22 April 2013

DVD Season Set Review: "VICTORiOUS": Season One, Volume Two

Rated: TV-G (US television rating); PG (Canadian Home Video Rating)
Starring: Victoria Justice, Leon Thomas III, and Avan Jogia
Released: November 1, 2011 (DVD)
Synopsis: Tori Vega may be settled in at Hollywood Arts, but crazy times are still to come! Between an overbearing sponsor of a stage play, a singing competition with two karaoke "queens" who sound like Yoko Ono, roasting in a trapped RV, and plenty more, Tori and her friends/acquaintances Beck, André, Jade, Robbie, Cat, and Sinjin, as well as her insane older sister Trina, have quite a few misadventures with plenty of hilarity and a bit of singing!

Plots: 3.5/5
Most of the plots are truly funny and involving, such as the one with the karaoke "queens" ("Freak the Freak Out") or the one with the "reality" TV show ("The Wood").  However, the set loses serious points with "The Great Ping-Pong Scam," which has a dumb setup that seems to only exist to lead up to a performance.  (If you've ever seen the VeggieTales video/DVD The Wonderful World of Auto-Tainment!, you know what I'm talking about.) The iCarly crossover special isn't as bad as that unfortunate episode, but it's not as "epic" as one would expect.

Production Values: 4/5
If you've seen Victorious, whether the first part of the inaugural season or any of the later seasons, you know to expect great musical performances...and that's what you get.  Unfortunately, some of the humor is stupid rather than funny, and it loses points for that, too.

Moral Content: 3.25/5
The first VICTORiOUS DVD set got a Canadian Home Video Rating of "G"; this second set got a "PG".  That may not sound like much difference, but keep in mind that the Canadian raters are usually more liberal than the MPAA.  Though this DVD set never reaches a high level of obscenity, here are the content issues worth noting: Language includes misuses of God's name and euphemisms such as "waz" and "chizz".  The immodest outfits that plagued Season One, Volume One have an increased presence in this set, ranging from off-the-shoulder tops to fishnet stockings to tiny shorts to bikinis to even shirtless guys.  Controversial celebrity Perez Hilton makes an appearance in "Wi-Fi in the Sky."  The song "Give It Up" isn't all that squeaky clean, and some might be bothered by the title of the song/episode "Freak the Freak Out".  There are references to young ladies being "hot," and other mildly suggestive quips.  If any of that would bother you, I would suggest seeking out episodes of Austin & Ally and avoiding this set; still, this show as a whole is a far cry from Friends, Will & Grace, or pretty much any other sitcom that has aired on the major networks during prime-time in the past decade or so.

Conclusion: VICTORiOUS fans likely already own this set or have gotten the episodes from iTunes, so the only people who would be reading this are those who are curious about the series as a whole, or parents who wonder what their kids are watching.  Due to the content issues, I can't recommend this for the very young, but older kids and teens--who are really the target audience anyway--will likely enjoy it, and the adults will probably find themselves laughing, too.  Still, I do have to say that the episodes don't exactly warrant repeat viewings; if you can, borrow this DVD--does your local library have it?--before plunking down cash on it, unless you see it super-cheap at a yard sale or thrift store.

Score: 3.5/5

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