Comedy, Television

Impractical Jokers: The Complete First Season (2011-2012)

Comments Off on Impractical Jokers: The Complete First Season (2011-2012) 13 December 2013

ImpracticalJokers_Season1_DVD_CoverArt

Studio: NorthSouth Productions

Network: truTV

DVD Release: November 26, 2013

Rating:  Not Rated

Reviewed By James M. Dubs

I’ll watch anything…including Impractical Jokers.

It all began in 1948 with a hidden camera, a series of practical jokes, and a memorable catch phrase, “Surprise, you’re on Candid Camera!” Since then Candid Camera has gone on to have at least three re-iterations of itself, and spawned an entire genre of practical joke reality television shows of which there are nearly countless imitators.  Flash forward to 2013 and NorthSouth Productions and truTV have released the complete first season of their own hit hidden camera series Impractical Jokers on DVD. Is Impractical Jokers another retread of the same old same old? More importantly, is it funny?

Show Rating: ★★★★☆

Joke_2

Impractical Jokers stars four friends who go by the names of Joe, Murr, Sal, and Q. On the surface it has a lot in common with Candid Camera – hidden cameras, short practical joke vignettes, and unsuspecting victims. But that’s really where the similarities end. Unlike Candid, and other hidden camera copies, Impractical Jokers stands apart in one significant way. Instead of the show relying solely on the reactions of the unsuspected, the quartet set up a series of dares and challenges in which they need to complete a task.

For example, one of my favorites involves a dare in which the hosts must go into a buffet and pick food off of the plates of other patrons. The host who collects the least amount of food (per weight) loses the challenge. Each scenario makes for some incredibly funny television, and as juvenile as the whole thing sounds, you will be hard pressed not to laugh out loud. After all, each dare/scenario is equipped with a double payoff. Not only do you get to observe some great reactions from the innocent participants, but in most cases the reactions of our hosts are just as funny, if not funnier.

Another common challenge the quartet employs is a situation where one of the four must wear a radio ear piece. In hiding, the other three whisper commands and phrases into a microphone that the lone member must react to and repeat verbatim. If they don’t comply, they lose.

Joke_4

Because the jokes focus less on the humiliation of the unsuspected and more on the stars, the show feels more like an hour spent with buddies triple-dog-daring each other into harmless fun. At the conclusion of each episode, a loser is picked based on the challenge performances and their punishment typically consists of an incredibly embarrassing scenario. How would you feel if your buddies made you stand in front of a crowd and pretend you wrote a book about having chronic flatulents?

If my description is starting to sound like we’re getting close to MTVs Jackass territory, please shelve those concerns. Although these Impractical Jokers employ dares to torture each other, they are never lewd or cruel and even our hosts have certain, albeit thin, moral boundaries that prevent them from completing a dare successfully from time to time. And in the end that’s what makes this show memorable from the others. The joke is always on the hosts and not on the victims. This keeps the gags from ever becoming too cruel so what’s left is a lot of room for laughter.

Video & Audio Rating: ★★★½☆

Joke_6

The 2-disc set boasts broadcast quality picture and a 5.1 surround mix. Let’s be honest. The 5.1 surround mix is hardly necessary or noticeable. For this kind of entertainment, a mono track would suffice. Regardless, everything looks and sounds great for a DVD and that’s why it’s getting above average marks.

Extras Rating: ★★★★☆

Joke_5

The real treat of this set is the bonus material. I’m skeptical, but we’ll see if the same huge array of supplements shows up on season 2 and 3. Warner Bros., who helps release this set will need to see good returns on this set to justify a return to form.  But I digress…

The 2-disc set is loaded with all kinds of goodies.

  1. Audio Commentaries: Many, but not all, episodes include commentary by the cast. Don’t look for any earth shattering revelations as the audio track plays more like a hangout session. Listening to the four ruminate on the episodes and experiences feels more like sitting through home movies with friends. It’s a casual and enjoyable experience but never matches the fun levels the actual episodes offer.
  2. Deleted Scenes: Perhaps my favorite of the set is the additional scenes excised from broadcast. Just a large collection of more funny moments on top of a strong first season.
  3. Behind the Scenes is what it sounds like.  A brief little featurette that showcases some of the ins and outs of producing the show the show. Another light and entertaining addition.
  4. Meet the Stars of Impractical Jokers gives a bit of back story to the quartet and the series genesis. A nice supplement to go along with the behind the scenes.

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Joke_3

Taking into account the kind of audience who may appreciate this kind of comedy, Impractical Jokers scores a very well earned 4 stars. Part of me regrets not having thought of this idea first as my college friends and I pulled some of the same gags found on this set. And that’s what makes this set so fun. Spending time with Joe, Murr, Sal, and Q is much like spending time with your best mates. They’re your normal “every man” who just want to have some fun and make you laugh. It’s the kind of harmless entertainment that appeals to a mass market. Even if you don’t consider yourself the kind of person that enjoys hidden camera shows, you may want to give Impractical Jokers a spin because it will most likely take you by surprise.

About the author: James Dubs is a father and husband who loves his family first and movies a close second. He believes every movie is worth watching once and, as a film fan and critic, believes that even the worst movies offer something in return. His mission is to watch anything and report without pretension. Follow James Dubs on Twitter and send him suggestions on movies you would like reviewed – popular, obscure, independent, etc. He’ll watch anything for you.

Author

- who has written 64 posts on UnRated Film Review Magazine | Movie Reviews, Interviews.

James Dubs is a father and husband who loves his family first and movies a close second. He believes every movie is worth watching once and, as a film fan and critic, believes that even the worst movies offer something in return. His mission is to watch anything and report without pretension. Follow James Dubs on Twitter and send him suggestions on movies you would like reviewed - popular, obscure, independent, etc. He'll watch anything for you.

Contact the author

Comments are closed.

Enter Your Email

FBFPowered by ®Google Feedburner

© 2017 UnRated Film Review Magazine | Movie Reviews, Interviews. Powered by WordPress.

Daily Edition Theme by WooThemes - Premium WordPress Themes

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers

Share This
web analytics