Regular Show: The Complete First and Second SeasonsOverview -
Sarcastic blue jay Mordecai (voiced by J. G. Quintel) and somewhat responsible raccoon Rigby (William Salyers) are best friends. They even work together at a park owned by Pops (Sam Marin), a big lollipop-headed guy. Which seems normal enough. They've got a cranky gumball machine for a boss (Marin) and they work alongside a Zen-like yeti named Skips (Mark Hamill). Yep. Everything is as regular as can be.
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
'Regular Show' first caught my attention when I attended a press screening at a Cinemark theater that played their "First Look" programming while waiting for the movie to start. Going to so many screenings, I typically tune out the pre-show and chat with guests and/or other critics – but when they played a 'Regular Show' sizzle reel, my attention was immediately caught. The laughs that it conjured in two short minutes brought tears to my eyes. When I went home that night, before writing a single word of the review for the movie that I had just screened, I turned on the television, searched Comcast for 'Regular Show' and set the DVR to record every single episode. Before I knew it, my cable box was full of HD 'Regular Show' – and I couldn't have been more happy. My feelings on the series can be easily summed in one of the character's catch phrases: "Good show! Jolly good show!"
Initially, the characters pulled me in. At first, the strange physical forms of the characters threw me off, but if you can learn to just go with it, you'll find them absolutely hilarious. Our two leads are best friends Mordecai and Rigby. Mordecai is a blue jay, Rigby is a brown raccoon. The duo work as caretakers of a large park in big city, but spend more time screwing around than actually working. They live on park grounds in a two-story house with one other co-worker – Pops – which takes us to the awesome secondary characters.
Pops is a six-foot-tall old humanoid lollipop man with a top hat and a strange, high-pitched voice. He's a naïve and disillusioned man who owns a classic convertible that has the ability to fly and uses lollipops as currency. Pops is a product of nepotism, as his father owns the park. Muscle Man is an overweight and testosterone-filled greenish-gray alpha male human who tends to squeal (and appears to look) like a pig. His sidekick is Hi Five Ghost, a literal ghost (a la Pac Man ghosts) with a hand on the top of his head that's always ready to give a high-five. The two of them live in Muscle Man's rundown trailer on park grounds.
Skips is another park caretaker who lives on the grounds, but his residence is a small bungalow. His character is not only the strangest, but he's shrouded in mystery. A large white immortal yeti with the ability to solve almost any problem, Skips' only means of walking is by skipping – hence the name "Skips."
And the final of the park's workers is Benson, a grumpy gumball machine with a temper. Functioning as the boss of the crew, Benson is always on Mordecai and Rigby's case for screwing around. His tagline is always uttered by telling Mordecai and Rigby to do a specific task, followed by exclaiming, "… or you're fired!"
As strange as these characters may sound, the scenarios that they end up in are even more odd. It's obvious that the creator and writers of 'Regular Show' are products of the '80s and '90s. Many of their stories are filled with pop culture references from those decades. Mordecai and Rigby are often trapped in alternate dimensions and have to find ways to return to their own. They come face to face with deadly demons, evil monsters, killer cassette tapes, their future selves, alien babies and many other unexpected beings. Even though not every episode is worthy of a five-star rating, they never fall below three-and-a-half stars.
If you haven't seen 'Regular Show,' then I strongly encourage you to check it out. In case it's not your proverbial cup of tea, I recommend watching the first season on Netflix first. Each episode is around 10-minutes-long and it takes a few episodes to get accustomed to the unique tone and sense of humor. Watch the first season before making up your mind. If the comedy of 'Regular Show' starts to speak to you as much as it does to me, then you'll immediately want to own this Blu-ray set. After four seasons and 112 episodes, 40 of which are included in this Blu-ray set, there hasn't been a bad episode to date.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
Warner Bros. placed this two-season set on two BD-50s. The 12-episode first season and the majority of the special features appear on disc one, the 28-episode second season and a few other special features on disc 2. Both discs are housed in a standard blue two-disc Elite keepcase along with a slip that features an Ultraviolet code for both seasons. It hasn't been announced yet, but 1,000 of these sets feature a hand-stamped, numbered and signed 'Regular Show' collector's card. Sadly, my reviewing copy was not one of those. See the "Easter Egg" portion of this review for more details. The keepcase slides vertically into a very cool and uniquely textured cardboard slipcase that makes the set appear to be a family photo album.
'Regular Show' has been given a very strong 1080p/VC-1 encode that presents it in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio. As you can tell by the pencil-drawn look of the series and the water-color backgrounds, it's not made to be the best-looking animated series, but that doesn't stop the video quality of this release from being near perfect.
Although animated on computers, the style gives 'Regular Show' the perception of being hand-drawn. If you didn't know any better, because of the texture of the lines, it appears to carry a pencil-drawn feel. The detail of the lines is even more defined and evident on Blu-ray than it is on television.
The color palette is different for each episode. If confined to the park, it will carry mostly muted and earth tones. But when we head to alternate dimensions or other worlds, colors tend to pop and explode without over saturation. Many of the strange alternate dimension settings carry the title card's mostly black-ish space-age background, yet never crushes.
I was only able to notice one small flaw during a few episodes on disc two, but nothing severe. The majority of the animation does not create settings that allow for banding, but there were a few short moments throughout season two where I noticed them. Please keep in mind that these were literally three quick instances out the whole 440-minute runtime.
If you're expecting the lossless Dolby TrueHD audio mix that the Blu-ray specs note, then be prepared for disappointment. Instead, the only audio track on this release is a two-channel Dolby Digital mix.
Despite not featuring the advertised and expected uncompressed audio mix, the stereo mix that's included isn't all that bad. Sounds are still obviously separated well. Vocals and effects are clear and consistent; those aren't the aspects that bring this audio all the way down to three-and-a-half stars.
My only big complaint with the audio of 'Regular Show' stems from the music-driven montage sequences – of which there are about one per episode. When the music kicks in as the montages begin, the music is much louder than the vocal and effects that precede and follow them. Considering that this flaw jumps into to just about every single one of the 40 10-minute episodes contained, it becomes a nuisance.
- Episode Commentaries (Discs 1 & 2)- Each of the 40 episodes has an optional commentary. Some feature creator JG Quintel solo, others feature JG with guests. From a fan's viewpoint, the commentaries offer some great content, but most seem like they'd be more entertaining for animators and aspiring artists. Many times, JG and his friends fall silent to watch jokes and gags throughout the episodes. Even if that defeats the purpose of a commentary, these silences only go to show how much the people involved with the series loved it. The jokes that they created are still good enough to draw laughs and interest from the folks who wrote them.
- Unaired 'Regular Show' Pilot (HD, 7:58, Disc 1) – This episode may not have ever aired on Cartoon Network, but it's featured on Netflix, so you very well may have seen this episode already. It gives us our true first glimpse into Mordecai and Rigby's shenanigans as their tied game of Rock, Paper, Scissors opens an 'Evil Dead 2'-esque portal to another dimension.
- Animatic for Unaired Pilot (HD, 7:33, Disc 1) – Watch the raw animated storyboards with dialog and sound effects. Like the commentaries, this feature feels like it's made for fellow animators.
- Original Pencil Tests from Saerom (HD, :38, Disc 1) – Saerom Animation is a South Korean animation studio. This silent segment is of footage from the pilot's animation test.
- Animatic for 'The Power' (HD, 11:15, Disc 1) – Just as you did for the Unaired Pilot, watch the entire raw animated storyboards for 'The Power' set to dialog and effects.
- CG Test for Hodgepodge Monster (HD, :04, Disc 1) – Get the briefest of looks at the Hodgepodge Monster via a single 3D 360-degree pass.
- 2010 Comic-Con Teaser Trailer (HD, 2:35, Disc 1) – If you haven't seen the series, this footage is a great intro to the series, an on-the-spot look at the type of humor that you can expect from 'Regular Show.'
- 'The Naive Man from Lolliland' Student Short (HD, 4:08, Disc 1) – This is one of the two student films of creator JG Quintel that offer some insight to the 'Regular Show' characters pre-'Regular Show.' This one introduces us to Pops. The other short – which is presumably not included in this set due to un-family-friendly language and drug content – is titled '2 In the AM PM.' Showing us different versions of Mordecai and Benson, '2 in the AM PM' can be seen by searching for it on YouTube.
- "Party Tonight" Music Video (1080i, 2:06, Disc 1) – In the episode 'Mordecai and the Rigbys,' the duo become rockstars. Upon gaining one million Facebook fans, Cartoon Network released this live-action music video of Mordecai and the Rigbys' only single, "Party Tonight." This is genius.
- JG Pitches 'The Power' (HD, 16:32, Disc 1) – Want to see what a 'Regular Show' pitch looks like? Here, the series' creator pitches the entire episode to the camera and an audience – which basically consists of him walking us through a massive post-it note storyboard, narrating and voicing the episode along the way.
- Original 'Regular Show' Commercials (1080i, :48, Disc 1) – Watch two of the first television spots that ran for the series prior to their current format (which now includes showing a clip from the upcoming episode).
- Interview with JG Quintel (1080i, 5:06, Disc 2) – More than just an average interview, JG explains how he came up with the series and where his influences came from, then walks us through the 'Regular Show' offices at Cartoon Network.
- Sam Sings Mystery Karaoke (HD, 2:00, Disc 2) – Sam Marin, who lends his voice to many 'Regular Show' characters, performs karaoke in the sound booth, but this clip is completely silent and his mouth is blurred. I'm assuming that the silence results from not getting the rights for the song that he's singing.
Animated or not, 'Regular Show' is one of the funniest and most well-executed series on television. The characters would be entirely worth watching on their own, but the scenarios that they find themselves in are equally entertaining, making the series a double-threat. I imagine the series is more entertaining for anyone who grew up in the '80s or '90s, but because it avoids "adult" content, 'Regular Show' is a series that those now-adults can watch and enjoy with their children. The Blu-ray release is chock full of all 40 episodes from the first and second seasons, as well as the Unaired Pilot (which can be found in the Special Features section). The video quality highlights the great style of animation, but the audio option is a bit of a let-down. Instead of being the lossless TrueHD mix that's listed in the specs, it's really just a Dolby Digital stereo mix. There are plenty of special features – including commentaries for all 40 episodes – but they're mostly driven to animators or aspiring artists. This release could have benefited from a feature dedicated to the voice actors who bring the characters to life. In reality, the only profile that we get on any of the voicers is of creator JG Quintel, whose voice is unmistakably that of co-lead character Mordecai. But even with my "should-haves," this release is still more than worthy for any 'Regular Show' fan out there.
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