Since this show first aired on the HD channel MOJO back in June 2006, I have no doubt almost every man who has discovered it has kicked himself because he had the idea first. Surely, every wasted 20-something had this conversation with a friend after pounding back a few of their favorite cheap beverages, like Schaefer, the one beer to have when you are having more than one.
“You know what would be the greatest job ever?”
“Getting paid to drink and travel.”
The people who formed Screaming Flea Productions made that conversation a reality for comedian Zane Lamprey, a.k.a. the luckiest man alive. He is the show’s host who travels around the world learning about local spirits and the customs associated with them. Season two is now available on DVD and the entire series can be viewed at Hulu.com. The “Japan” episode was the only one made available to review and it features Zane learning all about sake.
In Kyoto, he goes to a sake bar where he discovers the differences between brown sake and crude sake. He reveals rules for drinking sake, such as never fill your own glass and use both hands when your glass is being filled. Zane goes to the city of Ono where he gets an opportunity to go to the Hanagaki Sake brewery, which has been around since 1901.
Zane has a good personality and is a fun guide. The strength of the show is its flexibility. While schmoozing Mr. Nambu of Hanagaki Sake at the Jurakusen restaurant/bar, a party of golfers pulls Zane into their celebration of a man who shot a hole in one. He drinks with them and even participates in some mild rough-housings. It was unplanned, but made for a funny segment.
Like all good television shows, there’s a drinking game associated with it, which is certainly fitting. The basic rules are when Zane drinks, you drink; the first person to see Pleepleus the stuffed monkey, a gift from Zane's wife, makes someone else finish their drink; when Zane talks about his college buddy, Steve McKenna, it's a social, so everyone drinks; and when Zane or anyone burps, the last person to their thumb to their forehead must drink. Naturally, more rules can be added.
The third season of Three Sheets is currently airing on MOJO HD.