Blue Mountain State: Season One (UK - DVD R2)
Marcus plays some college football with big fans of the American Pie franchise...
The Goats are Blue Mountain State’s college football team and new players Alex Moran (Darin Brooks), Craig Shilo (Sam Jones III) and team mascot Sammy Cacciatore (Chris Romano) aren’t fitting in with the rest of team, especially team captain Thad Castle (Alan Ritchson) who’s making their life hell.
The best way to describe Blue Mountain State is as American Pie: The Series. The college setting allows the show to cover the same bases as the Pie franchise, with the hapless leads getting themselves into a whole number of comedy situations, lots of sexed up bikini clad girls to fill out their college life, the douche bag smart(ish) mouthed jock getting on their back and there’s even the foreign hottie to be the centre of Alex’s affections.
For the most part this all works and the set up's familiarity makes it very easy to get comfortable with even if the characters are just slight variations on the expected college blueprints. I quite liked Thad’s continuing insistence that all of the very gay traditions the all male team has aren’t gay at all and I have to admit some of the dirtier Pie-esq jokes made me laugh, but in that respect I’m an easy crowd to please.
This is by no means original and most of the gags fall somewhere in the same region as the American Pie straight to DVD sequels (in that they’re not always all that funny), but there’s a few solid laughs in the thirteen episode run and while none of it's shocking, quite a few of the sexier jokes feel a little riskier than the majority of sitcoms on TV.
The transfer here is actually quite grubby especially in some of the darker scenes. On top of that colours are a little too warm in places though the brightness of the blue and red team kits can look pretty great against the bright green grass of the football field.
The image is quite sharp and detailed in the brighter lit scenes and offers a nice bit of depth to the more crowded shots but there’s no mistaking this is a TV show and when the lighting isn’t full on, the blandness and typical look of this teen comedy is much more noticeable. Something tells me an HD transfer would take all these elements and handle them better but this standard definition presentation feels like it's struggling a bit.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track has its moments but is generally quite run of the mill. There’s the odd bit of punchy bass (usually at parties or clubs) and some of the larger scenes have a realistic ambience to them but it’s the soundtrack that gets the most presence in the track and feels a whole lot wider than the majority of the dialogue or other elements in the track.
The ‘Outtakes and Deleted Scenes’ (10:25) don’t offer too much in the way of excitement but ‘The Locker room Rewind' (25:38), a video commentary featuring Darin Brooks, Chris Romano, Alan Ritchson, team coach Ed Marinaro and one of the show’s writers, gives us a bit more of a look into the making of the show. This isn’t a specific episode commentary but rather over a few of the show's highlights which is always quite a good idea for TV shows I think.
Finally, 'Making The Squad: The Cheerleaders of BMS' (04:36) is a fun little featurette but really is only there to offer up some clips of the show.
Blue Mountain State[/i] isn’t the strongest of TV comedies but it’s a dead easy watch that raises a fair few smiles especially once you’ve warmed to the easy to like characters. American Pie fans should definitely try a slice of this series as the comedy sensibilities are totally from the same bakery, but those of you who evolved onto the smarter R rated comedies that American Pie opened the doors for might feel this one is a little out of touch. The Season One package itself has a fairly straight forward presentation and not all that much in the way of features, so this one really might only be for fans in the end.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 22nd August 2011
Disc Type: Single side, dual layer
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 English
Extras: Outtakes/Deleted Scenes, Video Commentary, Featurette
Easter Egg: No
Cast: Darin Brooks, Sam Jones III, Chris Romano, Alan Ritchson
Length: 273 minutes
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