Over the years Comedy Central has green lighted some questionable shows that last six episodes and disappear forever. Of course they’ve had their fair share of hits (South Park and the very much overplayed Chappelle’s Show), but you’d be hard pressed to find any show in the past few years to have lasted more than a few seasons. There are a few, however, and one of these shows is Reno 911!, which not only manages to continue with new seasons, but spun off a feature film (Reno 911!: Miami) and unlike so many television shows, Reno 911! keeps the laughs coming and by the end of this fourth season, there is not an episode in sight without a scene in it that doesn’t evoke a series of laughs.
With Reno 911!’s fourth season, Officer Wiegel is pregnant (which is a set up for a myriad of hilarious quips throughout the season—when she mentions crusty nipples and Lieutenant Dangle starts gagging, immediate laughter ensues) and the cast of Reno 911! go from pink outfits to riding horses to having Paul Rudd give them birthing tips. On top of the new storyline with Wiegel, some of the supporting cast returns (Big Mike and the taco selling skater Terry) and the usual series of police busts and on-foot chases fill up the rest of the season’s stories.
There is nothing but hilarious episodes in this fourth season. Straight from the first episode with the revelation of Wiegel’s pregnancy and the rampage of Carrot Top in a hotel, Reno 911! sets the viewer up for a great season. The season continues on with cameos played by some of my favorite modern comedians (Oscar Nuñez of The Office and Paul Rudd from the hilarious Knocked Up) and the interactions between the cast members remains top notch. Returning from her third season debut is Deputy Cheresa Kimball (played by Mary Birdsong). In this fourth season, she no longer feels tacked on to the cast and adds to the scenes just as much as the rest of the Reno Sherriff’s Department. She matches the comedic style of the show (which is very much along the lines of the rest of Comedy Central’s programming—plenty of toilet humor mixed in with good ol’ American cursing) and it flows much better in this season than it did in her debut last season, which left the viewer wondering whether she was going to randomly die or if she really was a new cast member.
Overall Reno 911! doesn’t stop with its superb parody of Cops and one can only hope it will go on for a few more seasons. It certainly doesn’t get stale watching it and while the show seemed to rely a bit too much on explosions in this season (I quite literally think there was at least one in every episode), there are many sequences that remain funny even with the excess flameballs (the Speed-parody comes to mind). If you liked past seasons of Reno 911! then there is no reason you won’t enjoy this one. Newcomers won’t feel lost either—the show has some throwbacks to previous seasons, but nothing that will confuse the viewer. Any way you cut it, this season comes Highly Recommended.
On this fourth season DVD set of Reno 911! we get all fourteen episodes spread across two discs in a cardboard slipcase with two thinpaks. Art on both thinpak covers is identical and the menu art is clean and easy to navigate.
Video and audio on this release is a mixed bag. The video matches that of a typical TV show with a ton of interlacing and aliased video, making for a rather ugly transfer on an HD set. While it certainly looks a heck of a lot better than what we got from the original cable airing, it’s too bad they couldn’t have cleaned up the video some for the release, as the audio that comes with it is clean and clear throughout. One comment on the audio is that this release, like the past sets, comes uncensored—while I’m usually all for that, in shows like South Park and Reno 911! I think the censoring is more humorous than the actual words. It’s a shame there isn’t a censored track on this release as well.
On the special features front is an extended cut of the opening with Dangle explaining Reno 911!’s website, which is as humorous in this extended version as it was in the short version. What sucks is this is the only deleted/extended scene on the set and the only other special features is the “Profiles in Valor” which showcase each of the officers. These profiles are done in-character and are as every bit as funny as the shows themselves.
The only out of-character special features on this set are the commentaries on this set. There are five commentaries featuring two commentators per episode, with Lennon (Dangle), Garant (Junior), McLendon-Covey (Clementine), Birdsong (Kimball), Alazraqui (Garcia), Yarbrough (Jones), Kenney (Wiegel), and Nash (Williams) covering the episodes. The tracks are hilarious to listen to and are just about as fun to listen to as the show is to watch. The tracks are never quiet and the quips come as fast from the actors on the commentaries as they do in the show.
Overall, while the set could be a bit richer in extras and the video quality is worse than it could have been, it’s still a great show to watch. The sets are moderately priced and at two discs for fourteen episodes, you really can’t beat the comedy in this set. Here’s hoping the Miami film gives this show a larger audience—the more people that see it, the happier the world would be. Highly Recommended.
Reno 911!: Complete Fourth Season arrives on DVD June 26th.