I was more than a bit of a troublemaker when I was younger, mostly due to my overactive imagination and the unwillingness to remain bored. When my physical situation is dull, I find my mind compensating with creative inspiration for ideas of less than traditional amusement. In other words, I would have fit right in with the guys of “Impractical Jokers,” despite the fact that they are fully grown and still amusing themselves through immature methods. The adult in me is somewhat embarrassed for these four grown men, while the kid in me is simply jealous of their job.
The premise of the show is creative and unique, but at its barest essence “Impractical Jokers” is simply a hidden camera show which cares much more about the embarrassment of those aware of the cameras than the revelation that these unsuspecting people are being filmed. There isn’t even a ‘reveal’ section of the show, where we would typically see the victim’s reactions when they discover that they are on a television show. The focus lies far more in the dynamic between the four friends participating.
What makes this show so engaging is the relationship between these four friends, who clearly did this kind of stuff long before there were cameras around to capture it. They provide challenges and dares for each other, all leading to some hilariously awkward social encounters. At the end of each episode a loser is chosen to complete one last embarrassing task. Some of the gags/tasks repeat throughout the season, but the hilarity varies with each unpredictable and unsuspecting participant pulled off the street. Sometimes it is as simple as a survey with embarrassing questions, and other times they are forced to get more hands on and sneaky.
The great thing about this show is that the longer you watch it, the more these guys begin to feel like a familiar group of friends. And it is shocking how amusing this premise remains, even after two seasons. Upping the amount of episodes from the first season from seventeen, all twenty-six season two episodes from this truTV hidden camera show are fit onto three DVDs, along with a handful of extras. There are bonus pranks and/or deleted scenes on each disc, as well as some making-of and behind-the-scenes featurettes on the last disc. Select episodes also come with an uncensored commentary track from the guys.
Entertainment Value: 10/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 7.5/10
Historical Significance: 7/10
Special Features: 6/10