|Home Movies: Season Four (2002)
Starring: Brendon Small, Jon Benjamin, Melissa Galsky, Janine Ditullio, Ron Lynch, Jonathan Katz, Emo Phillips, Will Le Bow
It’s so damned depressing when a TV show leaves the air while it's still undeniably in its prime. Good thing the fourth and final season of “Home Movies” is arguably its funniest; otherwise, it’d really bum you out when you come to the realization that there are no more sets to follow this one.
The trio of young auteurs Brendon, Jason, and Melissa are, as ever, the primary focus of the show. Brendon’s attempts to direct the school play with Shannon (Emo Phillips) as his lead prove unsurprisingly hilarious, as do Melissa and Jason’s attempts to obtain funding for the CGI effects on the rock musical that Brendon’s given up on. The sad, depressing life of Coach McGuirk continues to be explored in greater detail in Season 4, including his drunken, late-night orders from the Shop At Your House Network, his background in Scottish Highland dancing, his obsession with the Pec-Flexor, and his attempts to become a bartender. There isn’t nearly as much going on with Paula (Brendon’s mom) this season, though she does get the spotlight in “The Heart Smashers,” as she repeatedly tries and fails to break up with a new beau. One of the all-time great episodes of the show’s run comes courtesy of “Everybody’s Entitled to My Opinion,” which features Brendon embarking on a new career as an internet movie critic and McGuirk taking advantage of his buddy Lynch’s new role as the school’s Interim Principal; a close second is “Those Bitches Tried To Cheat Me,” where both Brendon and McGuirk cheat on their respective tests and Jason gets a crush on the braces-sporting Penny (voiced by Mary Lynn Rajskub, a.k.a. Chloe on “24”).
“Home Movies” creator Brendon Small is the first person to admit that, with each successive season of the show, it gets harder and harder to come up with new and unique special features. This time around, they’ve really padded the set with audio commentaries. Though the usual suspects – the show’s actors, writers, and directors – still do their commentaries as well, there are commentary tracks done by writers for The Onion, members of Modest Mouse and the Shins, and even by a few diehard fans of the show.
Without question, the highlight of this set is something which spotlights how both Small and Shout! Factory are out to reward the “Home Movies” fans who’ve supported these DVD sets from the beginning: a 52-track CD of songs from throughout the run of the series. It’s not all-inclusive (in particular, the songs sung by They Might Be Giants on “Camp” aren’t here), but having the luxury of listening to the songs from “Kafka: The Musical” or instant classics like “Don’t Put Marbles In Your Nose” or “The Compliments Song” more than makes up for any omissions.
While this may seem to be the end of the “Home Movies” story (and the closing moments of the last episode do make for a nice finale, should that be the case), Small suggests otherwise during one of his audio commentaries. “I can’t really say much,” he says, “but there is a ‘Home Movies’ project under discussion. Keep checking my website for more details.” There’s nothing about it on there at the moment – he’s pretty focused on his new series, “Dethklok” – but now that he’s gone and referenced the mere possibility of more “Movies” in the future, you’ll want to bookmark the News page and check back regularly just in case.