Saturday, December 9, 2006

Kenny vs. Spenny: Season 2

15 episodes

With a second season came a new network – Showcase. What I hadn’t realized was that two “season one” shows didn’t really air on CBC because they were rejected for content. The move was likely for that reason. To bring any confused Americans up to speed, Showcase is a channel in Canada that airs a lot of controversial American programming as well as its own stuff under the title “television without borders.” Among shows they broadcast: “Rescue Me,” “Red Shoe Diaries,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” and of course “Kenny vs. Spenny.”

In case you missed my first review, KvS is a show where childhood friends Kenny Hotz and Spencer Rice engage in a series of competitions, with the winner being able to dole out an act of humiliation to the loser. Kenny’s the conniving cheat while Spenny is the ethical, neurotic loser.

Thank Showcase for picking this one up! The loosening of the reigns energizes the show. Completely free swearing allows for some of Kenny’s best lines, and hearing all of Spenny’s frustration without bleeps makes it even funnier. Obviously the competitions also take a step up too, as you’ll see when we delve in to this.

Who can drink more beer? – Spenny’s an avid drinker, so naturally Kenny’s nervous at such an idea. Who wins? I watched these out of order, so I will say there are funnier ones to come, but this one isn’t bad. Thumbs up.

Who can stay naked the longest? – Other than the fact it’s two bony Canadian asses on display for a half hour (they thankfully still blur genitals), this one is funny and is archetypal of the first season, which is a good thing. Thumbs up.

Who has the biggest balls? – Kenny quashes my fears right away and tells us it’s not literal, but rather a contest of bravery and cajones. It’s basically a series of mini competitions, which is good, but it wasn’t an overall enjoyable show. Thumbs in the middle.

Who do old people like more? – Reminiscent of earlier episodes where they went against a panel, the guys each get a day to take three older women around and have them vote who they liked better. This may be the height of Spenny’s neurosis and one of the weirder humiliations. Thumbs up.

Who can dance the longest? – At this point, over 30 episodes, you’d think they’d know each other by now. But one exploits a hole a mile wide, that for once I saw before they revealed it. And it’s hilarious. The other completely enjoys himself and makes me laugh, and the other…suffers. Thumbs up.

First one to talk loses – I’ll say this right off the bat – this is an AWESOME episode. It’s one of those defining shows with a perfect competition, one you’d do with your friends. The highlights include Kenny’s you-talk-it-types program and the ending. Thumbs up.

Who’s funnier? – Spenny decides to revive his stand-up act in order to win, while Kenny decides to pull a conceptual prank piece. It’s up to comedy club owner Mark Breslin to decide who’s funnier. I know the winner! This episode. Okay, horrible joke, you can all give me a thumbs down in your review of the “Who’s funnier?” episode. Thumbs up.

Who can kiss more women? – This one starts as a meddling competition, but an unexpected addition to one person’s side really spices it up and makes it great. Thumbs up.

Who can win a rat race? – Just like cow sitting from last season, the guys took a silly, short competition and had a lot of fun with it during the build up. Naturally, Kenny tries to interfere with Spenny’s wonder rat and some interesting bargaining takes place. And just like cow sitting, this is a thumbs up.

Who’s the better journalist? – To the shock of no one, Spenny tries to find a legitimate story and Kenny tries to make one up. It has some pretty funny moments, and some weird lulls, so call it…a generous thumbs up.

Who can sell more bibles? – Oh, don’t let the name fool you. This one sort of snuck up on me. What started off as an episode that would’ve lent itself to a cheap Kenny scheme to sell bibles turned into something beyond that. Three words: Hubert the Hoppopotomous. That’s not a typo. Thumbs up.

First to be mean loses – This should be Kenny’s downfall, but if you know the show you know he can act too. So as one might NOW expect, Kenny “over nices” Spenny in an attempt to make him snap. Does it work? Or does Kenny end up breaking character? Thumbs up.

Who is the best parent? – Here's our first season 1 show that's put here because CBC rejected it for content. Kenny and Spenny each get one of those computerized babies and take care of it for three days. I almost don’t want to spoil it, but basically Kenny decides to sabotage his and tries to switch it with Spencer’s. His antics carry this one. Thumbs up.

Who is the best male stripper? – And the second. This one has nudity, obviously. Kenny tries all episode to get the best of Spenny’s pride and forfeit early. In the process of trying to become a bad male stripper, Kenny visits many a beautiful female stripper. Other than disturbing sequences with Spenny, this one’s pretty good. Thumbs up.

Who is the better rapper? – Spenny is doomed here. Nothing new. His favorite “rap artist” is “E-my-num” and he wants to “sing” about “Noam Chomsky and being righteous.” Thumbs up.

The count (up-middle-down):

This, like my last one, is just an episode review. You can buy the shows on DVD with commentary on selected episodes, deleted scenes, all that jazz.


SO close to perfection. This season’s an absolute riot. If you caught some season 1’s someplace and liked them, do yourself a favor and buy up season 2 RIGHT NOW. I haven’t laughed so much in a long time. Why can’t an American cable net pick this up and treat it like the good show that it is?

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