Although "Reno 911"'s off-beat sense of humor may take a little while for some to get used to, the show is often a wickedly funny take on "COPS", coming up with material (mostly improv) that's often subtle (some of the show's most deeply hilarous bits are the most minor ones - in one episode, Dangle warns the other officers not to interfere with the "working cats" roaming the building, put there because "the exterminators had run out of ideas."), utterly unpredictable and delivered with incredibly brilliant throwaway style by the cast.
Characters include Deputy Raineesha Williams (Niecy Nash), Deputy Trudy Wiegel (Kerri Kenney), Deputy James Garcia (Carlos Alazraqui), Deputy S. Jones (Cedric Yarbrough) ,Deputy Travis Junior (Ben Garant), Deputy C. Johnson (Wendy McLendon-Covey) and Lieutenant Jim Dangle (Thomas Lennon). The latter seasons have become a bit bigger, with the series attracting more in the way of guest stars (season six has a superbly deranged performance from "The Office" star Rainn Wilson) and having the ability to do a few action sequences (or at least the bumbling, "Reno 911" version of an action sequence.)
The sixth season of the series started with a major change in the cast, as it's explained in the first episode that deputies Garcia, Johnson, and Kimball didn't make it after the taco stand incident that closed season 5. It's a difficult transition to make, as this is a series that has relied entirely upon its talented cast, and this was certainly a show where every one of the leads was an essential part of the series. Not only is their departure upsetting, the way that this is revealed (essentially, "Well, they're gone!" and later in the episodes the characters struggle to remember the names of the characters who are no longer on the show) isn't a particularly clever bit and doesn't say much to fans who enjoyed the original cast.
Two new cast members are added to the cast this season, deputy Frank Rizzo (Joe Lo Truglio, who was a member of the MTV variety show "The State" with "Reno" creators Lennon, Garant and Silver) and Sergeant Jack Declan (Ian Roberts, one of the members of the "Upright Citizens Brigade" comedy troupe.) The nervous, corrupt Rizzo is a bit of an annoyance in the early episodes and the gruff Declan doesn't make much of an impression either way.
Still, despite the disappointment of the cast change, the season does start to slowly get rolling in the second episode, which contains one of the finest, purest "Reno" moments in recent seasons as Weigel and Williams think they've conned a three-card monte dealer on the street, only to suddenly realize that the tables have been turned on them. The reveal is hysterical, and there's one line towards the end of the scene as Weigel tries to catch a criminal that's one of the funniest throwaway lines in "Reno" history. Another terrific bit comes at the opening of episode 3, where a police chopper leads Dangle exactly the wrong way as he's screaming at them for directions as he's chasing a suspect.
The episodes are a bit mixed (while George Lopez has had funny bits elsewhere, I've never thought his role as the mayor of Reno was terribly funny, and "Helping Mayor Hernandez" isn't one of the season's better episodes), but some of the season efforts recall the "Reno" of earlier years, such as "We Don't Want the Pope", where Dangle is displeased to hear that the Pope may be thinking about visiting Reno and is sending a scout team to interview the police force. Realizing that such a visit will require a lot of police work, the group decides to do everything they possibly can to scare off the Pope. There's also the bizarre "Secret Santa", which sees mysterious lights in the desert and new, unknown deputies that suddenly appear at the station. However, given all that, the main worry by the Reno force is whether or not the new deputies they've never seen before will have to be included in secret Santa.
Overall, while it's dismaying that the series couldn't have handled the cast transition better, it's still not quite the show's "Jump the Shark" moment, given that the show's core cast still manages to create some classic "Reno" moments.
The episodes are uncensored.
74. 6- 1 601 1 Apr 09 Training Day
75. 6- 2 611 8 Apr 09 Extradition To Thailand
76. 6- 3 607 15 Apr 09 Digging with the Murderer
77. 6- 4 605 22 Apr 09 Dangle's Murder Mystery (1)
78. 6- 5 606 29 Apr 09 Dangle's Murder Mystery (2)
79. 6- 6 610 6 May 09 We Don't Want The Pope
80. 6- 7 608 13 May 09 VHS Transfer Memory Lane
81. 6- 8 612 20 May 09 Helping Mayor Hernandez
82. 6- 9 613 27 May 09 Getaway Trailer
83. 6-10 615 3 Jun 09 Stoner Jesus
84. 6-11 602 10 Jun 09 Deputy Dance
85. 6-12 603 17 Jun 09 Viacom Grinch
86. 6-13 609 24 Jun 09 The Midnight Swingers
87. 6-14 604 1 Jul 09 Secret Santa
88. 6-15 614 8 Jul 09 Wiegel's Couples Therapy
VIDEO: "Reno 911" is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen during these sixth season episodes, which is the show's original aspect ratio. The show looked terrific on this DVD set, with excellent sharpness and detail. The picture maintained fine definition and clarity, with no softness, even in some of the dimly-lit moments. Light shimmering did show up on a few occasions, but no compression artifacts were visible. Colors remained vibrant and bold throughout, with no smearing or other faults.
SOUND: The show's 2.0 audio is pretty satisfactory, with fine audio quality - dialogue remains clear and clean throughout, while music and sound effects sounded well-recorded.
EXTRAS: "Tupperware in Tampa" scene, profiles of the two new characters and two spoof ads. Audio commentaries from members of the cast are included on episodes 3,5,8,9,11,12 and 13. The commentaries are a great deal of fun, as the cast joke about behind-the-scenes stories, discuss production issues and the development the episode.
Final Thoughts: While the show's sixth season certainly suffers from some issues, there are a few terrific episodes included. The DVD set provides very good audio/video quality, as well as a great set of extras.