Cast: Danny McBride, Walton Goggins
Release Date: April 10, 2018
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 6.5/10
Created by McBride and Jody Hill (co-creators of HBO’s Eastbound & Down), this “Grade A” (US Weekly) comedy tells the story of a southern suburban high school and the two people who conspire to run it, the vice principals. McBride and Goggins star as Neal Gamby and Lee Russell, a pair of ambitious administrators wagged in an epic power struggle to become school principal. After the long-time principal steps down to tend to his ailing wife, these bitter antagonists are forced to put their mutual disdain aside to form an unholy alliance in order to sabotage the new appointed principal Dr. Belinda Brown (Gregory). As the school year continues and new semesters brings changes, Gamby and Russell learn that the only thing harder than gaining power is holding on to it.
From comedic team Jody Hill and Danny McBride who brought you the HBO Original Series ‘Eastbound & Down’ comes a truly hilarious and unapologetic look inside a local high school in ‘Vice Principals’. When the long time principal steps down, co vice-principals Neil Gamby (McBride) and Lee Russell (Goggins) each expected to be promoted, but when the schooboard opts for hiring someone new they soon find themselves joining forces to take down the newly appointed principal. Before long these two enemies find themselves working together and taking drastic steps to reclaim what both believe to be their rightful position, but just how far are they willing to go when things get increasingly dangerous and highly illegal? For these two desperate men, it appears all limits have gone right out the window as they continue full speed on the most hilarious course of events imaginable.
Arriving home in a new 3-disc DVD set collecting both seasons and all eighteen overall episodes of the show, ‘Vice Principals: The Complete Series’ allows fans to revisit any or every episode of this hilariously offensive and ridiculously enjoyable comedy series time and again. Another comedic masterpiece from the folks that brought us ‘Eastbound and Down’ that’s so overloaded with laughs, over the top moments and hilarious little tidbits sprinkled throughout its 18 episode course that its sure to never become stale or repetitive and like ‘Eastbound and Down’ is definitely a series worth repeatedly revisiting. Unfortunately any fans of the series that already purchased the Blu-ray or DVD release of ‘Vice Principals: The Complete First Season’ released last year are out of luck as no Season Two release seems to be planned for the series in either format (nor is there a Blu-ray option for The Complete Series) which means that if you want both seasons on DVD you have no alternative but to purchase this Complete Series set which includes the identical two discs that comprised the season one set released last year, in addition to one more new disc that includes all nine episodes of season two and its accompanying extras. While fans who didn’t pick up the first season release and don’t mind the DVD format in general will definitely want to strongly consider purchasing a copy of the ‘Vice Principals: The Complete Series’ DVD release (which fortunately does at least include a Digital HD code allowing a high definition viewing option of some sort), it probably won’t be worth doing so for anyone that already owns the season one release, or at least not until the price is low enough to justify that one extra disc.
Overall, HBO’s DVD release of ‘Vice Principals: The Complete Series’ brings home all 18 episodes of the comedy series in a 3-disc DVD collection that repackages the two discs from last year’s Season One release with the addition of a third disc that includes all nine episodes of the second and final season accompanied by some new extras. The set offers pretty decent standard definition video presentations paired with solid 5.1 channel Dolby Digital soundtracks that should largely please fans of the show and the DVD format, although the second season episodes do suffer some noticeable artifacts and other issues from the more restricted bitrates. For the reasonable price it’s currently going for, I would definitely recommend this new set for fans of the series who don’t already own the first season release and prefer the DVD format, yet for those who already own the physical season one release (and/or prefer Blu-ray such as me) it might not be worth coughing up the funds for this Complete Series set merely for the one additional disc considering no physical release for season two alone (or a Blu-ray set) has been made available, at least here in the states.
The DVD release of ‘Vice Principals: The Complete Series’ features a 16×9 friendly video presentation utilizing the show’s original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio on every episode of the series. The quality of the video presentations do differ between the two season’s episodes though, with the first two discs that together comprise the first season (and which I’m also pretty certain are identical to the discs included in the season one release) looking noticeably sharper and smoother courtesy of the extra bitrates available, while the season two episodes that make up the third disc in the set look pretty solid for the most part, yet do suffer some very clear video noise and artifacts during more heavily populated moments and scenes with excessive movement. Overall, these standard definition video presentations hold up fairly well for the most part and should please those that aren’t too particular, although the second season episodes in the set are certainly a bit more problematic than those of the first season.
The DVD release includes a 448 Kbps 5.1 channel Dolby Digital soundtrack on all 18 of the show’s episodes. These multichannel soundtracks provide clean, crisp and fairly active audio presentations on each and every episode of the series. They regularly take advantage of all five available channels in order to send music, along with some mayhem and action effects, plus crowd chatter and plenty more throughout the various speakers when fitting, and never causing any dialogue or other audio elements that may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, these are great 5.1 channel Dolby Digital soundtracks that consistently deliver in every way and should easily please.
The DVD release of ‘Vice Principals: The Complete Series’ includes some amusing extras that fellow fans of the series should enjoy. The extras on the first two discs which together comprise the first season are identical to the bonus content included on the season one Blu-ray and DVD releases, the details of which can be found in our review of the Season One Blu-ray release HERE. The second season which can be located in its entirety on disc three of this Complete Series set includes a few new extras not previously released including ‘Deleted Scene(s)’ for all nine episodes of Season 2 (running approximately 17 minutes in length altogether) and an amusing new ‘Gag Reel’ (running approximately 7 minutes) for the sophomore season.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the DVD and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this DVD release are the property of their respective owners.
Disc Rating: 6.5/10
‘Vice Principals: The Complete Series’ is Now Available to Own on DVD from HBO