J.D. Lafrance
The Sarah Silverman Program: Season 2, Volume 1 DVD Review

The Sarah Silverman Program: Season 2, Volume 1

November 13, 2008

Director: Rob Schrab, Liam Lynch,
Starring: Sarah Silverman, Laura Silverman, Jay Johnston, Brian Posehn, Steve Agee, Paul F. Tompkins,

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DVD Review

J.D. Lafrance

The Sarah Silverman Program is a very successful show for the Comedy Central network. So much so, that a second season quickly followed the much celebrated first one. However, the Writers Guild of America strike broke the season up into two parts, the first of which is included in this set.

The show adheres to the formula established in the first season – after all; if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, right? In the first episode, Brian (Posehn) and Steve (Agee) struggle to keep their relationship fresh while Sarah (Silverman) inadvertently joins a radical anti-abortion group. A conflict arises when Sarah tells them that she’s had three abortions already and they tell her that she must not have any more. The highlight of this episode is a montage of Sarah going to have abortions scored to “Time of Your Life” by Green Day.

In “Face Wars,” Sarah tackles racism when she mistakenly assumes that being denied access to a country club is because she’s Jewish when in fact she just wasn’t a member. Later, her waiter tells her that it’s harder to be black than Jewish so Sarah decides to “become” black for a day via a really amateurish make-up job that makes her look like a bad female Al Jolson impersonator. Naturally, people on the street are upset by her offensive make-up but she assumes it’s because they think she really is black. Through a typically quirky twist of fate, Sarah becomes a persecuted martyr for a radical injustice movement.

In “Ah, Men,” Sarah takes on religion when she gets involved in a serious relationship with God, who just happens to take on the guise of a sensitive black man who plays a little folksy guitar now and then. He and Sarah already have a past – they had sex together (see Season 1). At first, God and Sarah hit it off, getting along famously, but pretty soon he displays an uncool neediness. He also demonstrates a deep-seated insecurity after Brian and Steve get him stoned. Things come to a head when she takes God to her ten-year high school reunion. Fans of Office Space (1999) will spot Greg Pitts, the “O-face” guy at the school reunion scene.

Fans of Season 1 will be treated to more of the same with this new season that sees Sarah as cute and offensive as she ever was. It’s a shame that Comedy Central couldn’t wait until the rest of the season 2 episodes aired and just release both halves of the season together instead of milking the fans this way but thanks to HBO this seems to be a common practice nowadays.

Special Features:

The first disc features an audio commentary on “Bored of the Rings” by Laura and Sarah Silverman. They spend too much time watching the episode and not enough time commenting on it. When they do, they point out all of their friends in the supporting roles.

There is a commentary on “Face Wars” by Laura Silverman and Jay Johnston. Again, there is more watching than commentating. They spend most of the time complimenting the performances in this episode.

Sarah and Laura return for the commentary on “Doody.” More of the same boring comments. There is an additional commentary by director Rob Schrab and head writer Daniel Sterling. They point out that this episode is the sequel to “Officer Jay” from Season 1. This is easily the chattiest track as the two men enthusiastically dish anecdotes of working on this episode. These guys are funny and informative.

There is a commentary on “Ah, Men” by Brian Posehn and Steve Agee. They point out their friends and co-workers on this disappointing track. There is an additional commentary featuring Schrab and Sterling. They point out that this is the sequel to the Pilot episode. They were never interested in having Sarah’s character have a boyfriend because so many other sitcoms do that. This is another funny and informative track.

Finally, Brian and Steve deliver another dull commentary for “Maid to Border.”

Disc two starts off with “2007 Comic Con,” which features footage of a Q&A session for the cast of the show, moderated by comedian Zach Galifianakis who starts off with some amusing introductions. This is as chaotic and funny as you’d expect as the cast make fun of each other. This is easily the most entertaining and hilarious extra in the set.

Also included are two digital short films with Brian Posehn.

“Cookie Party” features the “Cookies Come Alive!” in three parts and a clip of the video game.

Finally, there are eight behind-the-scenes featurettes with various cast members offering “insights” into what they are up to while making the show. These are all pretty amusing and worth checking out.

J.D. is a freelance writer who is currently doing research for a book on the films of Michael Mann. He likes reading anything written by Jack Kerouac, James Ellroy, J.D. Salinger, Harlan Ellison or Thomas Pynchon. J.D. is currently addicted to the T.V. series 24 and enjoys drinking a lot of Sprite. This is not a blatant plug for the beverage but if they ever decided to give him a lifetime supply he certainly wouldn’t turn them down.
view all DVD reviews by JD Lafrance


Rating: 79%

Website: http://sarahsilverman.comedycentral.com/


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