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Paramount Studios presents
Pimp My Ride: The Complete First Season (2004)

"So you wanna be a playa,
But your wheels ain't fly,
You gotta hit us up,
To get a pimped out ride"

- Xzibit

Review By: Jeff Rosado  
Published: March 23, 2005

Stars: Xzibit, Ryan, Q, Jimmy, Ish, Big Dane, Alex, Mad Mike, Abraham, Aren
Director: none listed

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 05h:56m:00s
Release Date: March 22, 2005
UPC: 7368878746
Genre: television

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A- A-B+B- B+

DVD Review

At about the same time the television networks are taking a hard look at the future of their reality-based shows, I must admit that the honeymoon for me and most of the genre is quickly approaching its expiration date. In other words, the bloom is off The Bachelor's roses (and their accompanying "Most Dramatic Ceremonies Ever!"), The Apprentice is passé (you may have booked the spinoff with honcho Mark Burnette a little soon, Ms. Martha), Survivor has become comfortable (= no excitement) and America's Next Top Model is quickly becoming a parody of itself.

But don't stick a fork in the format as a whole just yet. For in the past year, a kinder, gentler, more realistic type of reality show has come along that enhances peoples lives rather than demean, cheapen or exploit them (can you say Rob and Amber of Survivor fame? I knew you could). Although I'd like to take that Ty guy's annoying bullhorn and smash it on the nearest pavement, gosh darn if I don't find myself choking back weekly teardrops in the final two acts of an all-new Extreme Home Makeover. And who doesn't love seeing a shy wallflower go from "oo" to "oo la la" on Extreme Makeover?

So leave it to MTV to put a funky, rib-tickling and instantly watchable twist on these feel-good shows courtesy of Pimp My Ride, the best excuse to flip on the music video channel (they still do show them a couple of times a day, right?) since Daisy Fuentes vacated the network's New York studios. For those tuned into the language of the street, you can probably picture the premise of the show without having sampled an outing, but to those completely clueless, let me start from the top. Selected participants do the begging, pleading, true story deal of their beloved wheels, "this" close to the salvage yard, asking for an eleventh hour motor miracle of some sort to he show's equivalent of a fairy godmother...I mean, godfather of automotive salvation, Xzibit, one of the coolest hosts to come along the reality TV pike in a long, long time, armed with a hip disposition, knowing David Letterman-like glances, a quick wit, and the neatest laugh since Will Smith.

Once the up and coming rapper makes himself at home in a given driveway and knocks upon the door of a lucky motorist of the week, the fun begins. From a butt-ugly Ford Ranger to a 1992 Honda Civic that's seen better days to a 1967 Mustang that hasn't been maintained, no jalopy is ragged out to the point of elimination (but my soon-to-be-retired 1991 Nissan Stanza hasn't auditioned yet...and I'm willing to bet the ranch that it could be the first to have its owner told, "Son, there's nothing more we can do"). After bonding with the naturally excited owners and exploring the interiors—sometimes to their embarrassment (leftover french fries from the Clinton presidency, 87 cents in mostly pennies, 15-20 ATM receipts)—not to mention the exteriors, Xzibit gamely grabs the keys and hits the road to the restoration masters of West Coast Customs, the nicest, most talented bunch of cats collectively gathered inside a garage since Taxi was cancelled by two networks.

It's at this point of an episode that you truly gain respect for the magic these guys can perform. A brainstorming meeting to discuss the personalities and hobbies of the car's owner and it's off to work breathing new life into these rambling wrecks with results that can only be described as dream machines. What really impresses me about the way this show is put together is that although you see plenty of behind-the-scenes footage of the West Coast team's handiwork, it's presented in such a way that when the final unveiling commences, you're just as excited as the hysterical, shrieking owners.

I'm in my forties now and I swear, I don't think I've used the word "awesome" more than maybe a couple of times in my life. As God is my witness, I did it at the climax of every one of these episodes. And like the best movie trailers that don't give anything away, I'm going to restrain myself from revealing some of the cool accessories and add-ons one would think just couldn't be possible in a moving vehicle. Q, look out. That my friends, is perhaps the highest compliment I can pay this surprisingly entertaining show that will likely become a regular viewing habit for you while you anxiously await future seasons on DVD; I know that's become the case for me.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: As is usually the case with reality shows like Pimp, don't be expecting demo material to play in the backseat of your Caddy for your honey (for those of you able to indulge in such luxuries). But considering the on-the-fly video, this presentation is not bad, particularly in the garage-based sequences when the colors of the reborn autos and their various surprises really come alive. Sharpness levels are really impressive with a clarity that rivals high tech cable and satellite dish received broadcasts.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes

Audio Transfer Review: Too bad the magic makers at West Coast Customs don't dabble in the audio re-mastering biz on the side; it's the only department in which this otherwise slamming little three-pack fails to excel.Where's the massive subwoofer punch on that catchy theme song? What's the deal with the thin-sounding musical transitions between scenes, dudes? But when it comes down to basics of dialogue, the easily understandable give and take between Xzibit, the car owners and the garage gurus is standard okey-dokey.

Audio Transfer Grade: B-


Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 48 cues and remote access
6 Other Trailer(s) featuring Viva La Bam: Complete Seasons 2+3, Wildboyz: The Complete Second Season, Coach Carter, Punk'd: The Complete Second Season, Newlyweds: The Complete First Season, Wildboyz: The Complete First Season
Packaging: Thinpak
Picture Disc
3 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. Spare Parts: Deleted Scenes
  2. Recalls: Goofs and Bloopers
  3. Travis Barker's 1954 Cadillac Coupe DeVille
  4. West Coast Customs: What We Drive
  5. Xzibit Music Video: What U See is What U Get
Extras Review: For those still on the fence about buying this set, let me put on my best car salesman pitch to take you out of kickin' the tires mode.

Paramount throws in a whopping 69 minutes of deleted scenes, Spare Parts, filled with unused banter snipped from the original broadcasts, more behind-the-scenes looks at the renovations in progress, incredibly funny moments that I felt should have been left in (including Xzibit driving one of these seemingly hopeless restoration candidates to the body shop looking like he's trying to maneuver through a California earthquake that just has to be a 6 on the Richter scale) and much more.

Not enough? Toss in one of those obligatory blooper reels classified as Returns; four minutes of mostly hilarious gaffes and whoops ranging from blown repartee from the mechanics to choice ad-libs from the Xzibit (albeit bleeped for the family crowd, doggone it).

Still not satisfied? Okay, how about a sneak peek inside Blink 182 member Travis Barker's gloriously restored 1954 Cadillac Coupe DeVille (a set of wheels he's probably gonna have a lot of time to cruise in since his musical gig is apparently on permanent hiatus) and a 10-minute tour of three cribs on wheels owned by a trio of West Coast Customs employees.

To close the deal, how about a cleverly staged, fun music video from our hip-happenin' host Xzibit (What U See is What U Get) that parodies the overblown style of most rap music video fare resulting in one of the best promotional clips I've seen in ages.

Extras Grade: B+


Final Comments

Gimme the keys, you say? I thought you'd never ask.

An extreme makeover for car enthusiasts and seekers of cool, Pimp My Ride: The Complete First Season is a pleasant, fun surprise for the uninitiated and a worthy purchase for viewers who have been riding shotgun from episode one, courtesy of some impressive extras.

Awesome! Totally recommended.


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