Jim the Cop, Steve McKenna
- Buy the DVD
Reviewed by Will Harris
ever heard of “Three Sheets”? Don’t feel bad. It doesn’t exactly have the highest of profiles. Although it’s been around since 2006 and has just wrapped up its fourth season, it spent three of those seasons on MOJO-HD (the network has since given up the ghost) before moving over to Fine Living Television for Season Four. Fortunately for you, however, all four of its seasons have been released on DVD, so now’s the perfect time to…
Oh, geez, how embarrassing: we started off by acknowledging that the show has spent the last three years flying under the radar, and yet we were about to dive headlong into the review without offering up a single piece of information about what “Three Sheets” is all about. Let’s remedy that, then, shall we?
In a nutshell, “Three Sheets” finds host Zane Lamprey traveling to various cities and countries around the world and exploring the various drinking cultures at each of his stops. You know, some people have asked me if being a full-time, work-at-home TV critic is the best job on earth, and there was a time when I would’ve said “yes,” but now I’m thinking that there might be some serious competition in the field. I’m also left wondering how amazing it is that A) someone didn’t come up with the idea for this show sooner, and B) “Three Sheets” isn’t one of the most-watched television shows of all time by men in the18 – 49 demographic.
As with the many other shows that explore local delicacies, “Three Sheets” follows the same approximate format from episode to episode. First, Zane arrives at his destination and goes in search of the best in local cuisine, since no one wants to drink on an empty stomach. Then, it’s off to the various bars, breweries, distilleries, or wherever he can indulge in an “adult beverage,” a task which generally takes him to the last few minutes of the episode. At that point, we find out whether or not Zane is nursing a hangover – and, if he is, then we’re treated to his exploration of the local hangover remedy.
It’s this last portion that’s arguably the most refreshing part of the series. I mean, really, how often do you get to see a host having to deal with the repercussions of a long night of drinking? Similarly, you can absolutely tell when Zane is intoxicated, and he’s not afraid to let that side of him be seen on the show. As a result, he really does come across as an everyman, leaving you thinking, “Oh, man, that’s exactly what I’d do!” Sure, as someone who’s a comedian by trade, you could argue that he’s sometimes a bit too “on” when he’s exploring foreign cultures (he’s certainly not afraid to mock other people’s languages or their mangled pronunciation of ours), but his reactions to strange new tastes and unique twists on familiar flavors feel less like those of an obsequious host and more like something you’d expect from your drinking buddies from college.
Given that point of comparison, it’s no surprise that Zane encourages viewers to play along and participate in the official “Three Sheets” drinking game. Normally, I wouldn’t fill out the review by citing them here, but since they say as much about the show as the episodes themselves, it seems appropriate in this case:
Rule 1: When Zane drinks, you drink.
Rule 2: The first person to spot a monkey – and this includes both the show’s stuffed mascot, Pleepleus the monkey, and real monkeys – makes someone else drink.
Rule 3: When Zane mentions his friend, Steve McKenna, everyone drinks.
Rule 4: When Zane or anyone burps, the last person to give the "Good Burp" sign drinks. To accomplish this sign, simply place your thumb on your forehead and lift your pinky into the air.
Rule 5: If someone in the show "Jim-The-Cops,” i.e. spills their beverage while drinking, then everybody drinks. But if you Jim-The-Cop, you have to buy someone a drink. Or if you're watching at home or a friend's house, it’s your turn to make a run to the refrigerator. Or if you’re in the midst of a chugging contest, you get three seconds added to your time.
Rule 6: If you ever spot Zane holding a drink improperly, then you can make someone drink. For clarification, Zane indulges in “Foo-Foo Drinks” (anything that masks the taste of alcohol with sugar) with his pinky uplifted, “Man Grip Drinks” (a general drink, like beer or a standard cocktail) should find all of his fingers in contact with the glass, and “Gentleman Drinks” (straight-up spirits cut only by water, vermouth, or club soda) similarly inspires all fingers on deck, minus only an outstretched index finger to serve as a mark of confidence.
Rule 7: Whenever you see a puppy, you drink.
Oh, and there’s one other unofficial rule: when you drink, do it with a smile. But with all of the fun that goes on within your average episode of “Three Sheets,” that shouldn’t be much of a problem.
Special Features: In addition to both sets being filled with webisodes and outtakes, each includes a special that technically falls outside of the regular episode order. “The Complete Seasons 1 – 3” offers up the show’s New Year’s Eve pub crawl of New York City, while “Season Four” provides the following year’s New Year’s Eve crawl across London.