A bizarre cartoon series on the Adult Swim portion of Cartoon Network, "Tom Goes to the Mayor" takes a look at the little town of Jefferton, which is made up largely of strip malls and other small town staples. The series has new Jefferton resident Tom (Tim Heidecker) headed off to the Mayor (Eric Wareheim)'s office with various new ideas, which the mayor then takes and spins into something completely different (and often, disasterous.)
The series is presented in a form of animation that uses real photographs and runs them through a computer filter. The result is that the series has the unique appearance of colorless stills of characters set against colorful still backgrounds (although occasionally, there is some slight animation or live-action footage in the background.) Although low-budget, it is certainly different and, in some regards, does punch up the humor a bit, due to some amusing expressions.
The show's humor isn't going to be for all audiences - it's truly a "love it or hate it" series (and the lack of movement to the animation is another element that will polarize viewing audiences) and the somewhat dry delivery of the truly oddball, surreal plots (the first episode is a good example: Tom goes to the Mayor to discuss child safety and the mayor manages to come up with the idea that bear traps will be useful in keeping kids safe) will either crack viewers up or leave them perplexed at what the show is trying for. While it's refreshing to see a series that doesn't go for lowbrow humor for laughs, "Tom Goes to the Mayor"'s weirdness will strike some viewers as "random for the sake of random". Celeb cameos throughout the series include: Jack Black, David Cross, Sarah Silverman, Jeff Garland, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, Dave Foley and others.
The set includes all episodes from the series on 3 DVDs.
VIDEO: "Tom Goes to the Mayor" is presented by Warner Brothers in the show's original 1.33:1 full-frame aspect ratio. Image quality is quite nice, as while the show does have a rather limited/basic animation style, the presentation brought out all the details quite well. Some minor shimmering was occasionally seen, but the series otherwise looked crisp and clean, with no artifacting, edge enhancement or other issues. Colors looked bright and vibrant, with no shimmering or other flaws. Colors appeared bright and snappy, with no smearing or other issues.
SOUND: The show's stereo soundtrack provided clear dialogue.
EXTRAS: Fans of the series will be thrilled to find tons of extras, starting with a 21-minute "making of" that covers all the bases when it comes to constructing each episode. There's also an additional "making of", a look at the celeb cameos, the original "Tom" shorts, deleted scenes and promos. Additionally, the show's two creators also provide commentary for all of the episodes.
Final Thoughts: Although I got a few laughs out of it, I wasn't really won over by "Tom"'s humor on this DVD set. However, for the show's considerable amount of hardcore followers, the DVD certainly provides it all, with lots of bonus features and fine audio/video quality. Recommended for fans. Those interested who've never seen the show should rent first.