Tosh.O is Comedy Central’s highest-rated program at the moment in the younger demographics, surpassing even South Park. It’s a one-man showcase for comedian Daniel Tosh’s humorous commentary on Youtube videos and other clips culled from the Internet. Tosh.0: Deep V’s is the second volume of episodes to be released from the show on Blu-ray, following Tosh.0: Hoodies.
The sixteen episodes of this volume are grouped together due to Tosh (as he is known on the show and as a celebrity) wearing a different V-necked shirt in each one. It’s an outrageous show that will cross any boundary of good taste for a laugh, perfectly suited for people that have grown up on Youtube.
Each episode is very structured and laid out in a somewhat repetitive formula, broken down into three different segments conveniently broken up by commercials when aired on Comedy Central. The first segment will usually run eight minutes and feature brief videos taken from Internet sources like Youtube and other video sites, as Tosh mercilessly rips them apart in a feature called “Video Breakdown.” The clips that get ripped on by Tosh run the gamut of human activity, but they typically fall into a couple of usual categories. Expect to see some of the most watched and embarrassing clips found on Youtube, as Tosh throws out quips and one-liners relentlessly mocking the people in them.
One category would be stupid people doing stupid things, either intentionally or unintentionally. These videos are often not for the squeamish, as they sometimes show children or people seriously getting injured. It is what adds that extra bit of edge to the show, though I admit some of the videos are difficult to watch. When you realize the videos aren’t staged, but actual people falling from great heights or getting seriously damaged, it does make one pause, at least until Tosh cracks a funny line with his razor-sharp wit and they move on to the next clip. It’s the blackest of comedy as he satirizes the people in these videos.
The second segment of each episode features a slightly different type of material known as the “Web Redemption” interview. Tosh will track down the person made famous in an embarrassing Internet video and interview them, often including them in a short comedy sketch that spoofs what made them notorious in the first place. Occasionally a celebrity guest like Tommy Lee or Pauly Shore will make a cameo in this segment. The Web Redemptions tend to be much more good-natured and gentle in their humor. The “victim” often plays along and mocks what got them on the show in the first place. It’s here where Tosh is at his most natural and relaxed, hilariously interviewing regular people somewhat similarly to Conan O’Brien’s better moments.
The last segment of an episode seems to be a catch-all for whatever didn’t fit into the first two segments, and it’s often the spottiest in terms of laughs. Occasionally it will feature sketches by Tosh and his production staff which are usually quite funny, but all too often has very lame viewer-submitted sketches or clips that hardly raise a chuckle.
Tosh.0 is easily worth checking out if you’ve ever watched a stupid Youtube clip. Tosh is an equal-opportunity offender willing to cross any sense of decorum for a laugh. He has an effortless command of modern Pop Culture, which allows his quick one-liners and sharp wit to mock whatever he watches on the show. The humor does push the edge for a series on regular cable television, as it is presented on Blu-ray with full uncensored profanity and pixelated nudity at times.
Paramount certainly hasn’t skimped on the video presentation for Tosh.0, as 16 episodes of the comedy show are spread across two separate BD-50s. One should realize that most of the Youtube clips and other Internet videos look no better than the source material, often shot on someone’s smartphone or amateur camcorder. They don’t look any better here than they do on Youtube itself, so don’t go looking for miracles with that type of content.
Tosh hosts the show from inside a studio, shot in crystal-clear HD video. It’s a strange contrast as the picture will go from video perfection to sub-VHS quality material, but that is simply the nature of the beast when dealing with low-resolution clips.
The show itself is presented at a resolution of 1080i at the aspect ratio of 1:78:1, likely a transfer digitally taken from the HD broadcast master. The AVC video encode averages a moderate 19.90 Mbps for the episodes on the first disc. Since the studio scenes and interviews are so cleanly shot, there isn’t the first hint of a compression artifact. Any macroblocking artifact on the web videos are inherent to their original sources. The sketches shot by Tosh himself are all in crisp, clean quality. They feature a startling level of clarity and detail, though the sketches do lack the rich color palette of more refined digital video.
The HD video presentation might be too clean, as the lighting for the studio scenes are very sterile and harsh. Tosh hosts the show under the glare of seemingly too much direct light. It doesn’t affect the contrast or shadow detail, but the overall lighting is a little too bright for a natural appearance.
Paramount has given the disc two sound options. The main soundtrack is a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD mix. While it’s nice in theory to give this made-on-the-cheap Comedy Central series a surround mix, the results are less than overwhelming.
Surround channels are placed too high in the mix and it becomes obnoxious after awhile. Crowd applause and laughter intrude in many scenes, practically making the live studio audience sound like a canned laugh track from a bad sitcom. Tosh’s dialog is perfectly clean and clear, but sound effects and other elements of the show are very loud in comparison. The mix of the Web Redemption interviews seemed to be more subdued than the studio segments. They were much easier to tolerate without the odd channel separation and balance issues of the studio segments.
The various Youtube clips and most of the amateur video have mono sound at best in terms of spatial presentation and fidelity. There is only so much that can be done with video shot on smartphones and handheld camcorders for audio. Also offered is a very similar sounding 2.0 Dolby Digital soundtrack at 224 kbps. English subtitles are the only subtitles offered on the disc and they are presented in a yellow font.
Tosh.0: Deep V’s actually offers a nice array of special features, in one of the worst user interfaces ever seen on Blu-ray to access them. They are all located on disc two, but under the bonus section you are given nothing but eleven separate thumbnail pictures to click through, with absolutely no hint as to what each thumbnail picture contains. It’s a confusing set-up that lacks a play-all button, though at least all the supplements are presented in HD quality.
The Uncut 24-Minute Human Centipede Spoiler (24:27 minutes in 1080i) – Possibly the funniest single thing on the entire set, including the regular episodes. This is much closer in spirit to Tosh’s stand-up material than the normal comedy on Tosh’s show. Tosh literally goes through the entire plot of Human Centipede scene-by-scene, in a hilarious take-down of the gruesome and shocking movie. Be warned, skip it if you haven’t seen Human Centipede yet and want to watch it some day. Every single plot point from the movie is fully explained by Tosh in the manic recap.
“If Daniel Fought Celebrities” (4:09 minutes in 1080i) – An extension of a scene where Tosh is given the name of a celebrity and answers whether he personally could take them in a fight. Celebrities on the list include Betty White, Prince, Tracey Morgan and other noted personalities like Christian Bale. One of the funnier segments from the show’s history.
Extended Web Redemption Interviews (various lengths in 1080i) – There are several of these extended interviews, but there was a reason these were shortened for television in the first place. None of them add more than a minute or two to the original interview seen on broadcast. This is not essential viewing except by the hardcore Tosh fanatics.
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