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Crashing Season 1 Blu-ray Review

Crashing

“Crashing” is an underrated HBO series.

In this 8 episode semi-autobiographical series, actor/comedian Pete Holmes stars as an aspiring stand-up comic named Pete who road to success is fraught with disaster. His wife Jessica dumps him for another man (Leif), he becomes jobless and homeless, he struggles to get open mic gigs, and he has to couch surf at other people’s places (including noted comedians). Throughout all of this, however, Pete is determined to follow his dreams. Aside from the core plot, there are additional subplots involving Pete receiving mentorly advice from the likes of Artie Lange, Sarah Silverman, and T.J. Miller, Pete’s parents, Pete learning the ropes of life as a comedian, and Pete getting a warm job and having a religious experience.

As prestigious as HBO is, the channel has a history of quality series that fly under the radar ala “Carnivale” and “Togetherness.” You can now add the Judd Apatow produced “Crashing” to that list.

On the surface, one might think “Crashing” is just another inside baseball show about comedians, but that’s really only part of the show. At its heart, it’s a story about following your dreams and life’s trials and tribulations. Yes, it is done in an often comedic manner, but it always feels grounded and identifiable for the most part. The only time the show kind of feels off is during the overdone “The Barking” episode which is the clear weak link of the season. It feels a little too “After Hours,” but nowhere near as funny or surreal.

Where “Crashing” really shines is with the performances. I’ve heard and seen Pete Holmes in other mediums before and I was deeply impressed by his very human, natural, layered, and deeply funny performance. Granted, the show is based on his own life so it probably feels like comfortable material for him, but it’s never easy for anyone to act as themselves. Lauren Lapkus shines once again as Pete’s unhappy wife who wants change. The real surprise here, however, is Artie Lange as himself. Lange manages to tap into some of his real life troubles while also delivering a very weird, funny and genuine performance as a friend and mentor to Pete. He really does steal much of the series. Of course, there’s plenty of other noteworthy supporting and guest roles here by the aforementioned Sarah Silverman, T.J. Miller and so forth.

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 1.78:1 1080p. How does it look? This set boasts a crisp hi-def transfer of the episodes.

Audio Track: 5.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? A perfectly adequate track.

Extras: * Digital copy. * “Guest Star Fan Club”- Pete Holmes talks about the guest stars, how he met them in real life, how they got cast, etc. The stars spotlighted here are Artie Lange, T.J. Miller, Hannibal Buress and Sarah Silverman. * “Comedy Extras”- Deleted scenes of T.J. Miller, Aparna and Pete * The super short “About Crashing” contains behind-the-scenes footage, interviews, and discussions about the series. * ‘The Art Of Crashing”- Another short featurette that revolves around the hardships comedians face. * “Pete Holmes: Faces And Sounds”- A Pete Holmes hour-long stand-up special. A nice bonus for this set to be sure. Also a good way to get a taste of his real life comedic stylings.

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July 28, 2017 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , ,

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