"Mind of Menica" is one of the latest Comedy Central shows and features popular stand-up Carlos Mencia, whose humor mainly revolves around being "politcally incorrect" and going after a wealth of different races and stereotypes. Has it been done before? Absolutely, but Mencia still manages to sell some of the gags. Some bits don't work - and when they don't work, it's either due to fault of writing or the fact that Mencia often feels the need to underline how "controversial" he is.
Most of the 30-minute series allows Mencia to riff on-stage (such as bits about current headlines, joking about celebrities) in front of an audience, but there are moments where Mencia ventures out into public to chat with passerby (such as "America Without Immigrants", where Mencia explores the possibility of what if different races had never found their way to America) and the occasional skits.
The show clearly appears to be serving as a replacement for the sadly departed Comedy Central series "Chappelle's Show" (the end credits of the first episode joke about the similarities), but Mencia's similarities to "Chappelle's Show" only serve to highlight how it doesn't appear as if anything will likely ever compare with what "Chappelle" was able to produce for 2 and a half seasons. Dave Chappelle - and it's more evident now looking back on some of the "Chappelle's Show" material again a couple of years later - has simply raised the bar too high.
One of the reasons why I didn't care for the first season of "Mind" was that Mencia seems to think that he's utterly hilarious and outrageous, even looking at the camera and acting like, "Gee, I can't believe I just said that." The best comedians ever who worked with offensive material never had to remind the audience that they were being irreverent. While it's not as bad in the second round of episodes, there's still moments throughout where Mencia essentially brings the proceedings to a halt because he's in disbelief that he just made another racial joke.
The second season doesn't exactly start off on the right foot, with a bit that has Mencia getting a message from God that he can still make fun of all the different races he made fun of in season one (and go even further) because God's a big fan of his. The whole thing is supposed to seem edgy, but it just seems like the ego has landed and its name is Carlos Mencia.
Mencia does manage some laughs on occasion, either in his stand-up, skits (an "Alien" bit where Mencia - as an "illegal alien" breaks out of the stomach of a politican is bizarre and amusing; another decent skit in the second half of the season sees the effects of government wire-tapping and XBOX Live) or in his public interview segments, but I noted in the first season review that the material - and the majority of Mencia's material does revolve around race - started to wear thin as the episodes went on. Unfortunately, much of that material is dusted off again here, with slight alternations. If Mencia never does his "dee dee dee" bit (his way of saying that someone's done something retarded) again, I'll be okay with that.
Mencia's material often goes for the cheap laugh (and over the same ground), but the bits that seem fresh and as if they've had some thought put into them stand out and bring the show up a little. "Chappelle's Show" deserved the praise it got and the audience it brought because Chappelle's bits on race (Chappelle's intention was not to build up stereotypes, but to break them down through humor) and other subjects were insightful, intelligent ("Chappelle"'s had moments of downright brilliance), original and are dense with little gags (you can watch "Chappelle" skits again and again and appreciate little, throwaway jokes.) Mencia's third season is on its way, and I can only hope that a new writing staff is aboard for it, as Mencia is in need of new material.
The set offers uncensored audio.
VIDEO: "Mind of Mencia" is presented by Paramount in the show's original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio. The presentation certainly was equal to broadcast quality, as while sharpness and detail were not exceptional, the image remained consistently crisp and offered fine definition. Some slight shimmering occasionally was spotted, but otherwise, no faults were noticed. Colors looked bright and spot-on, with good saturation and no smearing or other issues.
SOUND: The show's stereo soundtrack captures background audio, audience chatter and dialogue perfectly fine.
EXTRAS: About 12 minutes of deleted scenes, as well as some outtakes and bloopers.
Final Thoughts: "Mind of Mencia"'s first season had some bits that worked and got a decent laugh, but this season just puts too much of the same material to work again and the result is lackluster. The DVD presentation offers fine audio/video quality and a decent set of extras. Recommended for fans only.