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DVD Review: Lil’ Bush: Resident Of The United States – Season One

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All Presidents of the United States are subject to a certain amount of ridicule. Actually, in this media driven world we live in, no politician is immune from possible scorn. Leave it to Comedy Central to figure out a way to razz current President Bush, his administration, former President Bush, his family and any other politicians of interest in one fell swoop. Created by Donick Cary, who has previously written for such shows as Just Shoot Me, The Simpsons and The Late Show With David Letterman, Lil’ Bush: Resident Of The United States centers around grade school versions of the current administration raising Cain together during the administration of Bush Sr.

Lil’ George is the leader of a small posse: his best friend Lil’ Cheney is bubbling over with anger all the time and constantly looking for a fight, and his communication skills are little better than a duck. Every time he speaks it sounds like a quack. Lil’ Rummy is the butt of a lot of jokes and blamed for every incident of misbehavior that gets the gang in trouble. Meanwhile, Lil’ Condi longs for the heart of Lil’ George; oblivious, he walks all over her and schemes for a way to get a kiss from Lil’ Laura.

The pilot episode sets the tone for the show. In “Iraq/First Kiss,” Lil’ Bush decides he and his pals should go to Iraq to get his dad a father’s day gift. They decide to bring home an Iraqi orphan because that will be good publicity for the administration. Unfortunately, upon opening the package Lil’ Jeb Bush (who is portrayed as dumber than a turnip), kills the boy.

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In the second part of the episode, after Lil’ George sees Lil’ Bill Clinton kissing some twins, the gang takes a bet to see who can kiss a girl first. Of course, Lil’ Condi wants to lock lips with Lil’ George, but he wants to join a prayer group in an effort to make time with Lil’ Laura. Though Lil’ Bush is the main character here, the shows producer’s make it clear from the beginning that they are equal opportunity offenders–Lil’ Hillary, having slipped away from Lil’ Bill, ends up in a passionate lip lock with Lil’ Condi. If that’s not weird enough, Lil’ Rummy has an encounter with Barbara Bush (a la The Graduate) and somehow he ends up inside of her, forcing Bush Sr. to take her for an abortion. Clearly, nothing is off limits.

Most of the episodes involve lil’ versions of politicians and people we’re all familiar with. Lil’ Kim Jong-il bullies Lil’ George. After he fails to make the football team, Lil’ George strikes up a close friendship with fellow cheerleader, Lil’ Tony Blair. Lil’ Barack Obama decides to build houses for the poor, because it’s the right thing to do. Completely perplexed by the idea, Lil’ Bush and his gang burn down the houses and buy new scooters with the insurance money. You get the point.

Somewhere within each episode is a rock video featuring the Lil’ Bush Band. They imitate such popular bands as KISS, Grateful Dead and rapper Eminem. Perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising since legendary rocker Iggy Pop lends his voice to Lil’ Rummy. However, the rock videos tend to have little to do with the topics in the episode and feel like filler at times.

Lil’ Bush: Resident Of The United States – Season One is not for the faint of heart or those who don’t appreciate harsh political satire. Presented on the DVD as uncensored, Lil’ Bush is an adult cartoon. The humor itself tends to be a little bit uneven. The stories tend to be very funny or a complete misfire. Of course, the fact that Donald Rumsfeld is no longer with the administration makes the show feel a little stale at times. This could be helped by simply adding a Lil’ Robert Gates.

The series’ 1.33:1 television aspect ratio is reproduced on this season one set. Each character is drawn in a fairly uncomplicated fashion, perhaps in an effort to emphasis the simplemindedness of the portrayals. The colors on the DVD are strong and bold. The show’s Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo track is reproduced here and offers above average aural fidelity. The music segments are loud and the dialog is clear.

Lil’ Bush: Resident Of The United States – Season One offers a few special features. Every episode contains at least one audio commentary featuring selected members of the crew and cast talking throughout the episode. Sometimes the comments relate to the given episode, sometimes not, but everyone sounds like they’re having a good time. There are also three additional commentaries by Jerry Springer (who doesn’t say much at all), Tucker Carlson (who admits to being a big fan of the show), and Ralph Nader who does little to disguise his distaste for both Bush administrations.

The set also includes a never aired episode titled “Walter Reed.” The episode was produced in case an episode titled “Cheney in Hell” where Lil’ Cheney goes to hell and torments Satan to distraction couldn’t be aired. It seems a bit odd that an episode about the problems at the veteran’s hospital wouldn’t have aired anyway, since it was in the news.

“Lil’ George’s White House Tour” is just a 1¼-minute promo for the show which aired on Comedy Central. “Behind the Scenes: Meet the Cast and Creators” is a short set of interviews with the behind-the-scenes personnel who put the show together. However, the video quality is much poorer than most viewers have come to expect from a DVD. “Table Read” shows the cast reading the “Hot Dog” script for the first time. Poor video and audio quality again ruins the impact of this segment.

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About Rebecca Wright