"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 a bit here where he says he's tired of being called racist for the voices that he does, so he goes out an asks people on the street to imitiate different races) 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.
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.)
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 of "Mind of Mencia" didn'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 has recently come under fire from the stand-up community for taking material and while I don't know how true that is, I do know that at the end of my review of the second season of the series, I hoped that Mencia would kick out his entire writing staff and get some fresh material in so that we would not get another season of racial jokes, bathroom humor, midget jokes, more racial jokes (like, "Why do white people go camping?"), obvious rants and his tired "dee dee dee" (what he says when he believes something is "retarded") bit. Maybe I'd hoped too much, as that's exactly what we get - slight variations on the same jokes ("The Stereotype Olympics" returns again, and it's just as unfunny this time around as last time) as we got in the first two rounds of the series.
When Mencia launches into parodies, it's not because he has new insights or anything really that clever to offer - it's just so he can have another entry point for a racial joke (for example: "Borat" becomes "Borato".) The comedian also continues to act like the series is the funniest thing that has ever been created. One episode has Mencia have an audience member dressed up like a mailman go off on a profane rant about how much he hates email. It's so badly, bizarrely done (the guy who stands up is just terrible, not to mention the fact that email jokes are "so over a decade ago") and yet, Mencia is on the floor of the stage laughing. Another bit has Mencia hosting "The Price is Right" and going off on the contestant who bids $1 more than someone else.
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: Over 30 minutes of deleted scenes and commentary on episode one.