Home Movies 10th Anniversary Set (Limited Edition)

One of the most original and emotionally/comedically satisfying series in Adult Swim's already prodigious back catalog

Slipped Discs

Home Movies 10th Anniversary Set (Limited Edition)

Shout! Factory, $129.99

Before Metalocalypse, before Aqua Teen Hunger Force, even before Adult Swim morphed from being something really weird and really cool that only a handful of people (like us and you) knew about to being the most freakishly megasmart, meta-funny thing on television – eons ago, right? – there was Home Movies. Or, as we like to call it, "Brendon Small and Loren Bouchard's Flash of Brilliance." Sure, post-post-ironic meta-comedy is all the rage now, but back in 1999 on the Cartoon Network, Home Movies was a revelation, and it still is. At the time, the only thing comparable was Comedy Central's psycho-com dramedy Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, with which Home Movies shares voice talent. Unlike Katz, however, Home Movies holds up to repeat viewings, which is good to know before you invest in the 1,560 minutes of it that make up this box set. Ostensibly the comic misadventures of film-obsessed, camcorder-wielding 8-year-old Brendon Small (Small) and his playground pals Melissa (Melissa Bardin Galsky) and Jason (H. Jon Benjamin), Small and Bouchard's smartass script-work and subtle characterizations elevate the show to lowbrow, high-art status. Home Movies' stealth brilliance is due in large part to its intentionally scribbly, primary-colored animation; compared to this, The Simpsons looks like a Man Ray fever dream. Once you're hooked by those strangely addictive scribbles, though, the series amps up the comedy dope with weirdly naturalistic dialogue and cinephile-centric storylines that fall squarely between Woody Allen and Peanuts. (A small niche, to be sure, but a potent one.) With the not-yet-accused-of-child-endangerment Paula Poundstone voicing Small's mom and Benjamin (again) as the neighborhood alcoholic-cum-soccer coach McGuirk, Home Movies stands out, 10 years on, as one of the most original and emotionally/comedically satisfying series in Adult Swim's already prodigious back catalog. Our favorite episode? It's a toss-up between "Director's Cut" and "Those Bitches Tried to Cheat Me." (What can we say? Stalkers are funny.)

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Home Movies 10th Anniversary Set (Limited Edition), Home Movies, Brendon Small

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