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The Critic - The Complete Series
The Critic - The Complete Series
Actors: Christine Cavanaugh, Gerrit Graham, Judith Ivey, Nancy Cartwright, Charles Napier
Director: Steve Socki
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Television, Animation
PG     1994     8hr 40min

From the producers of "The Simpsons"! Jon Lovitz is the animated Jay Sherman, a TV movie critic who is forced to review the most pathetic films which he always rates as "It stinks." In addition to the film parodies, the sh...  more »

     

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Movie Details

Actors: Christine Cavanaugh, Gerrit Graham, Judith Ivey, Nancy Cartwright, Charles Napier
Director: Steve Socki
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Television, Animation
Sub-Genres: Animation, Love & Romance, Comedy, Drama, Animation
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 06/23/1994
Original Release Date: 01/26/1994
Theatrical Release Date: 01/26/1994
Release Year: 1994
Run Time: 8hr 40min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaDVD Credits: 3
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Ahchem..The Critic is finally here
Agent Nick Castle | washington, dc | 01/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Critic was a very misunderstood and underappreciated masterpiece. Thanks to Comedy Central and recurrent bouts of insomnia I have not been without The Critic these many long years, but not a day went by where I didn't curse those responsible for the show's demise. How could a show with so many writers, producers, and actors from The Simpsons last only two seasons....IDIOT executives, that's how. Voice Talents:
Jon Lovitz as Jay Sherman
Nancy Cartwright as Margo
Gerrit Graham as Franklin
Doris Grau as Doris
Judith Ivery as Eleanor
Charles Napier as Duke Phillips
Nick Jameson as Vlada Velimirovic, others
Maurice LeMarche as Jeremy Hawke, others
Christine Cavanaugh as Martin(1) The Pilot (1994): Guest star Valerie Fox as an actress who seduces Jay in order to secure a good review for her latest (sub-par) performance. (4 of 5)
(2) Marty's First Date: It's career day at Marty's school (Jay's son) where Jay is embarrassed and Marty meets the girl who is to be his first date. (5)
(3) Dial `M' for Mother: Test audiences find Jay cold, uncaring, and homely and less warm and cuddly than Hitler. He goes on Geraldo with his mother in order to soften his image-with disastrously hilarious results. (5)
(4) Miserable: An obsessed projectionist kidnaps Jay so that he can tell her what movies are good. On the plus side, Jay did get some action. Jay is rescued by Jeremy Hawke, his best bud and Australian action hero. (4)
(5) A Little Deb Will Do You: Margo (Jay's sister) is reluctant to attend a debutante ball despite pressure from her mother (...to starve yourself to fit into a dress, to dance with boys who feel you up, to drink so much you fall into a well, it's a magical night...). Secondary to threats to shoot her beloved horse, Margo agrees to her mother's will and has a miserable time. (5)
(6) Eyes on the Prize: Jay celebrates his 1000th episode but poor ratings and no visitor turn-out at his party spur him to quit and focus on winning a Pulitzer. Guest stars Phil Hartman as Adolph Hitmaker, Adam West as himself, and Tress MacNeille make the episode a hit. (4)
(7) Every Doris Has Her Day: Jay and Doris (yep, Lunch lady Doris) go to a show and as they get to know each other better, it becomes apparent that Jay may in fact be Doris' child given up for adoption years earlier. (4)
(8) Marathon Mensch: To prove his machismo, Jay agrees to train for and run the NY Marathon. Guest star Bob Costas. (4)
(9) L.A. Jay: Jay writes a screenplay and takes it to LA but it's too good for the illiterate , ex-gigolo executive to produce (instead opting for Revenge of the Nerds 4). Jay is then hired to write `Ghost-Chasers III' and in so doing must abandon his creative ideology. (5)
(10) Dr. Jay: As Duke announces his plan to change the endings of Holly Woods greatest hits he is stricken with a terminal illness. Jay vows to find a cure. (4)
(11) A Day at the Races and a Night at the Opera: Jay is voted Time Magazine's Wittiest Man Alive and to improve ratings Duke offers to pay any viewer $100 if they don't find Jay funny. Upon failing, Duke and Jay are taken to court in a mass class-action suit. Guest stars Steve Allen and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. (5)
(12) Uneasy Rider: Jay refuses to endorse products on his show and quits his job to become a truck driver. In order to impress his fellow truckers he volunteers for the high-risk jobs. (4)
(13) A Pig-Boy and His Dog: Jay's mother writes a children's book whose main character (pig-boy) resembles the critic and he is tortured by the consequences. (5)
(14) Sherman, Woman, and Child (1995): Here we are introduced to Alice, Jay's assistant and on-again off-again love interest. Alice re-creates Jay's image thereby saving his job and Jay teachers her how to survive in NYC. (4)
(15) Siskel and Ebert & Jay and Alice: This episode guest stars Roger Ebert, Gene Siskel, Rex Reed, and Gene Shalit. Siskel and Ebert splt and each want Jay as their new partner. (4)
(16) Lady Hawke: Jay falls for Jeremy's twin sister, Olivia. Olivia is a man-eater and Jeremy fights to protect his friend. Meanwhile, Alice finds herself caught in this love triangle. (4)
(17) A Song for Margo: Margo falls for her dangerous new neighbor, Johhny Wrath from the group Nuns in a Blender. When she denies his advances, he abandons her for another, looser woman. (4)
(18) From Chunk to Hunk: Jay and Marty go to a fat camp for diet, exercise, and torture. Marty is successful both in losing weight and subsequently with the ladies. (4)
(19) All the Duke's Men: Jay is enlisted as a speech writer for Duke Phillips' presidential campaign. Jay's writing gains him respect and Duke the loyalty of the masses. When Jay refuses to write a speech where Duke drops Franklin (Jay's father) as his running mate Duke fires him and reveals his true plans for the country. (5)
(20) Sherman of Arabia: Marty has a slumber party and Jay regales the children with his story of capture and subsequent heroism during the Gulf War. (4)
(21) Frankie and Ellie Get Lost: Following their 40th anniversary, Jay's parents get lost at sea when their penguin-piloted aircraft crashes. Recall that "penguins can't fly." (5)
(22) Dukerella: Miranda, Alice's sister (Alice is Jay's girlfriend), visits NY and proceeds to irritate all with her great beauty, naivety, and deep southern ways. Just as Miranda hit's rock-bottom she meets and falls in love with Duke. (5)
(23) I Can't Believe It's a Clip Show: Jay and pals are held hostage at his 10th anniversary show. Although this is a flash-back episode and no way for a show like the Critic to leave us, it did have Milton Berle as the saves-the-day ninja. (4)"
Iron-clad proof the networks no nothing
Inspector Gadget | On the trail of Doctor Claw | 03/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Critic is the brainchild of Al Jean and Mike Reiss (producers of The Simpsons) and is produced by Gracie Films, also of Simpsons fame. It was a highly intelligent and very funny show that made fun of movies, Hollywood, TV stations at the same time as giving us a sympathetic hero and the whacky world he lives in.Jay Sherman is short, fat, bald and dresses like dweeb, his ex-wife hates him, his boss is always on his back, women run from him in terror and his make-up lady humiliates him at every given opportunity. He's also voiced by the increasingly adorable Jon Lovitz and has one of the best catchphrases ever. HOTCHIE MOTCHIE!!!!!The supporting characters are equally hilarious. Jay's crazy dad is always up to some kind of insanity. His pal Jeremy Hawke (star of the controversial and highly blasphemous Crocodile Gandhi movies) is always featured in some sort of dumb action movie clip. Even his tummy has a 'feed me' voice of its own. Though the honors go to Charles Napier, who is absolutely priceless as Jay's megalomaniacal, all-American hard-man boss. It's hard to believe ABC ditched this after ONE EPISODE!!! What were they thinking? Even Fox eventually gave up on it. Sad considering how sharp the writing and humor was. How on earth does self-indulgent, over-rated and long, long past prime trash like Friends gets 10 seasons and The Critic gets 23 episodes. You won't find Jay Sherman all but winking at the camera or pausing until the fake laughter dies down. This complete set comes with a fair amount of extras (the cinema screen trivia cards are great) but the best is fact that we get all the 'webisodes'. In 2000 Jay made a brief comeback on the internet and all those 5 minute shows are featured on the 3rd DVD. My only complaint is, after 22 brilliant episodes, it kind of dies out with an obnoxious and annoying 'clip show' than a proper end-of-season finale. Minor complaint nonetheless.The shows are all presented in 1.33:1 fullscreen, as drawn with a good Dolby 2.0 soundtrack. If Family Guy can come back through strong DVD sales then let's hope the same for The Critic. Now only if Duckman would come to DVD..."
Grossly neglected.
Church of The Flaming Sword | 03/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Critic is one brilliant animated TV show that suffered a fate that befell entirely too many other brilliant shows like Family Guy and The PJs. These shows would be hyped up weeks before the first episode aired. Then about 2-4 weeks into the series' first season (few of these shows lasted much longer than that), an entirely different series would air. And thus, the series would be left in limbo for weeks, sometimes months before another episode made its way to its small, and impatient group of fans. Because of this apathetic treatment from the networks, these shows were not given a sufficient opportunity to find an audience. The Critic, which debuted on ABC in 1994, languished in this manner until Fox would pick it up a year later. History would once again repeat itself on that network as well. It's just shameful how not one, but two, networks could take such a clever, inventive show for granted.The Critic is about a very short pudgy New York City film critic and divorced father named Jay Sherman (voiced by Jon Lovitz). Sherman hates blockbuster films with a burning passion. He makes his hatred known with two simple words: "IT STINKS!!!". This makes him one of the least popular people in the city. John Rocker may get the key to the city before Sherman does if that tells you anything. Sherman's life is full of some interesting and sometimes oddball characters. He comes from a rich family - his mother is a haughty aristocrat and his father is still recovering from a stroke, which is evident with his eccentric behavior. The only other normal person in Sherman's family is his loving, but slightly insecure teenage sister. Sherman's best friend is an Australian actor who is basically cross between Mel Gibson and Paul Hogan. The actor stars in precisely the same big budgeted films that Sherman likes to pan. And finally there's his boss, a Southern-bred media tycoon would love to cancel Sherman's hugely unpopular show for purely business reasons, but the tycoon for some reason likes having Sherman around.

What set The Critic apart from the other creative animated shows was how it would joke about cinema, much in the same way Family Guy would do to modern television, or how King of the Hill would do with rural stereotypes. One of the funniest skits (Lord knows The Critic had a lot of them), involved a trailer with Arnold Schwarzeneggar in a Jewish-themed action film. Arnold's new catch phrase was "Haga Navilla, Baby!!!". Pure hilarity.For those of you who can't get enough of these amazing animated shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy, and King of the Hill; you owe it to yourself to watch The Critic. Once you've watched it, realize that it has been cancelled for nearly a decade, and see the sickening glut of reality shows that now reign over prime time with an oppresive fist - Don't be surprised to hear yourself saying this about the sickening state of 21st Century television: "IT STINKS!!!""
That kid from Easter Island...
Heather Baldwin | Minneapolis, MN | 05/17/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I first caught The Critic on FOX when I was in high school, and although it was canceled, I was pleased to see that Comedy Central picked up the reruns a few years ago. This underrated show, like many others, was simply a victim of politics among network executives. One of the commentators on this DVD (I forget who) quoted Jonny Carson as saying, "TV is only medium that eats its young", and that's very true in this case. Fortunately The Critic developed enough of a following to be released on DVD, and so I will now review the DVD itself.Episodes - 5/5 - Great lines, characters, stories, and movie parodies. The visual gags (such as the cartwheeling hampster) and sign jokes (United Nations School: Teaching Tolerance and Brotherhood To Those Who Can Afford It) have rivaled those on the Simpsons and Futurama. The animation has a unique and naturalistic look that works very well: the people and places feel real. Also, the writing and the acting are quite solid.Commentaries - 3/5 - The commentators are witty and informative, but my main complaint is that there are only eight episodes with commentaries. I would have enjoyed commentaries on all of the episodes. The other problem is that when I played the commentaries, the sound wasn't as good, and I had to turn the volume way up, not only to hear the episode, but to hear Charles Napier and Nick Jameson, who often talk softly.Subtitles/Language Options - 0/5 - There are no subtitles at all, which is particularly irritating when trying to listen to the commentary tracks. And despite the FBI warnings being in both English and French, the audio is only in English.DVD package/menues - 2/5 - The outer package has little info about the DVD's contents. There is a booklet inside that lists the episodes, but doesn't list the special features. The DVD menues are simplified (for instance, there are no submenues for each episode). Episodes with commentary available only have an asterisk in the Episode Selection Menu, and the names of the commentators are not shown, only spoken.Special Features - 5/5 - I was pleasantly surprised with the extras on this DVD. They've included all ten of the internet shorts from 2000, which were cool to watch. I particularly enjoyed the "Making of the Critic" featurette, which contained interviews with Mike Reiss, Al Jean, Jim Brooks, Rich Moore, Maurice La Marche, and Nick Jameson. I like being able to finally match up a face with a voice! Also, the episode "A Pig-Boy and His Dog" had a few scenes where you could view the storyboards and animatic along with the full color animation all on the same screen, which Rich Moore commentating. Finally, I got a kick out of the "Fun Facts" and "Movie Trivia" bits.Overall, I give this DVD 4 stars because I feel the quality of the episodes and special features outweight the problems with the DVD, mainly the lack of subtitles and too few commentaries. Fans of this show, as well as fans of The Simpsons, Futurama, and Dilbert, should definitely get this DVD."