Home Movies: Season 2

by Aaron on June 15, 2005

in Uncategorized

Quite simply, Home Movies has long been one of my favorite animated series (or even in general), and I’m delighted that these sets might give the show the kind of exposure it truly deserves. It’s smart, touching comedy delivered with brilliant style, so do yourself a favor and give it whirl. Fans will find lots to love on this must-have set, and initiates will discover this is a perfect introduction to a show that’s worthy of your time and money. Go! Go now! Get Home Movies: Season 2. You won’t be disappointed.

Home Movies : Season 2
5 Stars

Home Movies was the kind of show that was just too good to stick around for long. After debuting on UPN and promptly going on hiatus, it jumped over to Cartoon Network as part of the Adult Swim lineup where it lasted another 3 seasons before finally caving in against the hordes of talking food, whacked out scientists, and Mission Hill reruns, but over the course of it’s 4 year run Home Movies became the epitome of a great sitcom. Great characters, perfect dialogue, and hilariously goofy situations all delivered in a style that would be impossible to imitate.

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Shout! Factory has just recently released the Season 2 DVD set, which marked the Cartoon Network debut, along with the abandonment of Squiggle-Vision animation in favor of a more traditional (if still minimalist) style. While a great continuation of the first season, Season 2 found creator Brendon Small and his cast of cohorts still finding their footing in the now expanded world of Small’s eponymous creation, but this time out the jokes are a little tighter, the scenarios more elaborate, and the humor just a tad more biting.

Young filmmaker Brendon and his pals Melissa (Melissa Bardin Gratsky) and Jason (H. Jon Benjamin) may be the center of the mostly improvised show, but the goofily deranged soccer coach John McGuirk (also voiced by Benjamin) may just be one of televisions funniest characters. Fat, lazy, and usually drunk, McGuirk dispenses his barroom wisdom to Brendon with the authority and conviction of a man possessing a complete lack of social grace and awareness. Whether it’s cashing in on his insomnia to get enough research money to buy a DVD player, or his hilariously pathetic attempts to get a date, McGuirk’s man-child antics provide the most solid humor of this show. Not to say that the rest of the cast is lacking; far from it. Small’s world is filled with oddballs and misfits, each with their own bizarre charms and idiosyncrasies that are equally exasperating and uproariously funny.

In this season, the gang films some of their best movies like “Starboy and the Captain of Outerspace” (which also happens to spawn some of my favorite songs of the series), while Brendon experiences the pain of young love when he tries to woo a young ballerina as well as dealing with his dad and his new fiancee.  Paula loses her job teaching adult education classes and embarks on a bizarre trek back into the workforce, while McGuirk is…well, McGuirk.  Which is more than enough, I assure you.  This season has two of my favorite episodes (The Party and The Wedding), both of which showcase nearly every member of Home Movie’s extended cast.  In The Party, Bredon is coerced into making a tribute film for Fenton, a whiney brat whose Robert Altman-esque birthday party enables Jason to endulge in his goofy addiction to candy, while McGuirk crashes the party with two six-packs of beer only to become both the entertainment and the voice of parental reason.  In the season finale The Wedding, Brendon’s poison ivy infection turns him into a hideous monster while Paula tries to cope with her ex-husband re-marrying.  And yet again, McGuirk steals the show when one of Paula’s friends makes some serious advances on the completely cluess soccer coach. 

It’s difficult to convey how brilliant this show is in text, as it’s genius lies in the improvised dialogue between the characters.  They talk over each other, thoughts are paused and dropped, and every conversation feels like you’re listening to real (if incredibly goofy) people talking about their lives.  It’s a show filled to the brim with inter-character chemistry, and you’ll find the subtle jokes endlessly as entertaining as the overt ones.  Say for instance in The Party, when 9 year old Jason is deep in the throes of a candy bender and responds to Melissa’s admonsihment with ‘No one’s looking at me! They’re looking at you and your litle rich bitch dress!’  It’s such a perfect take on grown-up addiction, and coming from a chocolate and gummi bear covered kid, it’s jawdroppingly funny.

Quite simply, Home Movies has long been one of my favorite animated series (or even in general), and I’m delighted that these sets might give the show the kind of exposure it truly deserves. It’s smart, touching comedy delivered with brilliant style, so do yourself a favor and give it whirl. Fans will find lots to love on this must-have set, and initiates will discover this is a perfect introduction to a show that’s worthy of your time and money. Go! Go now! Get Home Movies: Season 2. You won’t be disappointed.

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