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Category:    Home > Reviews > TV Situation Comedy > Politics > That’s My Bush – The Definitive Collection

That’s My Bush – The Definitive Collection


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



Some comedies are funny, others gross and dumb, but the American TV situation comedy since the 1980s has usually been a disaster.  No longer intelligent or really about anything, the TV situation comedy had become about infantilism.  As a new wave of animated series arrived a decade later picking up in their own way where shows by Norman Lear and the Harris/Junger/Thomas team left off, the live-action sitcom would eventually need readdressed.


When Matt Stone & Trey Parker decided to do a send-up of dumbness, sitcoms and politics, they were planning on going after the winner of the 2000 Presidential Election.  With that controversy, they made a series called That’s My Bush airing in the early months of 2001.  Timothy Bottoms played Bush as an oaf beyond anything Saturday Night Live had done, Carrie Quinn Dolin was a newcomer playing First Lady Laura Bush and the rest of the cast down to The Bob Newhart Show’s Marcia Wallace as the start housekeeper rounded out the cast.


Though not the biggest hit ever at the time, the series was bold, bizarre, funny and more darkly humorous than many may have realized, sending up dysfunctional family behavior in the TV sitcom since the original Honeymooners.  Eight half-hour shows were produced altogether including:


1)     An Aborted Dinner Date

2)     A Poorly Executed Plan

3)     Eenie Meenie Miney Murder

4)     S.D.I.-Aye-Aye!

5)     The First Lady’s Persqueeter

6)     Mom “E” D.E.A. Arrest

7)     Trapped In A Small Environment

8)     Fare Thee Welfare



The original function of sitcoms even in the days of network radio was to say that despite some problems, everything was going to be fine.  By early 2001, especially after hits like The Cosby Show and Friends brought a new high level of phoniness to the form, That’s My Bush was extremely clever in sending up fifth years of the rise and fall of a great artform in TV.  That it brazenly and uncompromisingly also sent up Bush and company became more prophetic as his presidency and 9/11 followed.  By that time, the show was cancelled for being “too expensive” or the like, whatever that really means.


Of course, the real issue that remains is censorship.  The show was gone by 9/11 and no one would watch as a real crisis unfolded, one that is still happening.  However, there were always those who felt the show went too far.  Even this critic could agree that some things were shocking, but then there is that crowd (often those who had nothing better to do with their time but go after President Clinton) who tell us that Bush was above criticism and how dare anyone insult “the president” in a way that makes one automatically wonder where they were during the Clinton witchhunt.


Now, everyone is insulting Bush as his presidency becomes a lame duck one with potential impeachment as Americans die everyday in The Middle East for (to say the very, very least) “misguided” reasons.  The ultimate point of the show is that no one is above criticism, no matter how scathing in a free society, or a free society is not possible.  As with the American tradition of political satire, you never know how prophetic or (especially in this case) accurate the humorists will be.  Five years later, they hit a bull’s-eye here and that is why this set is highly recommended.


The 1.33 X 1 image is not bad, shot on digital despite not being 16 X 9.  Color is good and the materials are clean.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has no real surrounds, but is very well recorded.  Extras include two audio commentary tracks on each show.  One is brief (like their South Park versions) by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the other sets by Timothy Bottoms, Carrie Quinn Dolin, John Aquino, Kurt Fuller, Kristen Miller and Marcia Wallace at full length.  Both are very much worth listening to.  The only thing left to ask is if That’s My Bush is a classic or cult classic.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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