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?"
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 only dissapointment is that her song routines - which appeared in "Jesus Is Magic", her stand-up documentary - show up once again here.
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 are generally quite funny, although - as one might expect - certainly un-PC. The first episode has Silverman fighting a cold by chugging half a bottle of a NyQuil-like drug and then promptly driving home, only to find herself hallucinating and driving through a wonderfully twisted fantasy world before being stopped by a police officer who falls for Laura. Another episode revolves around Silverman getting batteries so she can change the channel from being stuck on a telethon trying to help kids with cancer.
When she meets her friends at a restaurant and tries to join in a fart joke, she has an accident - and we get a song about it that, as we find out, so moved heaven that Sarah gets one wish. Best not to reveal what happens next, as it's pretty funny and seriously wrong. "Not Without My Daughter" has Sarah "adopting" a little girl in order for the girl to get into a beauty pageant - the same one that Sarah is still stinging over taking second place in all those years ago (Silverman to the little girl: "I am honored to call you my daughter, but I would rather call you my winner.")
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. Even Silverman's songs aren't as annoying as they were in "Jesus is Magic".
1. 1- 1 102 1 Feb 07 Officer Jay
2. 1- 2 106 8 Feb 07 Humanitarian of the Year
3. 1- 3 103 15 Feb 07 Positively Negative
4. 1- 4 104 22 Feb 07 Not Without My Daughter
5. 1- 5 105 1 Mar 07 Muffin' Man
6. 1- 6 101 7 Mar 07 Batteries
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: All episodes aside from "Batteries" have commentaries and both the second and fourth episodes have a pair of commentaries each. Silverman, Posehn, Agee, Rob Schrab and Dan Sterling are the participants. We also get 13 live song performances by Silverman, two original title sequence pitches, an animatic of a chase scene and a karaoke sing-along feature.
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.