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"Tosh.0" on Blu-ray and DVD: Hoodies Deep V's Cardigans Plus Casual Jackets

"Tosh.0" Hoodies Blu-ray Review

Tosh.0: Hoodies Blu-ray cover art - click to buy from Amazon.com Tosh.0: Hoodies (2009)
Show & Blu-ray Disc Details

Creators/Executive Producers: Daniel Tosh, Mike Gibbons / Director: Brit McAdams

Writers: Mike Gibbons, Eddie Gossling, Nick Malis, Brian Rubenstein, Daniel Tosh, Joe Borden, Kevin Biggins, Travis Bowe

Host: Daniel Tosh / Guest Stars: Megan Abrigo, Matthew Fulchiron, Nathan Webnar, Dave Attell, Mark Hicks, Bree Olson, Joselyn Hughes, Kato Kaelin, David Koechner, Lauren Caitlin Upton, Louisa Abernathy, Tyrone Davies, Richard Horvitz, Hope Mulbarger, Kevin Shea, Andrea Taylor, Fred Willard, Krista Woods, Yefim Furman, Rami Jaffee, Tim Mosher, Terrell Owens, Paige Reynolds, Marshall Cook, Chris Crocker, Andy Dick, Mike Gibbons, Daniel Ramos, Bill Monroe, Jack McBrayer, Josh Reinwald, Jeff Ross, Harland Williams, Rasean Blyden, Kelly Brannigan, Kristin Cavallari, Courtney Flynn, Eddie Gossling, Nick Malis, Audie Metcalf, Michael O'Brien, Tommy Chong, Erik Hoffstad, Paul Jury, Dennis Rodman, Chris Fairbanks, Lyn-Z Adams Hawkins, Bailey Williams, Joel Williams

Running Time: 211 Minutes (10 episodes) / Rating: Not Rated (TV-14 on air)

1.78:1 Widescreen / Dolby TrueHD 5.1 (English), Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0 (English)
Subtitles: English for Hearing Impaired; Not Closed Captioned; Extras Not Subtitled or Captioned
Episodes Originally Aired June 4, 2009 - August 13, 2009
Blu-ray Release Date: June 12, 2012 / Suggested Retail Price: $29.99
Single-sided, dual-layered disc (BD-50s) / Blue Eco-Friendly Keepcase
Also available on DVD ($19.99 SRP) and Amazon Instant Video

Buy Tosh.0: Hoodies from Amazon.com: Blu-ray DVD

"Tosh.0" is clearly Comedy Central's answer to E!'s "The Soup." Where "The Soup" places its affable stand-up comedian host in front of green screen to ridicule diverting clips of reality television and talk shows, "Tosh.0" does the same for amateur Internet videos. It is a fruitful and obvious variation, one which E! sister network G4 remarkably introduced on the very same June 2009 week that "Tosh.0" debuted with the Chris Hardwick-hosted "Web Soup."
Hardwick's series wrapped last summer after three seasons, but "Tosh.0" marches on, its currently-airing fourth season drawing some of cable's biggest ratings among viewers aged 18-49, outpacing competition like TBS' popular reruns of "The Big Bang Theory."

This week, "Tosh.0" makes its DVD and Blu-ray debut with a compilation of its first ten episodes titled Hoodies after its host's Season 1 attire. Though it's less obligatory than on "The Soup", "Tosh.0" is produced on a weekly basis to stay as on top of web trends and viral videos as possible, while also allowing for some welcome viewer-show interaction via Twitter and the network's official site. In spite of that design, these episodes do not suffer greatly in disc viewing three years later. The sting of some hasty jokes about the deaths of David Carradine and Michael Jackson is diluted and decades from now, this all will probably seem like a baffling window into archaic 2010s web culture. But right now, these dated episodes remain relevant and fun.

Like "The Soup"'s Joel McHale, 30-something host Daniel Tosh employs a more accessible tone than his politically incorrect stand-up act. Airs of racism and misogyny creep out, but with the feeling of an act and one appropriate for teens to be finding on basic cable. Likewise, broadcast standards take the edge off of crude sex and drug content. Dangerous stunts are prefaced with stern, discouraging warnings and jokes at the expense of celebrities are carefully worded to avoid libel lawsuits. None of that matters much. What is important is that Tosh finds the humor in online embarrassment to the approval of a small but vocal studio audience and the many more watching at home.

Internet videos (or in this case, pictures) are an easy source of comedy on "Tosh.0" with Daniel Tosh.

The series employs a number of regular segments. Among the best is Video Breakdown, which dissects the pure WTFness of a clip of prolonged value (like 20 seconds worth). Another highlight is Web Redemption, which catches up with the stars of some of the Internet's most widely-distributed videos and gives them a chance to recreate their embarrassing moment, this time without the humiliation. Though this feature inevitably revisits the viral moments in question and makes fun of the person all over again, the shamed generally prove to be good sports and extend their minute or so of fame.

Another segment challenges Tosh to cram as many jokes about a looped short video clip as he can in 20 seconds (my player's counter shows he gets a little padding there). There are also some famous guest stars, just because, who appear briefly via webcam and contribute some short videos with just a twinge of self-promotion. Most episodes also play a short bit submitted by a comedy troupe. Other features do not recur (or not frequently), but show promise, such as: Century Club!, which shares an interesting YouTube video with fewer than 100 views, readings of apparently real bizarre Yahoo! Answers entries and Craigslist ads, a scroll of notable domain names still available, and a segment that calls out corporations with unfortunate URLs. Each episode opens with a must-see bit of web randomness and closes with a glimpse of Tosh on his green stage screen (which must not be very pleasant for his guests).

In his series' premiere episode, Daniel Tosh struggles with the cinnamon and saltine cracker challenges while high on salvia. Fred Willard's celebrity photo album is not what you'd expect.

On Blu-ray, the audio of "Tosh.0" is almost entirely uncensored, as F-bombs fly free. The picture remains censored, with rare bits of nudity blurred (viewers are sometimes directed to the Tosh.0 website to see uncut or unpixelated versions).

The ten untitled episodes of Hoodies comprise the first 5/8ths of "Tosh.0"'s first season. They are as follows:

1. Episode 1 (20:56) (Originally aired June 4, 2009)
A crush video shows a fat-footed woman stomping on bread. A European man's failed coconut-chopping exercise
gets the Video Breakdown treatment. Kato Kaelin pops up as "Keyboard Kato." Afro Ninja, who flubbed a backflip in a Nike commercial audition, gets web redemption. Comedian Dave Attell and porn star Bree Olson play beer pong. And Tosh tries to perform the cinnamon, saltine cracker, and coconut-chopping challenges in succession while high on salvia.

2. Episode 2 (21:14) (Originally aired June 12, 2009)
The episode opens with Sodahead13 chugging Coke. Miss Teen South Carolina Caitlin Upton, whose 2007 beauty pageant response painted her as a babbling airhead, gets web redemption. A couple's motorcycle mishap is dissected. David Koechner introduces the first of his online flower shop videos. Tosh pitches an unfollow Ashton Kutcher campaign.

3. Episode 3 (20:41) (Originally aired June 18, 2009)
A very long-haired man and ottoman humpers feature. A dancing wedding guest getting violent with his partner gets the Video Breakdown. A young man who vomited in a live morning news interview gets a chance to do it right. Fred Willard shares his unusual celebrity photo album.

A disastrous early morning news interview is the perfect place to begin a Web Redemption segment. A sandwich spear is a dangerous weapon in the hand of Harland Williams.

4. Episode 4 (21:15) (Originally aired June 25, 2009)
A fat man's slip 'n slide adventure prompts 20 seconds of wisecracks. Video Breakdown covers a teenaged girl's airborne in-flight vomit. Scarlet of "Scarlet Takes a Tumble" (real name: Paige Reynolds) gets web redemption. NFL player Terrell Owens apologizes to many. Tosh amusingly "interviews" Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt of "The Hills." And a montage forms the National Anthem out of unusual (i.e. weak) renditions, from an off-key Carl Lewis to a forgetful Michael Bolton.

5. Episode 5 (21:16) (Originally aired July 9, 2009)
The show gets the studio's reaction to the infamous "2 Girls, 1 Cup" video. Tosh delivers a funny University of Phoenix commencement speech. Andy Dick's Adolf Hitler audition for Night at the Museum 2 is shown. Chris Crocker of "Leave Britney alone" fame, now presenting himself as a lady, gets to face the paparazzo who took Spears' famous bald breakdown photos. The mayor of Cincinnati throws a terrible opening pitch. Asians do their best Christopher Walken impressions. "Is it racist?" contrasts one man's showy video with Tosh's own model of financial responsibility.

6. Episode 6 (21:08) (Originally aired July 16, 2009)
Another family motorcycle accident is dissected. A trust leap fail gets the Video Breakdown treatment. A man who got stuck inside a balloon gets redeemed. Jack McBrayer is angry and far away. White girls' Bill Cosby impressions are compiled.

7. Episode 7 (21:24) (Originally aired July 23, 2009)
An Australian man shatters a car's windshield with a bash from his bald head. Japanese commuters are squeezed into a train. A church statue is dropped. The world's worst best man speech-giver gets some web redemption with an assist from comedian Jeff Ross. Tosh and Harland Williams do battle with sandwich swords.

In his web redemption segment, Rasean Blyden (better known as Reh Dogg) records a new video with higher production values for his original rap song "Why Must I Cry." Skateboard girl Bailey Williams preps for her web redemption with a ride across Peter Gallagher's eyebrows.

8. Episode 8 (21:11) (Originally aired July 30, 2009)
A chopped-down tree falls on a house. Reh Dogg gets web redemption and a new opportunity to record his original rap "Why Must I Cry." Kristin Cavallari talks about some stuff.

9. Episode 9 (20:49) (Originally aired August 6, 2009)
Tosh addresses an audience of turkeys. A fat man's bicycle fall is broken down. A failed dizzy and intoxicated slam dunker gets an opportunity for web redemption. Tommy Chong and Salvia Eric test the effects of their preferred substances by trying to complete an obstacle course under the influence.
Tosh shows off his popcorn-catching skills.

10. Episode 10 (21:25) (Originally aired August 13, 2009)
An Asian boy sets his groin on fire. A woman is violated by a dog. A montage captures gunshot kick back moments. Bailey gets web redemption with an attempt to conquer skateboarding. The power of a fisheye lens is demonstrated. Viewers submit their own popcorn catching prowess.

VIDEO and AUDIO

Apart from the deliberate streaming video-style glitches of the opening titles and transition screens, the Blu-ray's presentation of "Tosh.0" is perfect. Obviously, the sampled videos tend to be of a lesser quality (and often an aspect ratio narrower than the show's 1.78:1 widescreen), but the original content is ever so slightly sharper and cleaner in 1080p than it is in HD broadcasts. Sound is offered in both Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and plain Dolby stereo 2.0. The results were audibly different, but unsurprisingly there is very little in the way of channel separation. The studio audience's laughter seemed to emanate more from the rear channels, but you can't go wrong with either track. English SDH subtitles are a great touch.

A poorly-worded swipe at Allen Iverson's criminal record features in a bonus "NBA: Where Amazing Happens?" commercial parody. Looking much more feminine than in his infamous video, Chris Crocker begs us to leave Kate Gosselin alone in this extended rant.

BONUS FEATURES, MENUS, PACKAGING and DESIGN

Eleven short bonus videos are simply numbered as well. Some of these are clearly extended versions of broadcast bits: outtakes from the Spencer and Heidi interview and Harland Williams and Terrell Owens' appearances; Chris Crocker's "Leave Kate (Gosselin of Jon & Kate fame) Alone" rant; and a less censored (but still nudity-blurring) version of Dave Attell and Bree Olson's beer pong. Others seem to simply be the same things that aired: a convenience store liquor purchase, "Keyboard Kato", and Tosh's Salvia challenge. Also included among these is a parody of the NBA's "Where Amazing Happens" commercials (highlighting star players' criminal records), a behind-the-scenes writers' room stunt, and an inexplicable, repeated "boot store" address from Tosh. Altogether, the content runs 9 minutes and 50 seconds, although without a "Play All" listing, you'll need to carve out at least ten minutes with the visits to the menu.

The silent static menu offers a wide, subtle variation on the cover art. The Blu-ray does not support bookmarks (which would have been welcome on this show), nor does it resume playback after powering down. The disc is held in a standard eco-friendly Blu-ray case with no inserts or slipcovers. The "1" on the spine and front cover suggest this isn't the last we've seen of "Tosh.0" on Blu-ray.

Miss Teen South Carolina Caitlin Upton gets a chance to prove to U.S. Americans and South Africans that she isn't an idiot, such as. The end of each episode provides a quick glimpse of what attending a "Tosh.0" taping is like on a large green screen set.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

"Tosh.0" undoubtedly owes much to "The Soup", but it does well with that concept and benefits from having not just crappy contemporary television but the whole world wide web at its disposal. There are some funny finds and each selection is mined for maximum comedy value with via sharp writing, fast pacing, and Tosh's strong delivery.
Like any segmented show, some parts (video breakdown, web redemption) work better than others (most of the guest star bits), but so long as you can see the humor in gross, random, and cringeworthy Internet videos, you should find this to be a thoroughly entertaining series.

That it's taken three years for these initial ten episodes of the show to come to home video suggest there is a lot of red tape to clear, but hopefully sales numbers will show that it's worth it, because this collection makes one hungry for more. The Blu-ray doesn't hold much in the way of extras, but the show's presentation is just as good as it should be. The price is comparable to downloading individual episodes on iTunes or Amazon, but if you prefer to watch TV on TV, the convenience of the DVD and Blu-ray makes them a far better value.

Buy Tosh.0 from Amazon.com: Hoodies Blu-ray / Hoodies DVD / Season 1 Instant Video

Buy from Amazon.com

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Reviewed June 10, 2012.



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