Big Gay Sketch Show (The): The Complete Unrated Second Season
R1 - America - Paramount Home Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: Pat Pilon (30th November -0001).
The Show

What a difference a second season can make. Something must have happened over the hiatus between the first and second seasons, or I might have gotten used to the humour, but I found this season much funnier than the first. It seems to have evolved, with both the writers and the performers being much more assured and confident than before. Everything now seems to click to make everything funny.

Some of the characters from the first season come back. Nicol Paone doing Elaine Stritch, Kate McKinnon doing Fitzwilliam (probably my favorite character) and Erica Ash doing her Chicago lady are back, as are a few new characters. Colman Domingo shows his version of Maya Angelou, and a couple of other actors (Jonny McGovern, Paolo Andino) create some original characters in Stephen and Naldo. Unfortunately, the second season loses Michael Serrato altogether, who was a nice asset in the first season.

This season, they're slightly more liberal when it comes to language. F-bombs drop just about every skit now, which make for some nice jokes when in conjunction with other naughty words. The sketches are also somewhat more original and rather true to life. Obviously, for example, Party Planning in Episode 6, is an exaggeration, but it definitely stems from real life. I've seen things like this before, and it really rings true.

They also get into some very biting satire, which was missing from the first season. The eHarmony sketch in Episode 2 and Proposition 301 in Episode 4 really pound the point they want to say with some very edge comedy. There are some laugh-out-loud sketches. I especially liked Erica Ash's Grandma Belle sketches in Episodes 3 and 7. These are the funniest in the season and Miss Ash really lets loose, making for some absolutely laugh-out-loud moments.

Unfortunately, they do repeat themselves. There are more bear jokes (Grizzly Man, in Episode 6), and the Naldo sketches are the same thing over and over again. However, the show does manage to get laughs in every single sketch, which is something that couldn't be said of the first season. Two random things before I leave: 1) Kate McKinnon looks very eerily like a younger Dave Foley, and 2) Kate McKinnon does a dead-on absolutely perfect impersonation of Britney Spears in Proposition 301.

Each episode ends with executive producer Rosie O'Donnell and her friend, Waldorf-and-Stadler-style, on a balcony, making fun of the show. It's a nice touch and after seeing this season, I very eagerly await the chance to watch the third.

Here is a breakdown of the episodes of the season, which, by the way, are all on disc one.

Disc 1:
Episode 1 (21:36)
Super Liza, Sally Field Boniva Commercial, Lesbian Bars, Dancing with the Stars, Post Office Line with Naldo, Dynasty

Episode 2 (21:38)
Elaine Stritch Perfume, eHarmony.com, Today on Craigslist with Maya Angelou, Fitzwilliam at the Hospital, Gaydar Outing Blaster, Republican Hearing on Homosexuality, Today on Craigslist with Maya Angelou 2, Hollywood Couples Counseling

Episode 3 (21:49)
Extreme Home Makeover, Jenny Craig, The Facts of Life, Dinner with Grandma Belle, At the Emergency Room

Episode 4 (21:45)
Oprah, Proposition 301, Chicago Pilates, The Hungs, Are You Smarter Than a Tranny Hooker?

Episode 5 (21:39)
MTV News, Paula Deen Diet, A Moment with Perez Hilton, The Suze Show, Harry Potter with Fitzwilliam, A Moment with Perez Hilton 2, America's Next Top Bottom, A Moment with Perez Hilton 3

Episode 6 (21:42)
Bag Check-in with Naldo, The Home Shopping Channel with Barbara Bush, 'Coalminer's Mountain' Trailer, Color Me Reality, Anal Breeze Lady, Party Planning

Episode 7 (21:39)
Car Rental Check-In, Grandma Belle at School, I Love Lucy, New Star Jones Show, Improving the WNBA

Episode 8 (22:23)
Elaine Stretch – Airport Security, Pocket Diva, Grizzly Man, Today on Craigslist with Maya Angelou 3, Raw Kitchen, Today on Craigslist with Maya Angelou 4, Fitzwilliam's Quest (a sketch in which each actor plays one of their recurring character)

Video

1.33:1 full screen. Like the first season, the show is fairly low-budget and being shot for television, looks nice on a tube. The colours are bright and accurate, with good contrast and relatively sharp edges. There are no print defects, and ringing is never a problem. The level of detail could be a bit better, but that's by far not the most important thing about the show. Basically, it's functional and it gets the job done.

Audio

The only audio track is an English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track and it's very functional. All the biting (and not so biting) dialogue comes through very well. The theme song and other sounds are clear as a bell, as well. This is a sketch show, and a pretty simple one at that, so the sound isn't too complicated.
There are no subtitles.

Extras

Whereas the first season had a second disc for the extras, they were somewhat slim when it came down to it. This time, Paramount went all-in, creating a great package.

There are some start-up trailers for 'Exes and Ohs' (0:36), 'The Big Gay Sketch Show Season 1' (0:29) and a LogoOnline spot (0:33) on disc one.

Disc two starts out with a hilarious extra. I should probably mention the sections first:

The Big Gay Stuff starts with 'The Big Straight Sketch Show – Half Hour Special' (22:00) featurette. It's a hilarious look at the fake attempt at making 'The Big Straight Sketch Show', to appeal to a wider audience. Seeing the cast try to act straight is one of the funniest things on this set. Some 'Celesbian Interviews' are next. One with Nicol Paone (6:26), talking about her career, and the other with Kate McKinnon (7:48), talking about her being a lesbian. I enjoyed these more than the interviews from the first season extras, simply because the three girls know this is a joke and have fun with it. 'How to Get More Gay!' (0:33), 'Rick & Steve on DVD' (0:33), 'The Big Gay Sketch Show Season 1 on DVD' (0:29) and 'Exes & Ohs on DVD' (0:36) finish out the section.

The Big Gay Bonus Sketches were cut for obvious reasons. They are pretty much dead on arrival. The second one is pretty funny, but runs a bit too long to have put it in any episode. The others, especially 'Fag Hag Friendship' and 'Loving to Hate to Love The L-Word' don't get any laughs from the audience, which is undrestandable, given they are pretty flat. All in all, the sketches in the episodes as is are pretty funny, so any addition wouldn't make the episodes any funnier. The scenes are: 'Maya Angelou Kinky on Graigslist' (1:01), 'Lesbian Troop Leaders Gone Bad' (5:42), 'Fag Hag Friendship!' (4:42), 'Loving to Hate to Love The L Word' (2:25), 'Bondage on Three's Company' (3:49), 'Desperate Logo Fairytales' (2:37), 'Tech Problems at a Funeral' (2:44), 'The Big Gay Dynasty Sketch – Extended Version' (4:09), 'Oprah and Gayle’s Platonic Trip – Extended Version' (5:08) and 'Celebs for Straight Parenting – Extended Version' (2:23).

The Big Gay Interviews are very nice. They just about all talk about the differences between seasons 1 and 2 (basically freedom to do what they want). They also mention their favorite sketch and how they got on the show. This are a very nice nice set of interviews from Paolo Andino (2:36), Erica Ash (1:57), Amanda Bearse (2:32), Colman Domingo (1:55), Julie Goldman (2:10), Stephen Guarino (2:11), Jonny McGovern (2:18), Kate McKinnon (2:50) and Nicol Paone (2:42) with some pretty funny moments at times.

Finally, Behind the Big Gay Scenes has a way too short 'The Big Gay Blooper Reel' (1:34) and 'Hold My Hair When I Throw Up' (1:54) and 'Behind the Big Gay Scenes' (2:08), the difference in the latter two I couldn't explain to you. Basically, these three things are just goofing off by the cast, and are pretty funny.

Overall

The Show: B+ Video: B- Audio: B- Extras: A- Overall: B+

 


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