DVDSleuth.com is your source for daily Blu-ray Disc & DVD news and reviews
Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell:
Season 1 (2013)
Turner Home Entertainment
DVD Released: 7/14/2015
All Ratings out of
Review by Mike Long, Posted on 7/24/2015
At this point in time, the statement "Adult Swim shows are weird." should only be uttered by those who are new to the planet or who have recently emerged from a 20-year coma. Yes, shows on Adult Swim are weird, this is a given. But, if you look at most of the shows, you will see that two dynamics are taking place. First of all, the majority of the shows take a fairly normal premise which we've seen on another show and then twist it. And then twist it again. The second thing is that it is very easy for these shows to run with the "weird for the sake of being weird" idea and lose sight of anything else. Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell is a show which fits both of those concepts.
Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell takes place in, of all places, hell and it focuses on those who work for Satan (Matt Servitto). Gary (Henry Zebrowski) is an office-worker who spends much of his time in his cubicle, working on reports or torturing souls. Gary is the perfect mixture of incompetence and laziness, which means that he rarely gets projects done correctly or on time. Claude (Craig Rowin), a new intern, has been assigned to work under Gary, but he quickly surpasses his mentor in both performance and status. Therefore, Gary is always trying to find ways to cut corners and move ahead.
I'm sure that I'm not alone in wonder exactly how Adult Swim shows get on the air, as in where do these shows come from and who makes these decisions. But, in the case of Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell, I can very easily see someone walking into an executive's office and saying "I want to do a show which is Office Space, but set in hell." and it getting greenlit immediately. The concept is so simple. What if there was a group of demons who worked in cubicles and Satan wasn't all that different from the Lumbergh character from Mike Judge's movie. So many people think of their workplaces as hell and as their boss as Satan, this show should write itself, right?
Well, one would think so, but the show never finds a good balance between satire and just being weird. And, for me, that means that the show was never truly funny. Satan sends Gary on a special mission or Satan announces a competition between the employees. Do these mirror things which would happen in an actual office? Yes. Does that make them funny? Not really. One may nod in understanding at these things, but I doubt that many will laugh at them. And then we have Gary's buffoonery. "Hey, he's a guy in hell who incompetent and bad at his job. That's funny, right?" Again, most workplaces have someone like this, but, again, that doesn't make it funny. When the show isn't attempting to lampoon office-life, it's simply being weird for the sake of being weird. Many of these moments involving the torturing of souls or Gary's attempts at using dark powers gone awry.
I've been a viewer (fan would be too strong of a word) of Adult Swim almost since the beginning. (In the beginning, I would have a co-worker tape (yes, tape) things for me, as my cable system didn't offer Cartoon Network.) And yet, I've never been a big fan of the live-action shows, and Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell is a perfect example as to why. In the same way that you can't make a cult film, you can't make a cult TV show. Anything can be weird. It's much more challenging to actually be clever and that's where shows like this miss the mark. Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell may have a premise which is easy to grasp (a rare event for an Adult Swim show), but from there things get too murky for their own good and the show simply becomes a lot of green screen and no laughs.
Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell: Season 1 leaves a burning sensation on DVD courtesy of Turner Home Entertainment. The DVD contains all six episodes of the show's first season. The show has been letterboxed at 1.78:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The image is sharp and clear, showing no overt grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look good, although most are yellow and red, and the image is never overly dark or bright. The bulk of the show is shot against green screen, and some of these fake backgrounds look fake on this transfer. The DVD carries a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track which provides clear dialogue and sound effects. The stereo effects are good, as they highlight sounds coming from off-screen. The surround effects are mild, but do show off some of the hellish sounds.
The Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell: Season 1 DVD is loaded with extras. There are bonus features specific to each episode. Creators Casper Kelly & Dave Willis, and actors Henry Zebrowski, Matt Servitto & Craig Rowin provide an AUDIO COMMENTARY on each episode. "Welcome to Hell" has a second COMMENTARY from Kelly, Willis, actors VC Fuqua & William Tokarsky. There are four DELETED SCENES for this episode. "Bone Garden" offers five DELETED SCENES. "Take Life by the Horns" has an additional COMMENTARY from Kelly, Willis, and SFX Artists Shane Morton & Chris Brown, in addition to three DELETED SCENES. "Schmickler83!" has two DELETED SCENES, while "Devil in the Details" has six. "People in Hell Want Ice Water" delivers another COMMENTARY from Kelly, Willis, Fuqua & Tokarsky, as well as a COMMENTARY with Kelly, Willis, Morton & Brown. This episode has five DELETED SCENES. The "Original Short" (12 minutes) only bears a passing resemblance to the show, but it does feature some pretty girls and a cameo by Fred Armisen. This can be watched with COMMENTARY from Kelly & Willis. The seven "Promos" (3 minutes) have Gary doing confessionals. The six "Behind the Scenes" (5 minutes) are a combination of interviews with cast and crew, as well as some on-set footage. Finally, we get the "Screen Tests" (21 minutes) for Zebrowski, Rowin, Servitto, and Eddie Pepitone.
Review Copyright 2015 by Mike Long