Though he was certainly a key player, David Wain sort of flew under the radar during his days with the cult favorite sketch comedy group The State. He didn't have any real breakout characters on the group's 1990s MTV show, and never got the air time that cast mates like Ken Marino or Michael Ian Black received. That's why it's been so much fun to watch his post-State career take off, as he has turned into one of the most talented and prolific behind-the-camera voices in the current comedy landscape. In addition to writing and directing new classics like Wet Hot America Summer and Role Models, Wain has done stellar television work on shows ranging from Children's Hospital to Party Down to New Girl. But nowhere is Wain's comedy more unrestrained and purely expressed than in Wainy Days, the web series he created and stars in, and the entirety of which has now been collected and released as Wainy Days: Season 1-4 on DVD.
Wain stars as a version of himself, only here he works in a sweatshop with his closest friends and is desperately looking for love as he approaches his 40s. Each episode runs only a couple of minutes, and typically focuses on the romantic exploits of Wain and a revolving door of beautiful, talented comedic actresses including Elizabeth Banks, Rashida Jones, Jennifer Westfeldt, Janeane Garofalo, Saffron Burrows, Julie Bowen, Lake Bell and more. Also making guest appearances are Jason Sudekis, Ken Marino, Nick Offerman, Paul Rudd, Rob Corddry, Tom Lennon and Michael Ian Black. The show plays like a who's-who of Wain's friends and collaborators.
For fans of Wain's previous projects, including Wet Hot, Stella and, of course, The State, Wainy Days Season 1-4 is another home run from one of the funniest, most absurd comedy filmmakers working today. Every episode offers a brilliant mix of crass vulgarity and sunny positivity, with the occasional bit of physical comedy thrown in for good measure (Wain is forever shoving random strangers on the street). The short-film format requires no continuity and gives Wain complete freedom to go in any silly direction he wants, and there's something incredibly liberating about the total lack of restrictions on what can be done on Wainy Days. Each new episode is like a reset, affording the show a kind of live-action cartoon vibe, and Wain, who proves here to be as good a comedic actor as he is a director, pitches his performance accordingly. There isn't an episode of Wainy Days that doesn't offer some really big laughs and a lot of quotable dialogue.
In addition to offering all 32 episodes of the show (which can be viewed all together via the "Play All" option, saving viewers from fumbling for the remote every seven minutes to start the next episode), Wainy Days Season 1-4 includes an excellent collection of bonus features. A few of Wain's earliest films are on hand (made during his days at NYU), which are interesting purely from a fan perspective; even better are the very funny outtakes and additional material from each episode (including Wain reuniting with several of his guest stars to reflect on the show). The great musical comedy duo Garfunkel & Oates (also known as Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci) contribute an original song, "David Wain is Sexy." Truer words have rarely been spoken.
For anyone that's been a fan of Wain in the past, Wainy Days should be a no-brainer. For a pretty low price point (it can be found for around $10), the disc offers three hours of fantastic comedy and some stellar bonus features. Wainy Days Season 1-4 is faster, funnier and better than most comedy features of recent years.
- Release Date: 2/14/12
- Running Time: 170 minutes
- 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
- Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
- Not Rated
- Studio: Salient Media
DVD Bonus Features
- Bonus Material for all 32 episodes
- Audio Commentaries
- Wainy Days Live script reading
- Makeout Megamix
- Season Four Promo
- Garfunkel & Oates Perform "David Wain is Sexy
- David Wain Short Films: "Aisle Six," "Portrait," "Real World (Citibank)"