DVD Review: Todd & the Book of Pure Evil - The Complete Second Season

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The flat-out hilarious, gory, foul-mouthed Todd & the Book of Pure Evil is a Canadian television show focused on four high school kids trying to destroy a powerful book that wreaks havoc on all who encounter it. The 13-episode second (and unfortunately final) season is now available as a two-DVD set. Take it from me, seeing season one beforehand isn’t a prerequisite. I jumped right in with season two, quickly figured out what was going on at Crowley High, and laughed pretty much incessantly for the entire run.

Fearnet aired Todd in the U.S., while in Canada it was on the Space Channel. Apparently a “clean” version of each episode was produced for early-evening airings, but I can’t imagine the show in such a form. Pretty much nonstop double entendre, sexual or scatological sight gags, and endlessly inventive raunchy language, Todd is not for the easily offended. Todd (Alex House), his platonic friend Jenny (Maggie Castle), his best friend Curtis (Billy Turnbull), and Curtis’ girlfriend Hannah (Melanie Leishman) are the group trying to eradicate the Book of Pure Evil.
Todd featured (380x213).jpgEvery episode finds it getting into random students’ hands, who use its powers to change (and ultimately ruin) their lives. Besides the book itself, guidance counselor Atticus Murphy (Chris Leavins) serves as the main adversary. Atticus heads up a Satanic cult that seeks to gain possession of the book. Jason Mewes turns up periodically as Crowley High’s pot-harvesting, pervert janitor. It’s not hard to see how this gag-heavy, plot-light show gained a cult following. The jokes are hit-or-miss, but most of them hit—thanks to the game cast. Castle and Leishman, as the two girls in Todd’s group, are particularly adept at delivering the often outrageously tasteless, vulgar dialogue.

Todd’s brand of humor will likely appeal strongly to fans of Community, Adult Swim shows, Kevin Smith movies, and anything else that trades on unbridled snarkiness and anything-goes parody-oriented humor. Entertainment One’s complete second season DVD includes a generous selection of special features that fans should enjoy. Several episodes include cast and crew commentaries. There are extended and deleted scenes, as well as extended numbers from the musical episode, “2 Girls, 1 Tongue.” There are also some standard production featurettes and bloopers.

It’s saying something when jumping cold into a show’s second season leaves a viewer wanting to go back and check out season one. Count me as a convert, glad to have been introduced to the show (even out of order). For anyone mourning the cancellation, take solace in the fact that a successful crowd-funding campaign has allowed for production of the forthcoming Todd & the Book of Pure Evil: The End of the End animated feature.

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Chaz Lipp is a Seattle-based freelance writer whose focus is music and film. As “The Other Chad,” he has written for the online magazine Blogcritics since 2008. When he’s not writing, Chaz can be found trolling jazz clubs, attempting to find somewhere to play his sax (whether anyone wants to hear…

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