The Sarah Silverman Program: Season Two, Volume One
Written by Arend Hart
October 24, 2008
For those who have not yet been introduced to the Sarah Silverman Program; Be Warned! The plucky Jewish comedienne packs one heck of a wallop in the form of some of the crudest, rudest, and downright stomach turning comedy since Andrew Dice Clay and Sam Kinneson. But unlike the aforementioned bloated chauvinists – Sarah’s deadpan humor pokes just as much (if not more) at herself and her family than at the innocent subjects of her crass racist and sexist retorts.
The Sarah Silverman Program is very character-driven, and while the opening shots try to introduce watchers to each of the oddball neighbors and family members, it still takes a few episodes to fully grasp the humor. But whether talking about Sarah’s pushover of a sister Laura (played by real-life sister Laura Silverman), her sister’s dork of a police officer boyfriend Jay McPherson (Jay Johnston), the videogaming homosexual stoner neighbors Brian and Steve (real life gamer Brian Posehn and Steve Agee, respectively), the scores of genre-blending side characters, or even Sarah’s broken-old mutt, Doug – each and every cast member is an integral part of the entire package.
And while many Sarah Silverman Program fans have voiced concern that the show’s second season did not quite live up to the benchmarks set by the first season, there are plenty of others that would argue that this collection contains some of the funniest humor to ever hit the small screen.
A brief synopsis of the included episodes:
Episode 1: Bored of the Rings
Sarah becomes an activist, only to realize that her chosen group is actually against abortions and plans to bomb the clinic where her sister Laura volunteers. Meanwhile, a D&D game interferes with Steve and Brian’s plans for a date.
Episode 2: Joan of Arf
Sarah wonders why dogs enjoy licking their rear ends. In true Sarah form, she gives her dog’s hindquarters a lick, and winds up being arrested on animal cruelty charges.
Episode 3: Face Wars
After being the victim of racial prejudice, Sarah argues with a black acquaintance over which race faces the most hatred – Blacks or Jews. As a result, Sarah vows to live life as a proud black woman…in 30’s-era blackface. Meanwhile, Steve and Brian hook up with government-grade marijuana, and end up too high for their own good.
Sarah and her sister become contestants on a TV show in hopes of winning enough money to replace their mother’s vandalized tombstone.
Episode 5: Ah, Men
Sarah runs into God, and the two start dating. In fact, she brings the Supreme Being to her class reunion. But when God realizes he is just being used as a showpiece for Sarah, he gets a bit worked up. Meanwhile, Steve and Brian begin to wonder if they are really gay, or if it is just the pot making them do it.
Episode 6: Maid to Border
Sarah deports her Latina maid, Consuela, for stealing her prized Hamburglar figurine. When Sarah’s life falls apart, she goes south of the border to retrieve Consuela, she finds the woman has become a top government official. Meanwhile, Steve finds out that the contents of Brian’s iPod are not exactly what he expected.
Aside from the top-notch humor, what makes the Sarah Silverman show stand out above others, is the incredible filmmaking that goes into each episode. By employing unique camera angles and shooting techniques, the filmmakers are able to capture subtle details that add to the already funny writing. The way the actors interact – even when not the direct focus of the action – is completely genuine to the characters they portray and adds a sense of authenticity.
The bright color palettes and down-to-earth set designs give the show a whimsically stylish appeal, and look fantastic when up-scaled to fill my 16:9 widescreen HDTV.
The Sarah Silverman Program is known for delivering some of the best comedy songs ever written. Season 2 contains fan classics like “Whatever happened to the white dog poop from the 70’s?” which will have viewers rolling on the floor.
The Sarah Silverman Program Season 2 – Volume 1 clocks in a roughly 3 hours worth of broadcast episodes, some with feature commentary, plus there are some added behind the scenes footage including the actor’s trip to ComiCon. The box set also includes the standard offering of Comedy Central featurettes with snippets from South Park, The Daily Show, The Cobert Report, and Reno 911. For the bargain price of around $20, the package is a true steal compared to some of the other TV fare available out there.
I would just like to reiterate that Sarah Silverman’s comedy is incredibly crass and not suited for all viewers – you will definitely want to keep this out of reach of children, and I would recommend that you introduce others to it slowly, as it often takes time to find humor in watching a Jewish woman prancing through a Baptist church in blackface, or talking about how she loves abortions, or worse yet licking her Chihuahua’s bottom.
Sarah’s humor definitely falls into the realm of “Guilty Pleasures”. But if you look at her humor as an accurate black-humor commentary on our modern society, you quickly realize that there is a bit more to Sarah’s comedy than its gross-out factor.