LEWIS BLACK'S ROOT OF ALL EVIL [UNCENSORED]|
Written by Jason Flick
October 8, 2008
Lewis Black, the ranter of all things absurd and wrong in our lives and most likely to die with an angry scowl on his face. Chances are many of you have seen Black in some recent movies like Unaccompanied Minors and Accepted as well as his DVD versions of his performances like Black on Broadway. But if you haven’t well you just missed me counting how many times he said “fuck” in Black on Broadway. But the newest endeavor of comedian Black is a TV series called “Lewis Black’s Root of All Evil.” This is why I am here to review “Lewis Black’s Root of All Evil Uncensored” on DVD.
In this show, Lewis Black presides in mock trial format over two people or issues going against each other like defendants and plaintiffs in a trial, with a series of comedians and guests, such as Kathleen Madigan Greg Giraldo, Andy Daly, Paul F. Tompkins, and Patton Oswalt playing lawyers making their case why something like YouTube, The Catholic Church, Viagra and Dick Cheney is the "root of all evil."
Each advocate then sells their story to Lewis on the reason to why their person or topic is the root of all evil. After both advocates finish Black begins his inquisition where he takes turns asking the advocates questions regarding their evil. Most of the time these questions relate to the good or usefulness of the 'evil' or questions that attempt to point out that the other candidate is more evil.
After this Black asks the advocates to predict what would happen if their evil continued to grow and be successful in their "Ripple of Evil". The Ripple of Evils are usually absurdity filled with a touch of comedic logic and are generally very silly, although they are spoken in a serious tone. After this Black asks the advocates for closing arguments and then ends the show with his final verdict along with the loser's sentence.
The topics that the advocates pit against each other are well coupled. I mean a trial with weed versus beer is just awesome. I will forewarn that this DVD is not for the young ones as some of the topics are not meant for young ears. All of the topics can get a little salty with the language and various situations. This DVD is essentially the entire first season of the show.
For example the first episode is a trail in which Oprah Winfrey is put up against the Catholic Church. In the first statement for the Catholic Church side, boy handling (for lack of a polite term) is brought up. While this is brought up numerous times, while wrong in a sense, is just funny as hell coming out of the comedian’s mouth. One of my favorite episodes is Weed vs. Beer in which Paul F. Tompkins and Andrew Daly go at it on which it the greatest evil. One the one hand we have the mind expanding drug that makes the bad things sound better. On the other hand we have the inhibition killing drink that could possibly make you regret a night out on the town. The way these two went at each other was absolutely hilarious and the video evidence that Andrew Daly presented was funny and sad at the same time. The question that he posed to random people was what Samuel Adams was better known for, signing the constitution or brewing the beer. Bet you can guess the answer to that one.
The one thing that I wish that this DVD had was a bit more of Black’s humor. Sure I liked the show overall but it’s just not as funny as it with just him laying out the jokes. One the plus side, the cast of comedians is stellar. Each one is funny and watching the two, whoever they may be, is just awesome. Lewis Black’s Root of All Evil Uncensored is interesting in the fact that Lewis takes the material that he is known for and presents it in a whole new way. The scary thing is that you might find yourself agreeing with what the comedians are arguing. The whole courtroom setup is kind of stylish and a bit old school as well, but overall it’s pretty cool.
The DVD is presented in standard definition full screen which is pretty much the norm for TV programs brought to DVD. Lewis Black’s Root of All Evil Uncensored looks good and the set design is a bit modern professional - think ESPN meets People's Court. I particularly like the bulls-eye on the floor which acts as the perfect ground zero. The audio for Lewis Black’s Root of All Evil Uncensored is quite good and presented in a Dolby Digital English Stereo Mix. This 2-Disc set is completely uncensored so this show is definitely not for the young ones. That and some of the subject matter is not exactly appropriate for the younger crowd. However for the intended audience this DVD set is awesome and without reserve on each of its topics.
The 2-Disc Lewis Black’s Root of All Evil Uncensored features the 14 episodes of Season One. At the end of each episode they hold interviews that mock those seen in the People’s Court and the likes. Most of these weren't aired but were available at the Comedy Central website after each episode aired. There is several other bonus features on the first disc like “Your Day in Court” and “Meet the Lawyers.” As with all Comedy Central DVD's, expect plent of crossover extras for The Daily Show, Cobert Report, South Park, and Reno 911. This 2-Disc Set retails for around $20 dollars at most retailers.