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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Sketches > TV > Kids In The Hall - Complete Season Two

Kids in the Hall: Complete Season Two (1990 - 1991)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C+     Episodes: B



I became a fan of The Kids in the Hall after it had already expired, never having seen an episode prior to its cancellation.  The only actual memory of the troupe that I can call up before witnessing the show itself would be seeing the trailer for the ill-fated Kids in the Hall movie, Brain Candy before it's debut.  While it would be a few years before I finally managed to acquire the movie, after seeing it, I found that it's a part of the group's history that could safely have been left forgotten.  That's not to say that the group's humor can't translate well to a lengthier piece; the treasured Christmas special, "Snowden 2000" happens to be a favorite of mine.  It seems that someone, somehow just dropped the ball when it came time to produce a movie experience and make it more accessible to a wider audience.


With the second season of the show, the Kids expanded their routines and improved on some ideas seen in the first season.  A lot of great sketches were born in this era, and several recurring characters came to be from 1990 to 1991.  A surprise to me was that there were so many other sketches that simply don't get aired anymore, and if they do, their scheduling is rather sparse.  So even if you've watching the show in reruns on TV throughout the past few years, there's a lot of ground that this set uncovers for the casual fan.  Even if you just want a quick watch-through now and then, there are two "best-of" compilations included on the fourth disc.  Before watching through the entire box, I thought that the feature was fairly useless, considering that you're able to view any episode from the season at will anyway.  But if you have company over and don't feel like wading through and guessing where some of the best material is stashed, chances are good that what you're after is on one best-of or the other, and sitting through them makes for a good time killer.


As we noted in the prior review for season one, the full frame image originated on NTSC professional analog and shows its age, with the kind of softness expected from a production of its time.  However, I feel that some aspects of the picture were improved by the time shooting was started for the second season, and the style in which the shows were shot had improved somewhat.  To further quote his review, The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has no Pro Logic surround information, but is good for what it is.  It is good for its time and considering it was from TV.


The extra features are okay, but nothing that hits it out of the park for me.  "An Oral History: Season 2" lasts only 15 minutes, but includes all of the troupe, plus Paul Bellini and producer Lorne Michaels.  There are two audio commentaries included, with all of the Kids speaking at once.  Sometimes it's coherent, at other times it can be hard to cull an idea of what one is saying over the other - but at least it's always enthusiastic and pretty funny throughout.  You have the option of playing these commentary tracks over either of the two best-of compilations on disc four.


Returning for this DVD are the Rivoli Theater performances. There's a half-hour of them, but the video and sound quality is inconsistent, and there doesn't seem to be the option of playing all of the performances together - you must instead navigate them one by one.


This is a good set to pick up, and while it may seem pricey, and the fourth disc largely unnecessary, die-hards will be grabbing all of them up, no doubt.  For casual fans, however, perhaps some single best-of DVDs are in order.



-   David Milchick


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