Sarah Silverman expands her reach with "The Sarah Silverman Program", a parody of traditional sitcoms that's flavored with Silverman's style of humor. For those unfamiliar with Silverman, the stand-up comic's style generally revolves around the fact that she acts like an adorable girl-next-door type, yet is often seriously, deeply (and occasionally, surprisingly) offensive and profane. And, at least in her stand-up, she often looks surprised - "Did I actually just say that?" Thankfully, Silverman rarely does that here, instead letting the humor be offensive on its own without having to remind us of how much she's pushing the envelope.
While Silverman's stand-up is not everyone's cup-of-tea, I found "The Sarah Silverman Program" to be more consistently entertaining, because it sends Silverman out into the real world, where she has more to play off of and doesn't do the "Did I just say that?" routine as much. The second season also sees improvement in the writing, as plots push the envelope further and the gags are funnier and more twisted.
The show stars Silverman as herself, a slacker who lives with her sister, Laura (Silverman's real-life sister, who seems geuninely in the show as if she's dealt with her sister's antics for so long that she's used to it at this point) and remains pals with her gay neighbors, Brian (Brian Posehn) and Steve (Steve Agee).
The 6 episodes included here are generally quite funny, although - as one might expect - certainly un-PC. While in this sort of environment one would worry about the show having to be "toned down", there is an episode ("Joan of Arf") included here where Sarah has her dog taken away because she is caught trying to lick its butt after she becomes fascinated by why the dog keeps doing it - which would certainly indicate that that's not the case. Sarah decides to head to rehab to get help, then has to head to trial over the "incident" in order to get her dog back. Another episode included here has Sarah firing her maid, only to realize that her life is a disaster without her. When she heads after her to Mexico, she finds out that the maid has become a popular and powerful mayor.
Overall, "The Sarah Silverman Program" is the best thing the comedian has done: the comedian's riffing on the surreal situations is consistently funny and the writing is often hysterical.
This is the first volume for the second season, offering the first 6 episodes.
7. 2- 1 201 3 Oct 07 Bored of the Rings
8. 2- 2 204 10 Oct 07 Joan of Arf
9. 2- 3 203 17 Oct 07 Face Wars
10. 2- 4 202 24 Oct 07 Doodie
11. 2- 5 206 31 Oct 07 Ah, Men
12. 2- 6 205 7 Nov 07 Maid to Border aka Brian's Song
VIDEO: "Sarah Silverman Program" is presented by Paramount in 1.33:1 full-frame. Picture quality is just fine, as the picture appeared moderately crisp and detailed throughout the majority of the running time. While some minor shimmering was spotted in a couple of instances, the majority of the episodes looked crisp and clean.
SOUND: The show's audio is presented in stereo, and audio quality is fine, with crisp dialogue and music.
EXTRAS: Commentary on every episode (aside from "Joan of Arf" from cast and/or crew including both Silvermans, Posehn and Agee. "Doody" and "Ah, Men" have two commentaries each. The second disc offers eight short "behind-the-scenes" featurettes, two digital shorts ("Steve and Brian's Basement Adventure" and "Brian's New Office") and "Cookies Come Alive". Also found on the second disc is a nearly 30-minute look at the Q & A panel for the show at the 2007 Comic-Con with Silverman and cast that's very funny.
Final Thoughts: Overall, "The Sarah Silverman Program" is the best thing the comedian has done: she seems a little freed up by the sitcom format and the writing is often hysterical. The DVD offers fine audio/video quality, as well as a solid set of extras. Recommended for fans.