How's Your News? is about a group of mentally disabled individuals that travel the United States in a van and interview people at random. Anyone who walks by could fall victim to their ambitious reporting, which usually involves questions such as "How's your news?" and "How are you doing?"
If this sounds like your thing, then you may be in luck; if you're me, making fun of mentally disabled people is not my cup of tea. After all, How's Your News?, produced by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, seems to have the intention of empowering these individuals, but in the end only capitalizes on them, taking advantage of their disabilities to make this show slightly entertaining. There is one man who can't control his motor functions (and thus is pretty much useless as a reporter), one who can't speak intelligble English, a man whose impressions of other people sound all the same and a woman who takes things way too seriously. The only reason How's Your News? is entertaining is because mentally disabled people are funny. If that sounds politically correct to you, then this may be your film.
In terms of DVDs, How's Your News? is pretty loaded, so if you actually like this kind of thing you may get a kick out of some the features offered on the disc. Aside from the full hour-and-a-half reel of footage that follows the "reporters" from one side of the country to the other, features include an audio commentary, a behind-the-scenes "making-f" video, and interview with the "South Park" guys, a photo gallery and additional footage. The Pilot Episode is also includes in the special features, and serves as a more edited and faster-paced version of the show, which is more of a tolerable length to watch.
The DVD for How's Your News? is packed with extras, but the show itself leaves little to desired for as it seems to be relying more on the unintentional goofiness of the people for laughs than anything else. This may be funnier to people who like that kind of thing, but for the rest of us... Well, enough said.
Special Feature description:
Audio commentary with the entire cast, The original pilot, Footage of festival appearances and Q&A's with the cast after sold-out screenings in Toronto, New York, LA and Amsterdam, The Independent Film Channel's vanguard show, Split Screen, goes behind the scenes at How's Your News?, NPR's This American Life talks to HYN director Arthur Bradford, and to reporters Ron Simonsen and Sue Harrington, HYN reporter Ron Simonsen interviews his lifelong idol, actor Chad Everett. An interview with Matt Stone and Trey Parker conducted by the HYN reporters, Photo Gallery
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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