Tracey Takes On...: The Complete & Final Seasons

Tracey Takes On...: The Complete & Final Seasons
If not consistently laugh-out-loud funny, Tracey Ullman's chameleon-like ability to transform into a variety of characters of different gender, race and age, with requisite voice, body language and vernacular, is nothing short of impressive. Given her overt comic sensibilities and astounding range, it's strange that she's more often known as the woman whose show introduced the world to The Simpsons than as a full-blown comedienne unto herself, at least in mainstream circles. Sure, she bounced around a few movies back when The Tracey Ullman Show was on the air but aside from Tracey Takes On… and State of the Union, she's done little more than stuff a two-litre soda bottle up her ying-yang in A Dirty Shame. Regardless, it's great to see the final two seasons of Tracey Takes On… make it to DVD, especially given how long it's been since the series aired. The three-disc set boasts all the episodes from seasons three and four, minus a few sketches here and there, along with extensive outtakes with Virginia (the British bitch), Ruby (the aged alcoholic Hollywood makeup artist) and Rayleen (the Australian stuntwoman). Each episode focuses on a specific subject, such as smoking, drugs, lies, erotica, and so on, with various characters making real life observations and interactions on the subject. For example, in the "Hollywood" episode, Ruby remarks on Mexicans leaving their condoms around the Hollywood sign, while Chic (the Middle-Eastern cab driver) tries to sell a screenplay that Penny Marshall inadvertently left in his taxi. Later episodes feature the likes of Helen Mirren and Jennifer Jason Leigh, alongside Julie Kavner, who makes regular appearances on the series as a steroid-taking lesbian golf pro and a curmudgeonly Jewish senior. Even those unfamiliar with Ms. Ullman's particular shtick should find a thing or two to laugh about within these six-plus hours of inappropriate hijinxs, even if some of the pop culture references are a little dated (Titanic, O.J. Simpson, etc.). (Eagle Rock)