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Buy from Amazon

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Warner Home Video presents
Space Ghost Coast to Coast: Volume Three (1997-98)

Zorak: But why take this show over? It stinks.
Chad: Not when I'm on it. TV is power, baby. Sexy power. Hi, girls.

- George Loewe, C. Martin Croker

Review By: Nate Meyers   
Published: April 14, 2005

Stars: George Loewe, C. Martin Croker, Andy Merrill
Other Stars: Fred Schneider, David Cross, Bob Odenkirk, Beck, Bobcat Goldthwait, Judy Tenuta, Robin Leach, Merrill Markoe, Lori Fetrick, Steve Henneberry, Jimmy Cliff, Jack Logan, Dr. Maxcy Nolan, Steve Arnold, Mark Hamill, Bill Mumy, Jon Stewart, Peter Fonda, Buzz Aldrin, Michael McKean, David Lander, Ice-T, Ernie-C, Fred Willard, Mike Judge, Harland Williams, Colin Quinn, Pavement, Red Green, Goldie Hawn, Tommy Davidson, George Clinton, Erik Estrada, The Millionaire, Sam Butera, Rob Zombie, Raven Symone, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, John Henson, Bob Goen, Charlton Heston, Cheryl Barboun, Dave Willis, Steve Allen, Andy Dick, Bob Abdon, Pete Michael, Russ Powell, Andy Merrill, Don Kennedy, Judy Tenuta, Scott Finnel, Pat Boone, Chuck D, Tony Bennett, Tom Arnold, Afro-Plane, Kathy Kinney, Paul Gilmartin, John Flansburgh, Annabelle Gurwitch, Rhych Rosenberg, Sean Medlock
Director: Various

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (mild cartoon violence)
Run Time: 04h:52m:13s
Release Date: April 12, 2005
UPC: 053939696226
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
D D+BB D+

DVD Review

I normally like Adult Swim's programming, but Space Ghost Coast to Coast has always rubbed me the wrong way. Perhaps it's because it started airing back in 1994, well before my television set found its way to the Cartoon Network. Most Adult Swim viewers have a strong affection for the show, but the concept of an ex-superhero doing a talk show doesn't fly.

Space Ghost is an old Hanna-Barbera character from 1966, who was largely forgotten until cable television re-invented him as a lame late-night talkshow host. The show's music is arranged by the cannibal praying mantis, Zorak, and the show's director is the villainous lava man, Moltar. Both have been ensnared by the heroic, pompous Space Ghost to help as he interviews a variety of comedians and has-been actors. I think it's safe to say that even the show's strongest supporters will admit that the show is hit-and-miss (emphasis on the miss) depending on the guests.

Therein lies my distaste for the show. Many people like the comedic stylings of Bob Odenkirk and David Cross (who team up for an interview in Gallagher) to be offbeat gems, but my sensibilities just get bored with them as they sit making jokes about how to pronounce Odenkirk's name (is it "Bob Odenkirk" or "Bah Bodenkirk?"). Since the majority of the guests, including Jon Stewart in Mayonnaise, embody the Comedy Central mentality of humor (i.e. burnt out Gen-Xers who contribute little to society talk about nothing of consequence and, what the hell, let's see the humor in all of it), I find myself usually counting the seconds until the episode is over.

However, on this set there are two particular episodes that I do find amusing. The first is Rehearsal, featuring Space Ghost doing a run through with the help of stand-in guest Fred Schneider. It's the perfect encapsulation of the show, being amateurish and trivial despite all the hard work that goes into it. Admittedly, the show is meant to be amateurish-so by no means do I assert that as a criticism. The second and funnier highlight of the season is Hipster, featuring Space Ghost's evil twin brother, Chad. Mysteriously, Chad has detained Space Ghost and fills in as host, creating a jazzy, '50s-esque sex lounge feel as he swaps style tips and advice about chicks with "The Millionaire" and Sam Butera. Yet, even this episode overstays its welcome as Chad ultimately becomes just as dull as his twin brother.

I admit that this review is prejudicial and encourage everyone to take that into account while deciding if they want to check out the 1997-98 season contained in this set. Better yet, read the Space Ghost Coast to Coast: Volume One review to get the opinion of one of the show's followers. It's a divisive show, with its supporters and dissenters, and the only way to find out where you fall is by watching it.

Rating for Style: D
Rating for Substance: D+

 

Image Transfer

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


Image Transfer Review: The images of the show are poor, but that's the point. The 1.33:1 presentation of the original broadcasts is faithful to the show's spirit, even though that means it's a rough viewing experience.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: With the exception of Boatshow, each episode is presented in Dolby Stereo 2.0 sound. The dialogue is always clear, but the mixes are lifeless. The Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for Boatshow, however, is a nice and active mix. The musical numbers displayed during it utilize the surround speakers well, making this the highlight of the mix easily.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Full Motion menu with music
Scene Access with 24 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
3 Deleted Scenes
1 Alternate Endings
5 Feature/Episode commentaries by Keith Crawford, Arnold Dread, Chip Duffey, Jan Fortier, Eddie Horst, Merrill Markoe, Andy Merrill, Pete Smith, Dave Willis
Packaging: 2 disc slip case
Picture Disc
2 Discs
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: dual

Extra Extras:
  1. A Moment with Jon Stewart—the full videotape of Jon Stewart's guest interview.
  2. World Premier Toon In—a special episode featuring Hana Barbera directors competing for a chance to premier their cartoon.
  3. Bob Odenkirk and David Cross Interview—the full videotape of Bob Odenkirk and David Cross' interview.
Extras Review: The supplemental materials are spread across the two discs. Five episodes (Zoltan, Brilliant Number One, Pavement, Boatshow, and Joshua) feature commentary by Keith Crawford, Arnold Dread, Chip Duffey, Jan Fortier, Eddie Horst, Merrill Markoe, Andy Merrill, Pete Smith, and Dave Willis. The people involved here are primarily writers and spend most of their time discussing tricks to how they develop each story. It sounds as though the normal approach is to pass the script around the office, allowing each writer to draft only two pages in addition to what's already been written. This eclectic method may explain why I am not a fan of the show.

On Disc 1, things are kicked off with A Moment with Jon Stewart (03m:12s), which is nothing but the raw footage of his interview prior to being inserted into the show. There is also an alternate ending for Zorak (01m:06s), with an It's a Wonderful Life homage and attack on Ted Turner. Additionally, there are two deleted scenes for Switcheroo (01m:02s together), with a special Star Wars crawl in honor of Mark Hamill's guest appearance on that episode.

Over on Disc 2, World Premiere Toon In (17m:18s) is a special episode of the show. Containing five Hanna-Barbera directors competing to have their cartoon aired on Adult Swim, the feature is basically a prolonged equivalent of the regular show. There also is a Bob Odenkirk and David Cross Interview (15m:14s), which is the same type of extra as the Jon Stewart one mentioned above.

Like the other Adult Swim DVDs, these extras wind up just leaving me annoyed.

Extras Grade: D+

 

Final Comments

It's not my cup of tea, so Space Ghost Coast to Coast: Volume Three is not going to get a fair review here. The extras are in keeping with the other Adult Swim DVD releases, so let that be your guide in determining if this is worthy of your purchase.

 


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