OK, I’ll save you from looking it up or razzing me in the comments section below: Yes, the first time I reviewed The State — whose 1993-95 entire run is out today on a chock-full DVD boxed set — I gave it a grade of C-. Yes, I was wrong. Sometimes a critic just has to own his own lack of perception; I failed you back then. I don’t know why I didn’t find the sketch below funny at the time; I do now:
Have I grovelled enough? OK. Now I can say I recently watched a lot of the hours and hours of State sketches and the astute/hilarious DVD commentaries, and I had a good time. Hardcore fans are complaining that the new The State: The Complete Series doesn’t have the original music — impossibly complicated and expensive music-permission problems prevented it — but chances are, you can get past the lack of songs by the Breeders and Marvin Gaye and still enjoy The State‘s acerbic humor. Plus, it’s fun to see Reno 911! stars like Thomas Lennon and Kerri Kenney in various character roles here, as well as the striking deadpan humor of Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter.
Which leads me to my next plug: Black and Showalter have a new Comedy Central series premiering tomorrow night called Michael and Michael Have Issues. The two play exaggerated (I hope) versions of themselves as petty egomaniacs, shown behind the scenes of the show we’re watching. It’s not as confusing as it sounds:
And for the record, I like Michael & Michael a lot. Their cranky attitude is impeccable, and their mock fights have the intensity of the way friends really fight, especially friends who are strained by having to work together: The show operates well as both comedy and as truth.
So: Were you a fan of The State? Does the DVD release interest you? Do you think you’ll check out Michael & Michael Have Issues?