Drinking kills brain cells. Judge David Johnson presents Exhibit A.
Charles Darwin's full of #$%.
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.
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:
• "Viva La Europe Part 2"
• "CKY Gets Jobs"
• "State of Bam"
• "Bam on the Bayou"
• "Groundhog Day"
• "CKY Challenge"
• "Ape's Surprise"
• "Vito's Revenge"
• "Metal Mulisha"
• "Limo vs. Lambo"
• "Where's Vito"
• "Bam on the River"
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.
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.
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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