Plot: What’s it about?
Chappelle’s Show was an instant smash, with high ratings and downright incredible sales on DVD, but the show would quickly burn out. The show’s creator and namesake Dave Chappelle’s vision was a specific one, he knew what he wanted to do and how he wanted to present his material. After two epic seasons, the show seemed to be on the brink of explosion, with no limit on how popular the show could become. But the show would never return for the third season, as Chappelle decided enough was enough. He wasn’t pleased with the direction the show was to be taken, so he walked. Even in the face of a new contract that surely would have made him rich beyond his wildest dreams, Chappelle walked. The breakdown and retreat to Africa is well documented and these events signaled the end of Chappelle’s Show. While the third season wouldn’t come to fruition, some material was shot and prepared to be broadcast, hence this release of the “lost” episodes. These have been shown on television, but for fans, it is still nice to be able to own them. But are these “lost” episodes any good, or just filler thrown out to offer fans one last taste?
I’ve watched both seasons of Chappelle’s Show and while not as taken with the series as some folks, I still enjoyed the episodes. Chappelle’s brand of wild, in your face humor works well and while some are bound to be offended, the show seems to take aim on everyone. So yes, white people are made fun of, black people are made fun of, poor people, rich people, Asian people, Chappelle leaves no stone unturned. He plays off the stereotypes, but this isn’t all lowbrow stuff, as he also works in some political and social comments. These lost episodes are not up to the level of the ones found in either season. Of course, without Chappelle as host, the overall tone suffers somewhat from the start. The skits are varied in quality and to be honest, if there were a third season, I doubt all of this material would have been included. I assume this is just what was left and while flawed, at least it gives fans a little more of Chappelle’s work. Some of the material here is hilarious and on par with the previous episodes, but then some stuff doesn’t work at all. So it is a mixed bag, but between the good parts and the extras, this release offers ample value. So if you’re a fan of Chappelle’s show and you need one last hit to remind you of the good times, Chappelle’s Show: The Lost Episodes is recommended.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in full frame, as intended. The image is clean and sharp, with no real flaws that jumped out, so the episodes look impressive. The detail is high throughout, though not quite as much depth as the elite transfers out there, but still well above average. I found colors to be warm and natural, with no errors to mention, while contrast remains consistent at all times. I do wish the show was filmed in widescreen, but that is no fault of the transfer here, as these episodes should more than satisfy fans.
Audio: How does it sound?
This is a dialogue driven series, so the included 2.0 surround audio is more than up to the task. Some sequence make better use of the channels than others, but on the whole, this material uses a conservative presence. But when a slight boost is needed, this mix handles the bumps without much trouble, so no worries on that front. Most of the show is fueled by dialogue though, which is well replicated here and no problems arise in the least. The vocals sound very crisp and clean at all times, I found nothing to complain about with this mix.
Supplements: What are the extras?
All three episodes feature audio commentary tracks, but sadly, Chappelle isn’t involved. The three folks involved, two co-stars and the show’s co-creator do fill the time with solid information, but without Chappelle, it just isn’t the same. This disc also includes a brief featurette, five unaired sequences, two bonus musical performances, and best of all, some bloopers.