DVD: Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Season 1
One favourite psycho-babble catch-phrase that’s thrown around quite a bit these days is ‘repressed memories’. Now, while I don’t pretend to have any understanding of accepted modern psychology practices, I believe that the concept relates to a situation where a person experiences an event so traumatic that their mind ‘protects’ them by hiding said memories from their conscious mind (I welcome any correction on my summation). As I said, I harbour no professional understanding of such things, but the whole notion of repressed memories sounded completely bogus to me… or at least it did, until I was involved in a fairly traumatic accident a few years back. [spoiler] I survived [/spoiler]
Without going into gruesome details let me just say that, for a short period of time after the accident, one particular memory from the event wasn’t blocked from my conscious mind, so much as it was ‘modified’ to something far more palatable (but not by any means appealing). Once the initial shock had abated, my mind must have decided that I was capable of dealing with the reality of the events, and the ‘modified’ memory began to exist along side a clear picture of the real events.
While I’m sure that my experience doesn’t qualify as a repressed memory as such, what it did make me realise is that the notion that ‘your brain can play tricks on you’ has a lot more substance than I’d even given it credit for.
Now, if you’re not familiar with the Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! you’re probably thinking to yourself that, based on the way I’ve begun this post, it’s about psychology, or maybe that it’s one of those shows where a magician goes out in public and does tricks that mess with people’s minds. Well, you’re both wrong… or are you? Honestly, I don’t really know. The reason that I mentioned that whole repressed memory event is because it’s the closest thing that I’ve ever experienced which I can relate to having watched the first season DVD of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! I don’t mean that it was traumatic, just that my brain had no way of comprehending what it was seeing.
Without a doubt, the Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Season 1 DVD is the strangest thing I have ever endured in my life. Quite frankly, this is a show that I don’t think I can really review, because I have absolutely no idea what it is that I watched.
Created by Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim, and appearing on the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, the show consists of sketches featuring regular characters and guest stars. The show, quite deliberately, has an extremely low budget feel, with an even lower skill level of production (a feat that I’m sure actually takes real talent to affect). At it’s most mainstream the show is absurd and at its least accessible it’s complete nonsense.
Heidecker and Wareheim must be given praise for their performances as (many) uncomfortable odd balls, if only because it’s extremely hard to tell when the people that you’re seeing on screen are in fact odd balls, and not just people acting like them. John C. Reilly appears numerous times throughout the 10 episodes on this DVD and, for mine, his uncomfortable character Dr Steve Brule and his ‘Brule’s Rules’ segments are the highlights of the series. It’s evident too, that a massive amount of work has been put into every element of this show (particularly by Tim and Eric themselves) from the characters who come across as naturally awkward on screen, to the whole community cable-show look and feel.
I’m hesitant to call this show bad, partially because anything endorsed (via appearance) by the likes of Jeff Goldblum, Weird Al, John C. Reilly, Zach Galifianakis and David Cross has to get a thumbs up in my book, but mostly I hesitate because I think this is clearly a case where my tastes don’t quite extend as far into the bizarre as I’d like them too. There are clearly broad strokes of genius throughout ‘Awesome Show, but they’re painting a picture with them that I personally don’t find that amusing.
If you’ve been previously exposed to the Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and want more, then you’ll be happy to hear that the season 1 DVD is packed with commentaries on all episodes, a making of featurette, heaps of deleted scenes and other extras. However, if you’re unfamiliar with Tim and Eric, you may want to hunt down some of their work online – via the Adult Swim site, TimandEric,com or iTunes – just to test the waters first. And test them you should, because this is the kind of show that you’re either going to love, or hate with a passion… and how can you possible live without knowing what side of that fence you’re going to fall?
For me this is the first ‘miss’ from the Williams Street / Adult Swim team up – but these guys have my loyalty after producing so many hours of brilliant entertainment, so the fact that the Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! and I haven’t connected wont leave a bad taste in my mouth… not like an ornamental hot dog would. [source] [source]