Clone High: The First Complete Season

An ingenious premise that lived up to its potential with every one of its regrettably short first (and only) season episode, Clone High is in good company with a multitude of other brilliant shows cancelled before their time. In the world of Clone High, genetic copies of famous historical figures, created by the Evil Board of Shadowy Figures, are entering their awkward teenage years. Besides struggling with everyday teenage problems like popularity and open-mouth kissing, these teens are also tasked with the difficult job of living up to their genetic forebears, be they Gandhi, Joan of Arc, or the Rat Pack. Stacked to the rafters with historical figures both obvious and obscure, the show's central character is the every-boy of Abe Lincoln, a tall, side-burned misfit who pines hopelessly for Cleopatra. While this complete set includes only 13 episodes, each one warrants repeat viewings to catch every subtle joke buried in the informed and extremely clever writing. Most episodes feature the kind of stilted story lines one might expect from a typical teenage soap opera, but the writing and basic premise of the show serve to make a mockery of the whole format. In one of the first episodes, JFK and Abe face off in that most harrowing of high school popularity contests: the student election. Abe edges ahead with the help of an X-Stream Blu drink sponsorship, hilariously lampooning the idea of youth marketing with painfully real ad agents who use the word "E-mail" as if it were an exclamation of total hip-ness. With a season finale featuring John Stamos and a prom called "One Magical Night at the Meat Locker," the show closes on an unbelievable high. The DVD sadly features a bare-bones presentation and features, unlike similarly short-lived shows, such as Greg the Bunny or Family Guy, who put together wonderfully involved DVD releases. A few video clips, almost all of which are under 30 seconds, are all we are given here. Thankfully, the show stands on its own to make this a worthwhile release. (Nelvana/Kaboom)