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JAMIE KENNEDY EXPERIMENT
Season Two

Review by Gordon Justesen

Star: Jamie Kennedy
Creators: Jamie Kennedy, Fax Bahr, Mike Karz, Adam Small
Audio: Dolby Surround
Video: Full Screen 1.33:1
Studio: Paramount
Features: See Review
Length: 594 Minutes
Release Date: October 12, 2004

"Why would you do that to Goldblum!? What's Goldblum ever done to you!? What's Goldblum ever done to you!?"

Shows ***

Although Ashton Kutcher's Punk'd remains the pivotal hidden camera series to burst onto the air, you still have to give actor/comedian Jamie Kennedy credit for basically bringing the hidden camera show back into the forefront. Few people even stop to remember that not only did The Jamie Kennedy Experiment come along before Punk'd, but the show was already in its second season before Ashton's show even made its debut.

Kennedy's show, dubbed JKX, is very different from Punk'd for two specific reasons. The targets of the show are everyday people, as opposed to celebrities, and Kennedy places himself in every single "experiment", sometimes going under heavy makeup to make whatever character he's playing more believable. For his second season, Jamie Kennedy has returned with even more outlandish sketches which, like last season, produce a belly of endless laughs.

Among the highlights of the second season, they include some of the more clever pranks I've seen in recent memory. You may recall my favorite sketch in the first season was Kennedy's fake court show "Judge Jamie". In that bit, Jamie portrayed an elderly, senile and occasionally foul mouthed courtroom judge.

Of course, he wouldn't be able to pull off the same sketch in a returning season, but he found a way to build upon it. The new show is called "You Be the Judge", where an observer in the courtroom is chosen to preside over a given case. The selected judge is given an earpiece, where an actual judge can tell him what kind of legal jargon to say. When one such judge is asked to define the meaning of "contempt", the result is priceless.

Jamie also gets help from a few surprise guests throughout this season. Among the surprise appearances, they include David Schwimmer, Melissa Joan Hart, and the best guest appearance of them all, Jeff Goldblum. Goldblum helps out in a prank involving the premiere of his new fragrance, Simply Jeff Goldblum. The prank involves a group of male models selected to help sell the cologne, which they soon discover may be chemically toxic. Will these guys be able to save Goldblum from Goldblum? Watching someone like Jeff Goldblum completely let loose on a show like this is something to must be seen.

Oh, and then there's Ghost Ship: The Musical. Jamie plays a flamboyant Broadway musical director casting a musical based on the horror flick. Ghost Ship castmate Julianna Margulies helps out in the auditions. Mega-producer Joel Silver also helps out in the bit, and laughs abound when he and Jamie get into a scuffle over the production results. This of course, puts a dose of fright into the cast members.

Another genius sketch is a staged game show called "Quick Cash", which is the most confusing game show of all time. One of the contestants, the mark, doesn't know what to do after he's been given the most incomprehensible game show rules ever created. It's simply hard not to laugh constantly at this prank. Let's put it this way, you could be a Princeton scholar and not be able to understand the rules of this game.

On a down note, the show has recently been canceled, but the good news is that we can expect the remaining season of JKX to hit DVD hopefully within the next year. The show will be missed, but Mr. Kennedy and his talent of X-ing unsuspecting folk will live on thanks to the DVD format.

Video ***

JKX is presented, courtesy of Paramount, in its basic full screen format. The picture quality is exceptional, in between Jamie presenting the sketches with a studio audience and the hidden camera footage, which is actually well handled visually. As far as a full screen television show can perform, this is easily as good as it gets.

Audio ***

The supplied 2.0 Dolby surround track works quite well, most notably when Jamie is presiding over his audience in between the recorded pranks. Two episodes move the audiences from the studio to the likes of Las Vegas and even New Orleans during Mardi Gras, which have some nice sound performance. A very well handled presentation.

Features **

Included in this four disc set is commentary from Jamie Kennedy over selected episodes, and deleted footage from selected pranks.

Summary:

With a second season of pranking brilliance, The Jamie Kennedy Experiment delivers the laughs at a consistent pace. Jamie Kennedy's knack for setting up pranks, involving many various disguises, deserves a look in season 2 of this newly cult show.

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