|Home Movies: Season Three (2001)
Starring: Brendon Small, Jon Benjamin, Melissa Bardin Galsky, Janine Ditullio, Ron Lynch, Jonathan Katz
ALSO! Read our interview with series creator Brendon Small.
Once again, Shout! Factory has come to the aid of those in need of scoring their favorite cult TV shows on DVD. This year, the company has already produced top-notch sets for shows like “Undeclared” and “The Dick Cavett Show,” but after the success of releasing seasons one and two of “Home Movies” in 2004 and 2005, respectively, Shout! Factory opted to sign up to release the following two seasons as well.
Fans of the show already know this, of course, but viewing of the set shows without question that Season 3 is where “Home Movies” hit its creative stride. You’re familiar with the cliché of how parents can’t pick their favorite child because they love all of them equally...? That definitely comes into play when selecting the best of the episodes from this season.
Some of the highlights:
• “Shore Leave”: While Melissa is dealing with her new membership in the Fairy Princesses (an organization which in no way resembles the Girl Scouts), Brendon spends the worst weekend of his life with his “friend” Fenton.
• “Bad Influences”: Brendon and Jason discover that, whenever they’re together, they eat to excess, so they decide to split up.
• “Renaissance”: The kids attend a Renaissance fair, but things go awry when attendees of a neighboring sci-fi convention decide to invade.
• “Guitarmageddon”: Brendon, Jason, and Melissa form a band, and guitar hero Duane enters a contest to prove that he’s better than his rival, Jimmy Monet.
• “Storm Warning”: The young filmmakers debate about whether to make a mockumentary or an actual film based on the fake film being discussed in the mockumentary. Meanwhile, Coach McGuirk is watching the kids as a tornado approaches in hopes of getting Brendon’s mom to pose as his fiancée.
• “Stowaway”: The kids decide to hop a steamer and sail to Europe, but they end up on a gambling cruise with Coach McGuirk and his new buddy, Tom Wilsonberg, a purported financial guru.
These are just six of the thirteen episodes, and each one of them is funny, teetering on hilarious. Young filmmakers Brendon, Jason, and Melissa are still making movies, but the plots aren’t so steadfastly revolving around that aspect of the show, which expands the humor beyond just the insular world of Hollywood parody. Coach McGuirk really shines this season, as does his fellow teacher, Ron Lynch.
In his interview with Bullz-Eye, Brendon Small admitted that, with each successive season of the show, it gets harder and harder to figure out what special features should appear on the DVD sets. God bless him for his honesty, because it’s clear that he and his cohorts are grasping at straws at this point. The commentaries this time around are strictly from Small and Bouchard (as opposed to any of the other voice actors), but their enthusiasm about these episodes is undeniable; the continued inclusion of the animatics from various shows is also a nice touch for animation fans. But “Decide Your Doom: Revenge of the Dorks,” a choose-your-own-adventure sort of game is filler, and the music video, “Some ‘Home Movies’ Fans,’ is barely worth watching. The best bit is probably “A Featurette For People Who Don’t Necessarily Like ‘Home Movies,’” where Jon Benjamin shows random footage of comedians like Todd Barry and David Cross doing stuff like eating pasta or firing a rifle, then proceeds to follow it with a making-of documentary. It’s goofy, but it’s still funny.
Season 4 is due out in the near future, and, if all goes well, it should include a CD of the music from the various seasons of “Home Movies.” With or without the tunes, though, it should be just as solid a purchase as this one. The special features might not be all that consistently special, but the episodes alone are what sell this set.