Thursday, August 17, 2017

The State: The Complete Series

June 5, 2010 by · 5 Comments 

The State was simply one of the sharpest, funniest, and most under-rated shows of the 1990’s. Originally created as MTV’s first foray into the sketch comedy genre, The State was a comedic gem that rocked Generation X with slapstick, smarts and witty sarcasm. The dynamic cast features 11 multi-talented actors that have continued to collaborate on such projects such as Reno 911!, Stella, Viva Variety and Wet Hot American Summer. MTV’s timeless sketch comedy show, The State, is finally
What Louis Armstrong once said of jazz–“If you have to ask what it is, you’ll never know”–also applies to The State, MTV’s first sketch series that ran for three seasons in the 1990s. I couldn’t begin to … More >>

The State: The Complete Series


5 Responses to “The State: The Complete Series”
  1. Mark Turner says:

    I am a major fan of sketch comedy. Having been in my teen years when Saturday Night Live began and did its best work, I’ve remained a fan. I even made a point of visiting Second City whenever in its birthplace of Chicago and had the chance to witness some great comedic moments and stars on the rise. But even SNL has run the roller coaster route of up and down years, giving good and bad seasons.

    That being said, and knowing my love for this style of comedy, I was surprised with the new release of the MTV series from the past, THE STATE. I barely remembered the series but once I began watching I recalled why. I never thought it was all that good.

    As I watched each disc play I kept waiting to laugh. No joke, I never found myself even offering a grin at the items showing on the screen. Instead I watched what felt to me like people trying to be like the great sketch comedy groups that had come before and failing miserably.

    For those SNL fans who stuck through the series through thick and thin (don’t include me here), you know there were years when the things they did just weren’t funny. Instead they either relied on using sex or drugs to shock and get an audience reaction rather than a deep rooted laugh. THE STATE doesn’t even go for those that often. Instead it just offers unfunny premises or attempts at jokes that fall flat.

    I witnessed characters that I could get the easiest laughs from the most juvenile of viewers. For example a party seems to be boring as all get out only to rise once the group’s favorite friend shows announcing that he wants to dip his […] (not the phrase he uses) into everything. A drink? He wants to dip into it. A bowl of something? He wants to dip into it as well. Gee, isn’t that funny? I will say that his delivery of the line might be but once said the joke gets stale very quick.

    Perhaps the most amazing thing about this box set is that fans have been clamoring for it for some time. Heck, who would have thought it had that many fans? Online review sites note that the most disappointing thing about the box set is that they’ve altered the music since no one wants to pay for the rights to the original songs used. Who would have thought the day would come when people actually missed the music on something from MTV, a channel which has all but abandoned using music.

    I really wanted to like this show and this set. I went in with an open mind, especially since I didn’t remember it all that well. Instead it offered a comedy show with nothing to laugh at. It felt more like a show where people tried to be funny like the originals they seemed to emulate, but fell far short.

    The comedy here relies more on how loud it can be and how over the top (for the time) the group thinks they can become. Unfortunately that doesn’t offer long standing comedy gems. The humor in a Jack Benny sketch can still bring a laugh today more than 50-60 years after it was first heard or seen. This group can’t muster a laugh (at least from me) after less than 20,

    If you consider yourself one of the fans of the series, you’ll be delighter here. Not only do you get the entire series on four discs, you get commentary from the cast, some of the members on THE JON STEWART SHOW, outtakes, and more. Fans will definitely get their moneys worth. If you’re not a fan, chances are you won’t be converted.

    I am certain dedicated fans will think I haven’t just paid close enough attention. They’ll talk about how I just don’t get what they were trying to do. They’ll talk about how the most absurd situations presented were done so by an intelligent group of people who were trying to bring new standards to a tired old form. Too bad its just not funny.

    Perhaps the nice thing about this series was that is spawned the careers of many who went on to bigger and MUCH better things. Many of the casts are involved with RENO 911 in front of and behind the camera. They’ve been involved in writing things like NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM, BALLS OF FURY, THE PACIFIER and more. I’m sure, having listened to the extra commentaries here, that these shows hold fond memories for them. I’m sorry I can’t say the same.

    Rating: 1 / 5

  2. R. Boehmke says:

    I really can’t evaluate this product. It was purchased as a gift for a much younger person and I have not viewed any of the video.
    Rating: 1 / 5

  3. Mark Twain says:

    I remember a few skits from this from watching late night MTV as a pre-teen. I remember thinking it was hilarious. After dropping about $50 on it, not so sure it was worth it.
    Rating: 2 / 5

  4. Stone says:

    What can I say, but thank the gods that the DVD of the State is finally coming out. After waiting with anticipation for years, the good people of MTV are finally are giving us what we want most, the funniest sketch comedy show ever to grace television. Nothing compares to the nonsensical, random craziness of The State. The countdown begins. 25 more days! Awwww yeah!
    Rating: 5 / 5

  5. It is about time this show made it to DVD! This was the funniest show on TV! If you like RENO 911, you have to get The State! See how it all started!
    Rating: 5 / 5

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