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"Strangers with Candy"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Strangers with Candy" More at IMDbPro »

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33 out of 36 people found the following review useful:

Insidious!!!

Author: SheBear from New Jersey
6 August 2004

Words cannot explain Strangers with Candy. You need to see it to believe it and even then you'll be scratching your head in disbelief (while laughing your ass off of course).

The premise is that of a sick and twisted after school special from hell where all of the wrong lessons are learned. (Great one from Jellineck – `if you're going to smoke marijuana you have to be prepared to spend a lot of time laughing with your friends').

It is one of the smartest, subversive and exhilaratingly un-pc shows ever. It a makes fun of authority figures, the handicapped, minorities and that's just for starters. Each episode is crammed with one-liners and sight gags so numerous they'll make your head spin.

It's all in the delivery, folks. Principal Blackman (Gregory Hollimon), Noblet (Steven Colbert) and Jellineck (Paul Dinello) are all pitch perfect. In the hands of lesser talents these jokes would fall flat. The show has huge laughs. The entire Hit & Run episode comes to mind, as does the scene in The Virgin Jerri when Drake removes Jerri's toe separator from her filthy feet and sniffs it lustily or when Jerri recites the poem Packing a Musket to the class.

I could go on and on but just trust me - you HAVE to watch this show.

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20 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

A breath of fresh air

Author: bregund from San Francisco
15 May 2004

With so much garbage on television these days, it's refreshing to see a show so original and well-written as Strangers With Candy. I am glad that Comedy Central is re-running this hilarious program. It is politically incorrect, vulgar, and rude...it's fantastic! The writing is some of the best I've ever seen on television, every sentence uttered by every character is funny. The one-liners fly so fast that you barely have time to laugh before the next joke. In one episode, she and a classmate become secret lovers, but he's so ashamed of being with her that she hides in dumpsters, air ducts, etc.; it's a howlingly funny sight gag to see her head poking up out of the garbage as she waits for her lover. I think this show moved too fast for today's television audience and their limited attention span, so it's a shame that it was cancelled.

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20 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Great fun - surrealism you can only find on short-lived shows.

Author: Sintek from Sattellite of Love
11 March 2004

I'm surprised to see only one negative review on IMDB. Having been a fan of the show since its debut, I knew from the start it would be a love or hate series for many people.

It's a great show not for its intellectual qualities (or on the surface, lack thereof), but its originality. Teen dramacom parodies have come before, though none as brave as this. SwC reminds me in part of the Nickelodeon series from the early-mid 90s such as "Salute your Shorts", which is perhaps why I and many others who grew up in that era have a soft spot for it.

It's sad to think we might not see many more divisive T.V series. The dumbing down of the masses by shows in which greedy people vote one another off fake islands ensures subtly and wit will soon be regarded as the real enemies of television.

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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Why do they take good stuff off the air?

Author: lambiepie-2 from Los Angeles, CA
26 May 2003

Stranger's With Candy has such a funny premise, and a highly un-believable one that you just have see it to believe it. I loved this series, bravo for Comedy Central to show it. In some respects it was like a very warped after school special but mixed in were themes of older adults trying to attend 'school', to compete against youngsters, and re-live a hey-day they never had in the first place.

Jeri is a character that is trying to get her life back ontrack, and at her age, she went right back to the beginning, the high school she dropped out of. Oh -- gosh-- how funny it would be to see ANY of the high school drop outs decide to go back after 15, 20, 25 years of leaving and to RE-LIVE that horror all over again!!!

This series was funny, bittersweet, and yes, more like a warped after school special but the question "Strangers With Candy" asked that we all should be asking is:

"Do I set my work aspirations higher or do I chose to work at the plastic flower plant plant like everyone else?"

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16 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

one of the best shows out there. its a shame it got canceled.

Author: freefall_wthout_a_parachute from usa
25 May 2004

many people fail to see the brilliance in strangers with candy.it is an extremely funny show.there are also a lot of subtle jokes or references that may go above the viewers head but if gotten, are hilarious.

there could'nt be a better cast for SWC. they are all talented,funny individuals who also come up with some of the script and often improvise certain lines that turn out as if planned.

the show requires an open sense of humor. those who lack that open humor might find some of the material offensive. what they need to realize is that the writers are not white supremist or hateful ignorant racist and there intent is not to come off in that light. rather, there intent is to be comedic and that is plain to see. all in all, i believe strangers with candy is one of the best shows thats been aired.

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

"Hobo camp"

Author: Andrew Harmon (aharmon1973@hotmail.com) from Washington, D.C.
15 June 2004

"Hobo camp," a term 46-year-old Jerri Blank uses after spelling V-I-C-T-O-R-Y during a cheerleader try-out, revealing her lifelong illiteracy and causing Coach Wolf to postpone the rest of the try-outs until "we can all recover … from Jerri's shame."

It took me about three months to actually muster the energy to watch Strangers With Candy in late 1999, and I did it only because it was advertised so heavily on Comedy Central, right alongside the Upright Citizens' Brigade. Once I saw it, though, I was hooked. It took only one episode.

I got friends into the show, and we'd throw out the oddest of lines to each other just on the off-chance that we'd all "get it." We'd say things with no relevance like "massage each other's ... clitorises" or "but I want to be a cheerleader" or "Greeks are just Jews without the money." It was hard not to find a line we didn't like or want to repeat after seeing this show.

That's not to mention all the minorities who were skewered by obviously unfeeling and unthinking characters. No one was spared the branding iron here.

From David Sedaris' sometimes crazy little sister Amy and a cast of Second City alums emerged a truly unique and gut-busting but, at the same time, subtly humorous opus to the After-School Special. From racism and classicism to bisexuality and class bullying, Strangers With Candy made the case for smart writing in an irreverent setting. Every line could make you think or laugh, but the timing was so quick that all one could do was chuckle and move on. It was hard not to pay attention to every minute of this show.

Of course it's a shame that Comedy Central canceled the show after only two seasons, but at least the show went out with a bang (literally – Flatpoint High was blown up).

What made the show most memorable for me was that, no matter how well-written and acted each of the offbeat characters was, none could add up to the unbelievably insane Jerri Blank. Everyone made a point to chastise, take advantage of, and downright abuse Jerri, but somehow she could pick herself up and move on and still come out with the best lines in the entire show. Sometimes, when a show takes off, although an ensemble is most important, you find that incidental and auxiliary characters become the mainstay of the show's success (like Kramer and Costanza surrounding Jerry on Seinfeld). In this case, Sedaris held her own with a kind of aplomb that only a seasoned professional can do.

Whether she was being threatened by her brother Derick ("dick lick"), overlooked by her step-mother (the brilliant Deborah Rush), pleaded with for restraint by her hapless pal Orlando, happily ignored by her art teacher Mr. Jellineck (longtime co-conspirator Paul Dinello), forced into community service by the Hitlerish Principal Onyx Blackman, or harassed unnecessarily by the ultimately selfish and tight-fisted Mr. Noblet (writing the word "me" on the board when instructing his students to "tell me..."), Jerri somehow survived countless challenges and came out learning the absolute wrong thing.

My favorite lesson: "The poor are a filthy, thieving people." You have to see the episode to understand it.

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9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant Satire, soon to be a movie

Author: Philloz3000 from Texas
2 September 2004

Amy Sederis is brilliant as Jerri Blank amid a cast of other excellent comic writer/actors, including Paul Dinello and "The Daily Show's" Stephen Colbert. It had me consistently on the floor with it's inventiveness, audacity and vicious wit (i.e., the prayer at the Families of Alcoholics meeting: "Dear God, please give me the strength to blame those who did this to me, to accuse those who didn't, and the wisdom to know the difference.") It's long since disappeared from Comedy Central, but DVDs of Seasons One and Two are out, and a movie version by the same team is on its way for 2005. BTW, whoever suggested that the writers were "white supremists," I sincerely hope you are joking. It's called satire, in the vein of Swift and Voltaire.

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13 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Mind-numbingly hilarious!

Author: VichusSmith from New York
28 September 2004

I watched a few episodes of this show when it originally aired and now Comedy Central has it in reruns. I have to say that the series was just hilarious. It had no laugh track and an uber-ridiculous concept that provokes a ton of laughs because the main character, Geri, is so old, nasty looking (thanks to great makeup on an otherwise cute-as-hell Amy Sedaris) and more experienced than her other schoolmates.

What makes it even funnier than seeing Geri go through the motions in high school as an old woman is the parody of the cheesy afterschool specials that each episode takes the form of.

This show is just damn great, and I think that it would be killer if they renewed the series and put it on before Reno 911. Hey, I can dream, can't I?

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Two longshoremen fighting over a squirrel...

Author: Greg Gorelick from San Diego
14 September 2004

This is a comedy of epic proportions. I was originally annoyed, being a fan of British and subversive humor, but the first time I actually sat an watched an episode all the way through I was hooked. There's some familiar faces from SCTV, and Amy Sedaris is a genius. I'd look up the name, but Ill just call him the Daily Show corrospondent...classic. I love a show where nothing is sacred, where no race, ethnicity, or religious belief is not nailed to the wall... political correctness be damned.

I will NEVER FORGET this line... the principal and associate hold up a controversial picture of Jerri naked spread eagled... and the principal says "...not sure... it looks like two longshoremen fighting over a squirrel." Epic. Catch it late night on Comedy Central, or CC on Demand if your cable allows it.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Super Sit-Com!

Author: aleksei chmura (achmura@erols.com) from New York
8 May 1999

This new show from Comedy Central is completely loopy! Give it a few minutes of your time and you too will succomb! Amy Sedaris is outrageously funny as Jerry Blank, a 47 year old reprehensible ex-convict trying to graduate Flashpoint High "right where she left off." Her catatonic senior citizen father and alcoholic and abusive step-mother are both superb!

Jerry always struggles to do the right thing. She rarely succeeds. Every episode Jerry has a new pet. A lobster (that is boiled accidentally). A turtle (who is shot out the living room sliding glass doors after a serious one-on-one with a golf club, and is later cremated and commingled with Jerry's mother's ashes). And a constrictor (nothing untoward it seems happens to this pet). Poor Jerry, as she struggles to gain weight to play Ma in Raisin in the Sun and spy on a nice classmate who the teachers feel is retarded!

At the end of each episode I feel gratified that Jerry never does the right thing, but that is ok. In fact the episodes end happily because Jerry gave someone an overdose of home brewed drugs or she snitched on her retarded friend who stood up for her. The list of Jerry's misdeeds is long, but as her teacher, Mr. Jellinek, advises her, "...stick with what you know!"

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