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Key & Peele: Seasons 1 + 2 (Blu-ray Review)

key and peel whysoblu thumbKey & Peele is currently one of the more popular sketch comedy series on Comedy Central.  It features former MadTV stars Keegan Michael Key and Jordan Peele working together to churn out consistently funny sketches that also happen to be impressively filmed.  This is reflected in the Blu-ray release of the first two seasons of the series.  This Blu-ray set is also packed with hilarious extras, including commentaries, outtakes, extended and alternate bits, and more.  Continue on to read more about this hilarious series and its solid Blu-ray release.

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Series:

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As mentioned, Key & Peele is a sketch comedy show.  While there have been plenty of sketch comedy shows on TV, as far as Comedy Central goes, Key & Peele is about as close as it has gotten to replacing the brilliant Chappelle’s Show from the early 00s.  I say that not necessarily in terms of how funny I find the comedy to be, but in terms of how Key & Peele is similarly sitting within the zeitgeist of the times.

Chappelle came at a time before the internet, YouTube, and smart phones were really delivering in every way possible, yet many of the jokes were immensely popular and being shared all over.  To this day, people still say things like, “Rick James Bitch!”  Key & Peele is in a time where everything can be nearly immediately accessed and assessed by anyone.  Memes about the show are everywhere, there are spoof ads with Liam Neeson currently going viral, and plenty of new quotes and skits have emerged to the point of Obama literally coming out to meet the men behind some of the humor directed his way.  I still would not say that Key & Peele is the biggest or funniest thing out there, but the show has certainly made a minor impact in a crowded field.

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While currently just finishing its third season and preparing for the fourth, Key & Peele has been delivering from the get-go, as it has found a way to not only be very clever in the way it uses humor to mainly address race relations in the United States, but also happens to be incredibly cinematic in its presentation.  The skits may or may not deliver on full-on laughter, but this has to be one of the best shot sketch shows on television, given the minimal budgets that somehow get away with capturing real atmosphere every time out.  Yes, some of the sketches are more broad and do not have the same cinematic touch, but you get a lot of parody moments that have the look and feel of the real thing, which I find to be very commendable.

And yes, the show is quite funny.  I have plenty of favorite skits and some recurring characters that I look forward to seeing, but for the most part, Key & Peele does a fine job of making for a fun viewing experience fit for plenty of those who dive into Comedy Central shows featuring comedians.  While Broad City may be my current obsession as far as Comedy Central shows (and comedy TV shows in general) go, there is plenty to love about what Keegan and Jordan have to offer to their audiences.

Season 1 contains all the following episodes:

  1. Series Premiere
  2. Black Hawk Up
  3. Das Negros
  4. The Branding
  5. Gay Marriage Legalized
  6. Flash Mob
  7. Bobby McFerrin Vs. Michael Winslow
  8. Season Finale

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Season 2 contains all the following episodes:

  1. Obama College Years
  2. Dubstep
  3. Puppy Dog Ice-T
  4. I’m Retired
  5. Bone Thugs & Homeless
  6. Michael Jackson Halloween
  7. Victory
  8. Manly Tears
  9. Gangsta Standoff
  10. Dueling Hats

 

Video:

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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail:  I emphasized the cinematic quality of a lot of the sketches in the review and it’s because it is true.  Key & Peele goes through great lengths to be a great-looking TV show and it pays off as far as this Blu-ray presentation goes.  Sure, some of the makeup and costuming looks obvious, but that is by design.  The show has been given a good look for this Blu-ray, with a great display of the details put into the various sets and sketches throughout.

Depth:  For a low-budget sketch show, the series has a good amount of depth going for it.

Black Levels:  The black levels are solid for a show that goes back and forth between being bright and poppy and dark and moody, depending on the idea of the skit.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are rather solid.  When there is a good amount of color in a sketch, it is well represented as far as this Blu-ray goes.

Flesh Tones:  Again, despite some fun with makeup, the flesh textures all look good as far as being portrayed in the way they were meant to be seen.

Noise/Artifacts:  Some rough areas in small moments, but very minimal overall.

Audio:

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Audio Format(s): English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, English Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles:  English SDH

Dynamics:  As a sketch comedy show, there is a wide mix of sounds, but they often collide in a very good way that never makes things unclear in a scene with plenty of outlandish aspects.

Low Frequency Extension:  When the show digs deep into certain musical areas, it finds a good way to balance the amount of bass one may or may not need.

Surround Sound Presentation:  Again, the wild nature of the show allows for a variety of different types of audio sequences, but it works well for those with a home theater looking to capture the quality that this series has to offer on an auditory level.

Dialogue Reproduction:  I always heard the delivery of jokes that Key and Peele offered up.

 

Extras:

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This is an interesting and somewhat baffling section.  Comedy Central previously released Key & Peele: Season 1, but Season 2 can only be obtained by purchasing this box set.  The labels on the discs are strange too.  Season 1 looks fine, but Season 2 features “disc 1” on the disc art, despite there only being one disc.  Regardless, there are enough features scattered through both discs to make this a decent collection of extras for the series.

Features Include:

Season 1:

  • More from Luther, Obama’s Anger Translator – Alternate bits from one of the more popular sketches.
  • Outtakes – Pretty standard, but entertaining
  • Poolside Interview – This is a fun bit, featuring the guys having fun discussing the show and all that comes with it.
  • Live at the South Beach Comedy Festival – This is fun, but it could have been funnier to see more.
  • Audio Commentaries – Four audio commentaries make up this section and they are all very funny and insightful as far as what the show is trying to accomplish goes.

Season 2: 

  • More From Luther, Obama’s Anger Translator – More alternate bits.
  • Vandaveon and Mike: Critiquer’s Corner – About 30 minutes worth of webisodes, which may test your patience.

Summary:

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Key & Peele may not be my favorite comedy series on TV, but I think it is doing some great work as far as being introspective on culture in the form of satirical comedy, while also adding in a lot of broad humor as well.  It doesn’t hurt that the show looks amazing and the Blu-ray properly brings that aspect out in great detail. A quartet of commentaries does not hurt either.  Enjoy this set, if you are a fan of the show or sketch comedy.

Order Your Copy Here:

 

 

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Aaron is a writer/reviewer for WhySoBlu.com.  Follow him on Twitter @AaronsPS4.
He also co-hosts a podcast,
Out Now with Aaron and Abe, available via iTunes or at HHWLOD.com

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Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Video Game Player, Comic Book Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

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