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Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job
cast: Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, Weird Al Yankovic, and Paul Reubens

creators: Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim

115 minutes (15) 2008
Revolver DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 4/10
reviewed by Jim Steel
This series of sketch shows is now on its fourth season, so it must be doing something right and, with an apparent budget that is no different from those low-budget cable-television shows that it spoofs, it is probably a very cost-effective product. Given that each episode is only about ten minutes long, and (again, this is an educated guess) goes out at a time that hits the stoner/ back-from-the-pub audience, it probably works very well. However, sitting down fresh and watching one show after another is wearying. It has its moments, but Amazon Women On The Moon already owns this territory and won't be giving it up to these guys.

Another problem is that Tim and Eric come across as having a better time than the audience. They seem like a nice pair of lads, but they lack that bit of magic that'll make them comedy legends. The shows are liberally sprinkled with guest stars, albeit in this first season stars that are mostly unfamiliar to a British audience. Weird Al Yankovic is a familiar name, and when he shows up with an arresting performance and split-second timing it throws the rest of the sketch totally off-balance. He might want to think about getting a new agent. Paul Reubens (Pee-Wee Herman) also appears.

But there are plenty of sketches that work. At the start of the episode called Cats, Tim has a new magic trick that he shows to Eric. He can turn himself into a cat, but then he loses control and starts flipping between his own body and the cat's at an alarming rate. Like much of the trickery, it is done through simple editing. This show is quite a retro-psychedelic treat much of the time with all of the video trickery that it plays with. Other joys are recurring characters such as Doctor Steve Brule (a deadpan, flat-voiced delight) and his station anchors, the 'only married news team in television'. And Carol (Eric in drag), the officer worker in love with her boss, is both highly disturbing and funny in a way that will be familiar to League Of Gentlemen fans, but is, like all of the attention-deficit spoofing gags here, very short, and it cuts off just as it's building a good head of steam. Tim and Eric are obviously big fans of the Monty Python school of punch-line avoidance.

There are lots of musical interludes, but it is hard to tell if they are spoofing the originals or the cable-mimics of them. A curious Kraftwork/ 1980s' synth group who riff off sport comes close to working, but when looking at all of this you can't help reflecting that somewhere in the world someone is watching Flight Of The Conchords and having a much better time than you. It should also be noted that the pointlessness of sport is a recurring motif and, it must be said, without delving into Freud, that neither Tim nor Eric look particularly athletic.

The disc is generously supplied with extras. One's heart may sink at the option of viewing material that Tim and Eric considered substandard, but it's there if you want it. Plus there's a handy guide to identifying the guest stars, some promos, and a behind-the-scenes look at how they manage to achieve some of those special effects. Hmm - blue screen, you say? Awesome...

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