Cast: Danny McBride, Walton Goggins, Kimberly Hebert Gregory
Release Date: February 7, 2017
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8/10
Created by Danny McBride and Jody Hill (co-creators of HBO’s Eastbound & Down), this dark comedy series tells the story of a southern suburban high school and the two people who almost run it, the vice principals. McBride and Walton Goggins star as Neal Gamby and Lee Russell, a pair of ambitious administrators waged in an epic power struggle to ascend to the top spot after the long-time principal (Bill Murray) steps down to tend to his ailing wife. When Dr. Belinda Brown (Kimberly Hebert Gregory) swoops in to claim the job, Gamby and Russell put their mutual disdain aside and, operating by the adage that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” team up for an all-out, take-no-prisoners effort to bring down Dr. Brown, the only person who may in fact have the school’s best interests at heart.
From the creative duo of Danny McBride and Jody Hill, co-creators of the hilarious ‘Eastbound & Down’ comes a new wonderfully twisted comedy. ‘Vice Principals’ tells the story of Neal Gamby (McBride) and Lee Russell (Goggins), two competing high school vice principals that both believe they will be promoted to Principal following the departure of the current head honcho. When the two discover that neither has in fact been granted the desired spot and the school instead opts for bringing in outsider Dr. Belinda Brown (Gregory) the unlikely duo reluctantly join forces in order to find a way of getting her discredited; figuring that either of them would be preferable to this unworthy stranger. The only thing they didn’t anticipate is just how far off the rails the whole thing might go, and as things become increasingly wilder (and more illegal) they soon find themselves already in far too deep to back out now.
From Danny McBride and Jody Hill, the talented co-creators of the ridiculously hilarious HBO original series ‘Eastbound & Down’ comes ‘Vice Principals’, a new, equally hilarious and just downright wrong (in the best possible way of course) comedy series that any fan of Eastbound won’t dare to miss out on. The debut season of ‘Vice Principals’ jumps immediately into the wonderful insanity, constantly brimming with hilarity and unique characters that will have no trouble keeping you rolling in laughter. Danny McBride and Walton Goggins portray our two leads and the duo works together beautifully; constantly bouncing off of each other in a remarkably natural manner and the tense and irritable interaction between the two tends to be one of the best parts about the series. Always planned as an 18 episode series (broken down into two 9 episode seasons respectively) ‘Vice Principals’ always exudes confidence and seems to know precisely where it’s headed which only leads to an even more pleasurable television experience. Fellow fans of this fantastic new HBO series will certainly want to think about picking up a copy of The Complete First Season on Blu-ray in order to have the ability to watch all nine hilarious episodes over and over again (just as I surely will be), and anyone who enjoys dark, somewhat offense comedy films and TV shows and/or loved ‘Eastbound & Down’ but hasn’t yet had the pleasure of ‘Vice Principals’ will want to make sure to give it a watch as soon as you have the opportunity to do so; you definitely won’t want to miss out on this one.
Overall, fellow fans of this wonderful and wildly hilarious new HBO original series will definitely want to consider purchasing a copy of ‘Vice Principals: The Complete First Season’ on Blu-ray to add to your collection. The 2-disc Blu-ray release of the debut season delivers outstanding high definition video and audio presentations on each episode, along with a couple of noteworthy extras and should have no trouble pleasing the fans. Anyone who may have loved ‘Eastbound & Down’ yet hasn’t had a chance to give ‘Vice Principals’ a whirl will want to make a point of doing so prior to the second (and final) season premiere on HBO later this year. This one should be well worth the cost of a rental at the absolute least for anyone hesitant to drop the funds on a blind purchase.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Vice Principals: The Complete First Season’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the show’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio on all of the debut season’s episodes. The video presentations look fantastic as a whole and offer sharp, clean and detailed presentations on each and every episode with no issues or faults of any kind to be found within. They hold up admirably even during the darkly lit, fast moving and heavily populated sequences, never resulting in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, these are wonderful high definition video presentations that are complimented by impressive bitrates and look spectacular; they should easily thrill the fans.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on all 9 Season One episodes. These lossless multichannel soundtracks sound great and provide crisp, clean and often surprisingly aggressive audio presentations on every episode. They frequently take advantage of all five available channels in order to fully immerse the viewer within the music, as well as the mayhem, sending crowd chatter, some action related auditory effects and plenty more throughout the various speakers when fitting, and never causing any dialogue which might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, these are fantastic 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtracks that provide yet another layer of fun to this incredibly enjoyable series.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Vice Principals: The Complete First Season’ includes a couple enjoyable and worthwhile extras. Included on the release are ‘Audio Commentary’ tracks with various members of the cast and crew for every episode. We are also treated to ‘Deleted Scene(s)’ from all nine episodes (running approximately 18 minutes in length altogether), and a ‘Blooper Reel’ for the season (approximately 5 minutes).