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September 4, 2015

Tom Goes to the Mayor: The Complete Series - DVD review

by Adam Finley, posted Apr 1st 2007 1:01PM

tom goes to the mayorTom Goes to the Mayor began as a couple short short films on creators Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim's Web site, and even then it was obvious that not everyone was going to be into it. If anything, the fact that so many people either absolutely loved the series or just found it confusing and unfunny is a testament to its success: one doesn't make a show like Tom Goes to the Mayor with the intention of pleasing everyone. You either grok it, or you don't.

During the audio commentary for the first episode on this three-disc set that contains all thirty episodes of the series, co-creator Wareheim talks about how the first pilot they wrote was three hours long. That may be an exaggeration, but his point was that they tried extra hard from the start to explain exactly who Tom was, who the Mayor was, and what the town of Jefferton was all about. It was executive producer Bob Odenkirk who suggested they just dive right in with no explanation and let the audience figure it out as the show progressed. It didn't take long for folks like myself to comprehend that Jefferton was a funhouse mirror version of every rundown small town in America that tries to make itself out to be much better than it really is, and that Tom represented the kind of overzealous civic pride that never quite overcomes the indifference of the town's citizens.

The audio commentaries start off rather bland but become more insightful as the show improves over subsequent seasons. As simplistic as the show looks, a lot of work goes into melding the sparse animation, backgrounds and live-action elements into a cohesive whole, and the behind-the-scenes extras on the DVD (not counting those bits that are clearly staged) demonstrate just how important it was to Tim and Eric to get their twisted vision across, at least to those tuned in to their absurdist sense of humor.

Tom Goes to the Mayor: The Complete Series (Businessman's Edition) marks the first time Adult Swim has released a complete series on one set. It will hit stores April 3 and will retail for $34.95.

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I'm use to 26 episodes in a season, I forgot that AS shows like Venture brothers have half that per season.
As for unsuccessful show creators getting another show... Contract and needs retooling come to mind. Though, the premise of TGTTM was rather limited, so it might be natural to move on. Either way, I'm glad it's dead, bad comedy and bad animation.

April 02 2007 at 7:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I looked it up, it was WB, very interesting.

April 01 2007 at 8:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adam Finley

David: The Oblongs is not an original Adult Swim show, it started on UPN or WB (I'm too lazy to look up which one).

April 01 2007 at 6:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have never heard of it but the Oblongs had a complete series set too, so how is this the first?

April 01 2007 at 5:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Re the idea of AS boards running the AS schedule... Aren't the bumps _always_ talking about how the Williams Street kittens don't care about the fan's clamoring for more anime and less live-action? At least lately and for the past few months. [I got your back, Adam.]

April 01 2007 at 5:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Not only did it run two seasons but the boys were given the reins of another wholly new series which is on the air currently. Someone else tried commenting once that Tom was cancelled but clearly you don't give a second series to people who failed to please you the first time. Especially not within a year of the first series finale!

Tom rules! Tim and Eric rule! The rest of you just can't handle the whore's milk!

April 01 2007 at 5:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adam Finley

Cyberphin: TGTTM ran for two seasons.

Also, if you're implying that negative comments on the AS forums will make or break a show, I think you're mistaken. I think ratings have more to do with a show's success than the opinions of every angry fifteen year old with a DSL line.

All that aside, thank you for your opinion. As I said, it's not a show for everyone, and even a fan like myself knew it probably wouldn't last long.

April 01 2007 at 3:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I never could grok this show. I hated it. It was a waste of time when waiting for other shows on Adult Swim.
Cameos from stars never really give me a wow factor, and I never laughed at anything on the show.
Even now your explanation of the show doesn't seem to clear it up for me.
I loved Sealab's and ATHF's absurd humor and even the later Harvey Birdman's absurd humor, but TGTTM never had a funny moment for me. It was all just strange and absurd, which absurdity by itself doesn't make a joke. Tom's been beaten down enough on the AS forums and it didn't make it past one season, which is why it's AS's only complete series box set. Most people just don't get it.

April 01 2007 at 3:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well... One right here. This show is great and "absurd" is the only way to describe it. The characters are great and the subtleness of a lot of the "acting" and art is what adds to the humor, as we see in the deadpan expressions or the photoshopping of most of the citizens to make them look a little sub-human.

The guest stars such as Michael Ian Black, Sarah Silverman, Zach Galifinakis, Jeff Goldblum, Paul Reubens and many more all play very quirky characters that fit very well within the setting of Jefferton. How many 15 minute, low impact comedy shows can claim such a cast?

April 01 2007 at 3:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Greg the Paladin

Absurd humor, commentary on bureaucracy, seeing everything Tom plans go horribly, horribly awry, musical numbers, an endless ream of surprisingly high-profile guest stars (I still think getting Jeff Goldblum was amazing), the tension/lack of tension/just-plain-creepy moments between Wayne and Jan Skyler (The only married news team!), and Bob Odenkirk.

Not to mention The Mayor's facial expressions.

(Does this answer your question? Because I can keep going.)

April 01 2007 at 2:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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