Drawn Together is many things. It’s humorous, it’s well written, it’s got characters that are hilarious and it’s currently airing its final season on Comedy Central. Another thing the show manages to do, and I will likely mention many times throughout this review, is that it is quite possibly one of the more repulsive pieces of animation to arrive on television sets since South Park–in many respects it surpasses South Park in envelope pushing and there are times during this season and the third season where I had to look away in fear of what my eyes might witness. Yes, Drawn Together can, at times, be that bad. Believe it or not…that’s part of its charm.
Featuring a cast of a classic cartoon stereotypes, ranging from the Disney princess to a Betty Boop look-a-like (but not act-a-like), all the way down to a superhero and a video game character; the show frequently has guest stars that pop up here and there, whether in the form of some other cartoon stereotype or just something from the real-world that has impacted the show’s writers in some manner. Regardless, the show is an eclectic mix and throwing them all into a house, “Real World” style, makes for a hell of a show.
In the second season of Drawn Together we begin to move away from the confines of the house more and explore the other reality show staples while mixing in the shows own plots and stories about the characters. Unlike most reality shows, we focus on a set of characters at a time, rather than a whole group, with quite a few of the characters developing more than others. While you can attribute that some reality shows build up characters in certain episodes, Drawn Together does it in a more traditional style.
I will say that there were quite a few “gross-out” episodes in this season; in particular the fat camp episode with Toot and Xander…I could barely take it when it was censored and this DVD set takes away the black bars and reveal everything underneath…something no one should have ever seen. The show is to be commended for going as far as it does, but I can’t imagine being an animator on this show—you must have to have a strong stomach. Even more hilarious is that Tara Strong, a voice actress known for doing a lot of children’s voices, does the voice of the raunchiest character on the show.
There is a wealth of standout episodes in this set, all touching on racial stereotypes and even stem cell research (as surprising as a show with one of the characters learning the joys of…erm…”alone time”), in a way that only Drawn Together can. It’s a surprise that this show hasn’t been pulled from air, but perhaps that’s the benefit of being on the same channel as South Park—after all the heat that show took, people probably assumed that Comedy Central wouldn’t dare green light (and air) something like Drawn Together. I can feel safe in shining the spotlight on the show like this as it wraps up its final season because everyone who knows its filthiness already watches it.
Also appearing on this set is the controversial Captain Hero episode that lampooned Christopher Reeve; it was set to air in the first season right around the time of his death. In an event to not seem completely tactless, the show’s creators opted to hold it back. The show is excellent in its own right and no more offensive than any other episode, but I their reasoning behind delaying it is right on the ball. I’m just glad it wasn’t lost to the trash bin forever.
As with most shows that pull references from current media, it does date itself a bit; while it’s fun to watch old series and think “Oh yeah, that’s when so and so happened.”, it does ruin the timelessness a show can obtain by refraining from pulling from the headlines. Of course, the show in of itself is based off of a pulp-culture focal point that is, sadly, still going strong. One thing’s for sure: no matter how far reality shows on MTV, VH1, Fox, NBC, ABC or whatever network of choice you watch, Drawn Together has them beat on one thing. And that’s Drawn Together’s willingness to show naked cartoon characters from the 50s that haven’t aged too well.
Overall this second season of Drawn Together comes Recommended. If you can stand to watch the show then you’ll find plenty of laughs here; those who are new to the show will want to rent it first, however, as things can, as stated above, get a bit extreme at times.
Drawn Together: Season 2 Uncensored arrives in a two-disc thin-pak slip case with a lenticular cover that’s equally as hilarious as the show itself. Interior art matches that of the show and disc art is colorful as well. Menus are easy to navigate and compliment the packaging quite well.
Video and audio quality is on par with most Comedy Central DVD releases; video is interlaced and shows a tad bit of compression, but aside from that it’s a satisfactory transfer, certainly better than you’d get over standard cable. Audio is a clear Dolby Surround track that is satisfactory for this type of show. The episodes have closed captioning, but no alternate language tracks or subtitles.
Moving onto the extras we have a nice collection of commentaries, spread over four episodes. All of the commentaries are a riot to listen to and are never without an entertaining quip from the cast and crew. Everyone is present here, sans Cree Summer, and just a real pleasure to listen to. Interestingly enough is a commentary on a commentary (which may very well be a DVD first, as pointed out on this DVD), which is quite humorous as well. It’s not something many people would think to do, but I guess even commentaries can have stories behind them as well. In this case they were apparently drunk.
Coming from Comedy Central’s “Mother Load” is a collection of voice actor interviews. It’s always fun to hear from the voice actors on shows and their thoughts about the show. Hearing the voice of one of the Warner Brothers (Animaniacs) voice Captain Hero is hilarious to see on camera; not to mention Tara Strong’s “Toot”—so different.
Finally we have a selection of sing-a-longs from the show. The songs come in a variety of flavors, all involving variants of lyrics, both with and without, and subtitles. Hilarious to watch by themselves, these songs will probably get stuck in your head, or at least a few of the more obscene lines from them will. A few trailers finish the second disc off and wrap a fair amount of extras. The commentaries are the real shiner on the set, everything else is just repeated fluff from online or from past episodes.
Overall a solid set for a solid show and it comes Recommended.
Drawn Together: Season 2 Uncensored is now available on DVD.
A note to our readers: A version of this review was originally written on September 17th. However, I had written so many reviews that day (over six) that when it came time to publish them all, Drawn Together: Season 2 Uncensored somehow got overlooked. I had since deleted the original Word document and had to re-write my review. We apologize for the lateness in reviewing this title.