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Askew Review 15

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THE CRITIC: The Complete Series.
The Critic is one of the many shows over the past few years that were cancelled before its time was up.  From the producers who brought us The Simpsons, The Critic is a smart comedy that revolves around Jay Sherman, a single father and host of his own movie review show.  Jay, voiced by SNL veteran Jon Lovitz, is a sarcastic cross between Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel.  A typical episode has Jay reviewing bizarre movies, for example, Arnold Schwarzenegger in Rabbi P.I., then moving on to him interacting with his dysfunctional parents, sister, son, and friends to hilarious result.
     Starting off on ABC, then bouncing around FOX’s lineup, The Critic was able to last for two short seasons (Season 1 was 13 episodes and Season 2 was 10 episodes) before it was cancelled.  The UPN network tried to pick the show up for a third season but, even with several scripts written, it just never came together.  The Critic obtained a brief life again in syndication when Comedy Central began to air reruns, but the network typically played the show late at night and it again disappeared into obscurity.
     Now, after all this time, The Critic can be enjoyed again by its fans in the form of this DVD collection.  This box set contains both seasons of the show: all 23 episodes spread out over 3 discs, totaling 520 minutes (8 hours and 40 minutes).  The set is somewhat lacking in extras (commentary on eight episodes, ten web-isodes, making of featurette, etc.), but with such a small lifespan, it’s hard to imagine there really being much available to put into the set.  Overall, a decent box set and if you’re a fan of The Critic, it won’t disappoint.  For newcomers to the show, the jokes are a little dated at times, but still smart and hilarious.  The Critic will fit nicely into any comedy lover’s collection.   Rating: B minus. – Stephen Roy



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