four And Five

Paramount // 2005 // 323 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // February 8th, 2006

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All Rise...

Drinking kills brain cells. Judge David Johnson presents Exhibit A.

The Charge

Charles Darwin's full of #$%.

Opening Statement

Proving that the fittest don't necessarily survive, Viva La Bam returns with this three-disc set of the show's final two seasons. Contained within are the over-the-top exploits and pointless stunts that have characterized this show since its post-Jackass inception. Prepare for brain cell death on a genocidal scale.

Facts of the Case

Viva La Bam follows the misadventures of pro skateboarder and Jackass regular Bam Margera, as he drags his cronies (Ryan Dunn, Brandon Dicamillo, Raab Himself, and Rake Yohn) and his hapless parents (April and Phil Margera) to wherever his inclinations brings him. Also along for the ride is his incoherent uncle, "Don Vito," who is, quite possibly, the stupidest character on the show. And when we're dealing with this show, trust me that's saying a lot.

The Evidence

It would be easy for me to rip on Viva La Bam. Does Bam come across as little more than a spoiled kid who lives a repercussion-free life? Yeah. Are his friends delinquents of the lowest caliber? Sure. Does this show feel way too fake and scripted sometimes? You bet. Did I laugh a lot? Yes. Yes I did.

Seasons four and five are comprised of 15 episodes total, spread over two discs, with the third devoted to bonus material. Here's how the episodes shake out:

Disc One
• "Viva La Europe Part 1"
Bam and his friends follow Phil and April to Europe, where the about-to-be-menaced couple tries to enjoy their second honeymoon. Bam's idea is this: take a whirlwind tour of Europe and grab food stuffs from each country for a massive anniversary dinner. To add further misery to Ape's experience, Vito is along for the ride.
Idiocy Alert: Elevated

• "Viva La Europe Part 2"
When we last left our heroes/morons, Bam and Dunn were trapped in a blizzard in the Alps, driving a Ferrari, on their way to Romania to get some vampire wine for the dinner. But when it's finally time to sit and eat, Vito ruins everything, pissing off Ape and forcing Bam to come up with a new plan—one involving handcuffs.
Idiocy Alert: Moderate

• "CKY Gets Jobs"
When Ape complains about a gigantic heating bill, Bam and company take it upon themselves to find jobs and pay off the money before the week's end. Car demolition, sushi selling, cinnamon bun massacres, tow-truck attacks, and Lamborghini newspaper-delivering ensue.
Idiocy Alert: Extreme

• "State of Bam"
Bam decides to start his own state. He and his cronies track down a prime piece of real estate, secure some ratty trailers, and start drinking.
Idiocy Alert: High

• "Bam on the Bayou"
The CKY boys head down south to play in the swamp. Vito comes along, but is soon bored, and journeys back to Pennsylvania to hang with Phil.
Idiocy Alert: Elevated

• "Groundhog Day"
To celebrate Punxsutawney Phil's forecast of six more weeks of winter, Bam takes everyone to a ski resort, to set up an innovative sledding competition and an outdoor concert with Clutch. Phil's legendary maple syrup wake-up is more than enough to raise the Alert on this one.
Idiocy Alert: Ridiculous

• "Mexico"
Time to hit the beach. It's fun in the sun when Bam and pals go south of the border, traveling with his crazy Finnish friends the Dudesons. Vito, meanwhile, is tasked to learn 10 Spanish phrases before Bam comes back. If he can pull it off, he wins Bam's Hummer.
Idiocy Alert: High

• "CKY Challenge"
The boys embark on a mock game show, where the spin of a wheel will charge players to take on crazy challenges, like eating a seven course meal underwater, arm-wrestling bikers, forming a traveling street band, going on a urinal cake quest, and dressing up like a cat, climbing a tree, and waiting for the fire department to arrive. The spoils? The State of Bam.
Idiocy Alert: Extreme

Disc Two
• "Viva La Brazil"
It's time for another exotic getaway, when Bam, Vito and the boys head to South America, leaving Dico behind to torture Ape and Phil.
Idiocy Alert: Moderate

• "Ape's Surprise"
With Ape's birthday looming, Bam decide to give her a sequence of increasingly bizarre gifts, each representing a decade in her life. The gift-giving culminates in a personalized rock concert with Billy Idol.
Idiocy Alert: Moderate

• "Vito's Revenge"
Sick of the torture he's taken from Bam for so many years, Vito enlists the help of bad-dude skater Mike Vallely, who is more than happy to oblige. What follows is a give-and-take prank war between Vallely and Team Bam, with each stunt bringing with it more property damage.
Idiocy Alert: Extreme

• "Metal Mulisha"
A tag-team of the stunt bikers Metal Mulisha and costumed rock group GWAR show up to cause general chaos. Vito is committed to joining the Mulisha and is forced by Bam to prove himself worthy.
Idiocy Alert: High

• "Limo vs. Lambo"
Dunn challenges Bam to a drag race. Dunn will drive his suped-up limo and Bam will take his prized Lamborghini. But when the Lambo goes missing, Bam flips and subjects all of his friends to a lie detector test, to see who stole the car.
Idiocy Alert: Moderate

• "Where's Vito"
Vito and Dunn decide to disappear, leaving Bam confused and determined to track down his clown of an uncle. The cat-and-mouse game spans bars, bowling alleys, and eventually Times Square.
Idiocy Alert: High

• "Bam on the River"
Bam takes the crew down the Brandywine River in makeshift boats to the Lagoon Bar. Vito accompanies for a bit before bailing out, pushing Bam to beat his uncle to the bar. Ultimately, everyone reconvenes at Bam's house for a bikini pool party.
Idiocy Alert: High

• "Finlandia"
For the final episode of the series, Bam and the boys go back across the ocean to find Raab's Russian mail-order bride, while Ape and Phil stay with the Dudesons, who bide their time blasting each other with fire hoses.
Idiocy Alert: Extreme

And that wraps it up for Bam Margera's excursion into impulse-inanity. These shows are crude (unbleeped profanity, and there's a lot of it), lewd (more male nudity than I was comfortable with), and sterling examples of bad behavior (Honor your father and mother?! Pbbbbbbbttttttt!!!) But all of it is delivered in such a high-energy, over-the-top fashion and populated with prime examples "laugh at them" idiots, I submit you'd have to be a BarcaLounger not to unleash some kind of reaction to this stuff. It might be revulsion or irritation or pure hatred or fits of laughter, but Bam and his guys will get something out of you.

For me, it was funny. Real funny. Granted, these episodes came across more scripted and contrived than previous shows, and that hurt some of the charm of that spontaneity feeling earlier seasons had. For example, "Vito's Revenge," while hilarious, was blatantly scripted mayhem, but, hey, it was mayhem. The bulk of the humor comes from these guys just doing horrible things to each other, with a special nod going to Don Vito, who, despite any external direction he may have had, is in a league of his own for stupidity.

Though these episodes vary in degrees of "did-they-just-do-that?" mojo, for fans of sophomoric, slapstick, frat-boy humor, and the sum total is a success. These guys will make you laugh, and if someone has to get hurt for that to happen, so be it.

All 16 episodes are presented in full-frame, and the digital source provides a solid transfer. This is a colorful show, sporting a variety of locales and foods and tattoos, and the colors hold up okay. The stereo mix is decent, with the LFE channels getting a solid workout from the ubiquitous death metal playing in the background.

Episodes come with commentary tracks delivered by Bam and his friends, which are less focused on providing insightful looks into the making of the show and more about making fun of each other's girlfriends and ripping on MTV. Disc Three is devoted entirely to special features, hosting a butt-load of deleted scenes from each season, the "Top Five" special, which counts down highlights from the show, Bam's Cribs special, and some final bits of "random-ass" footage.

Closing Statement

Viva La Bam is unapologetic low-brow humor; the funny node it appeals to in your brain is wedged between the gray matter that dictates how hard you laugh at fart jokes. The harder you laugh at fart jokes, the more you will likely enjoy Viva La Bam.

I tend to laugh hard at fart jokes.

The Verdict

Guilty of every conceivable affront to tasteful humor and the failure to consider other people and their personal space, but this court is laughing too hard to follow through on punishment. Case dismissed.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 85
Audio: 85
Extras: 85
Acting: 85
Story: 90
Judgment: 87

Perp Profile

Studio: Paramount
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 323 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Comedy
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Cast Commentary
• Deleted Scenes
• Random Footage
• "Viva La Top 5"
• Bam's Cribs








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