Plot: What’s it about?
What a concept! A has been, somewhat “B” superhero from the 60’s and then give him his own talk show (set in space, naturally). This is the essential concept behind “Space Ghost: Coast to Coast”. I stumbled across the program a few years ago while channel surfing and started to get pretty involved in the program. Being a long-time fan of “The Simpson’s”, I easily related to the humor on the show. For those that don’t know, Space Ghost is was a superhero whose “power bands” let him do incredible things. I never was too big of a fan of the original show (that and it was before my time), but the new format showcases not only the talent of the writers, but has given this cartoon character new life in the 21st century. The show is essentially set up like a Mystery Science Theater 3000 format. Space Ghost is the host of the show who interviews real live guests (via a television). With help from his cohorts, namely Zorak (a space locust of some sort) and the cameraman, Moltar the stage is set for one of the funnier animated programs that I think I’ve ever seen.
Space Ghost: Coast to Coast is part of the Adult Swim line of cartoons on the Cartoon Network. Geared towards an older audience who will understand the humor more than it’s prime-time audience (kids), the humor is funny; without being offensive. Additionally, being a cartoon, they can get away with a lot more. There’s not an actual flesh and blood talk show host doing the interviewing, so the interviewees kind of know what to expect. The interviews are edited (though they have a very naturalistic look and feel to them) as well. Like most shows during their first season, this had all the right elements, but as the seasons progress, the timing is more fine-tuned and the result is a much funnier show. Some of the guests on this third volume include Rob Zombie, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Ice-T, and Jon Stewart, just to name a few. While I’m sure that the show will have its specific audience, it’s a refreshing change of pace even from the really great talk shows (Letterman and Leno to name a few). Space Ghost shows that he not only has what it took to fight evil villains, but also interview the guys from Mr. Show and live to tell about it.
Video: How does it look?
The episodes are presented in full frame, as intended. As expected, these episodes look pretty good and I couldn’t find much to complain about. The images are pristine, so there’s no problems with print quality. The colors are vivid and rich at all times, with intense reds and gorgeous blues, but the hues never become oversaturated. No problems with contrast either, as black levels are razor sharp and always in perfect balance. This is a splendid treatment that yields no real flaws.
Audio: How does it sound?
The audio is great too, as the included 2.0 surround options provide an active, futuristic experience. As the show has tons of high tech kind of sounds, the audio has some good potential and that comes across well here. You won’t be dazzled by an immersive soundtrack, but there’s some depth to the audio here, with frequent use of the surrounds. Not a constant barrage, mind you, but a solid amount that enhances the viewing experience. The main focus is on dialogue however, with clear and crisp vocals throughout. One episode includes a 5.1 surround option and since it is a musical episode, the audio has a richer, more powerful texture, which is cool. This release also includes subtitles in English, Spanish, and French, just in case you need to use those at some point.
Supplements: What are the extras?
You can listen in on five audio commentary tracks, but in truth, these aren’t that great and can even be a tad frustrating at times. If a little more care were involved, perhaps the sessions could have been more humorous or at least mildly interesting. This release also includes an alternate ending for one episode, deleted scenes, and unedited interview footage from a selection of episodes.