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DVD Review: Ren & Stimpy - The Lost Episodes


Man, oh man, I don't know about you, but I loved the Ren & Stimpy show back in the early 90's when it aired on Nickelodeon. The original Ren & Stimpy, that is, the one created and done by Spumco, not that crappy show that was taken over by some other production company after the Spumco team was fired. And then, many years later, I heard that, thanks to Spike TV, it was finally coming back to television. And not only that, but there were to be new episodes, made by Spumco! As Stimpy would say, "Joy!"

I really enjoyed catching a few of the reruns, but I was extremely disappointed with the new episode I saw, titled "Onward and Upward". In it, Ren and Stimpy start out living in a bum's mouth. What the heck? Gross, yes, but... well... it's also kind of stupid. Or more accurately, really stupid. And then, when the pair decides to move into a new home, they choose a spittoon. Huh? What? And then all act like they're part of high society for some reason, while eating tobacco spit, snot, and vomit. Uh... err... right... ya know, just because something is gross, that doesn't necessarily make it funny. Man, was I bummed. I didn't even bother trying to see any more of the new episodes.

Years later, these new episodes, in which apparently only about half of them actually aired on television, finally got their day on DVD. And as luck would have it, I was offered a copy for review. Of course, with the bad taste of that one episode I saw still fermenting in food hole, I wasn't sure if this was good luck or bad luck. But, it was Ren and Stimpy, and I was curious, so I figured what the heck, and gave it a shot. After watching both discs, I'm happy to say that these episodes, with the exception of "Onward and Upward", are definitely worth watching.

Lets be clear here, though, these episodes are made for adults, one hundred percent! These are not on the same level at those aired on Nickelodeon. Those did a wonderful balancing act, providing grossness, violence, and innuendo in scenes while still keeping it okay for children to watch. These new shows go all out, which includes nudity, swearing, breast fondling, poo handling, and more... yes, I said poo handling. In one episode, a "pregnant" Stimpy actually gives "birth" to a baby poo. And in another episode, Stimpy has to scoop out a huge log of poo from a toilet to get rid of it.

There aren't a great number of episodes in this set, only six, which was a bit disheartening, as after I finished off the two discs I wanted more! The included episodes are Naked Beach Frenzy, Stimpy's Pregnant, Altruists, Ren Seeks Help, Fire Dogs 2, and Onward and Upward. Each episode is preceded by an live-action introduction which gives a background about the episode, such as where the idea came from and any issues they had with making it. Additionally, each episode contains bonus content, though mostly they don't include anything all that interesting. Mostly like sketches and cinematics. It doesn't really matter, though, as the episodes themselves are funny enough on their own.

I do wish the introductions would have been rehearsed a little first. Although they provided some interesting information, the improvisation technique was really lackluster and boring. Also, they sometimes reveal what's coming up in the episode, so I would have also liked them to be put at the end of each episode rather than the beginning. That's really just nitpicking though. These episodes may be different than the ones we all remember, but they still bring the laughs, which is all that really matters in the end.

Watch clips and view pictures at the official Ren & Stimpy - The Lost Episodes web site.

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