"Important Things with Demetri Martin - Season 1" DVD Review
September 10, 2009 by Zach Demeter
Demetri Martin has been around the comedy world for years now but itís only with his recent appearances on The Daily Show has his profile gone to new heights. Now with a starring role in an Ang Lee film, Martin is all set to further explode on the comedy scene. And what better way than to launch the first season of his show on DVD? With all seven episodes of the season packed onto one disc (plus extras, of course), thereís plenty of Demetri Martin to go around in this package.
Important Things with Demetri Martin is a stream-of-consciousness sketch and variety show from comedian Demetri Martin. Each episode focuses on a single topicóchairs, power, gamesóthrough the prism of Demetri's unique point of view. Included in this first season DVD is a host of additional scenes, audio commentaries and bonus ďFree Tiny PosterĒ and a sticker of the shows logo.
Short synopsisÖbut thereís very little to say about this show. Itís not like a typical sketch comedy show hosted by a comedian, however; while there are moments of Martin performing standup, a good bit of it is intercut with sketches and very quick animated bits on occasion. Itís a very, very random show at times, but that is what makes the whole thing so entertaining; in one segment Martin is flipping through one of his sketchpads and the next heís in a black and white skit about oversized sneaker rollerblades. Then the next episode heís in a musical number andÖitís just a very, very diverse show.
But Martinís style of humor can wear on the senses. I love his stand up, but when youíre forced to sit through the comedic sketchesÖwell, it can get a bit dull since not all of them hit home as they should. Thatís true of all sketch comedy shows, but when each episode sticks to a specific topic and doesnít deviate much itís hard to string together twenty-two minutes of consistent jokes on the same topic. Not only that but the sketches rarely let you settle in; itís such a rapid pace jump back and forth between segments of the show.
As hit and miss as the sketches are, however, they are still highly entertaining. On the other hand I almost always find myself laughing at his stand up, as his interaction with the audience is really what makes it so enjoyable at times. He very obviously feeds off of the laughter and itís in these moments that he delivers some of his best material. Again, not saying the sketches arenít funny in their own right but itís very clear that Martinís talents lie in a live studio audience; the randomness of his jokes just seem to hit home better that way.
In the end the first season of Important Things with Demetri Martin is hard to grasp hold of, particularly because itís such a random mixture of topics and sketches. This is Martinís style and it definitely represents his material well, but itís a bit of an acquired taste. Itís also a bit surprising that while he markets himself as a hip young comedian, heís actually well into his 30s (36 to be exact), although he definitely doesnít look that old so itís passable. In any case this first season is Recommended, but you may be better served catching episodes of it on Comedy Central or online (assuming theyíre still available in both places when you read this) before committing to the first season DVD release. Although itís so cheap, itís hard to really concern yourself with the gamble too much.
Comedy Central shoved everything from the first season on one disc and in a standard white amaray case. Inside the case are the aforementioned tiny poster and sticker and menu for the disc is simple and easy to navigate. The episodes themselves have no sub-menu and instead are laid out on the menu, surrounding Martin. Obviously hitting Play All will play them in production/chronological order, but if you donít go that method itís kind of difficult to tell what episode is the pilot (itís ďTimingĒ) or which episode is the finale (ďGames,Ē which is one of the first you may very well click considering the way the menu is set up).
Video for the set arrives in the standard 4x3 interlaced Comedy Central affair, but it honestly doesnít look too bad. Compression can get a bit tedious, but itís not enough to hurt the enjoyment of the series any. The audio is a standard DD2.0 track and considering the show is a dialogue driven showÖitís definitely more than enough to bring the show to life adequately.
Additional Scenes (19:37)
Audio Commentary (Timing, Power, Coolness, Games)
Audio Commentary on Deleted Sketch (Cult Leader in Love) (3:00)
The audio commentaries are definitely the highlight of the set and will be where you get the most enjoyment out of the extras, as the additional scenes are either sketches that donít work too well or just extensions/addendums to bits already in the season. Overall a fair amount of extras considering what we usually get out of a Comedy Central release. Recommended.
Important Things with Demetri Martin Ė Season One is now available on DVD.