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Viva La Bam - The Complete First Season Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 October 2004

Viva La Bam: The First Season

MTV Home Entertainment/Paramount Home Video
MPAA rating: NR
starring: Bam Margera, Ryan Dunn, Raab Himself, Brandon DiCamillo, Rake Yohn, Phil Margera, April Margera, Don Vito
TV broadcast year: 2003
DVD release year: 2004
film rating: Three-and-a-Half Stars
sound/picture rating: Two-and-a-Half Stars
reviewed by: Bryan Dailey

When MTV’s “Jackass” finally went off the air, two spinoff shows were created to fill the void. Steve-o and Chris Pontius became the stars of a relatively educational show centered around animals and exotic locations titled “Wildboyz.” Professional skateboarder and “Jackass” regular Bam Margera, most famous for terrorizing his parents in rural Pennsylvania, assembled his cast of local friends for the MTV series titled “Viva La Bam.” The format is almost identical to Margera’s segments on “Jackass” and this two-disc set contains all eight episodes, as well as a disc full of bonus features, including bundles of outtakes, a photo gallery and other assorted goodies, including music videos and TV commercial spots for the show.

Dingy, grainy and raw are the only ways to describe the footage and the action of the segments that make up “Viva La Bam.” The skies of rural Pennsylvania are seemingly overcast and dark. Margera’s kooky cast of cohorts all seemingly sport scruffy beards, goatees, tattoos and all have little concern for their own safety. The crew consists of “Jackass” regulars Ryan Dunn, Raab Himself, Brandon DiCamillo and Rake Yohn, along with Margera’s parents April and Phil and uncle Don Vito who has such a thick Philly accent that there are actually subtitles on the screen when he speaks. The Bam-ites like to have slap fights and film it, terrorize Bam’s father Phil by any means necessary and do some of the wackiest stunts you could ever imagine. There is no educational value to this show. It is pure debauchery and mayhem, yet somehow Margera always has the love and support of his dad Phil and mom April.

Bam has always terrorized his overweight father Phil Margera, even before the days of “Jackass.” This family tradition is alive and well on “Viva La Bam” as he begins his show with the first episode titled "Phil’s Hell Day." Bam and crew try their hardest to really piss off the good-natured Phil by doing things such as replacing his toothpaste with ground beef in a tube, installing a fire pole in the family living room and ironing small cartoon hamburger logos on all of Phil's clothes. This still does not anger Phil, but when Bam and the gang trash Phil’s beloved van, they finally set him off. Being the good son that he is, though, Bam presents Phil with a brand new SUV for being a good sport for the segment.

Continuing with the ever-popular theme of giving Phil a hard time, Bam decides to force Phil to go on a diet for a full 24 hours. In what he calls "Don’t Feed Phil Day," Bam spreads word throughout the surrounding area that for one day, no one is allowed to give any food to Phil. All of the food in the home is locked away and Phil is constantly monitored. Being well in excess of 300 lbs, Phil has not missed many meals, so this is torture on him. Once Phil realizes that he can’t find any food at home, he hits the street in an attempt to find some grub at a local eatery. Bam is already ahead of Phil, as he has peppered all of the walls of Phil’s favorite eateries with posters that say "Don’t Feed Phil" and have Phil’s picture on it. Bam is scheduled to go to see one of his favorite bands called Turbonegro, but when he hears that Phil has ordered some pizzas from a few cities away, Bam rushes home, bringing everyone from the concert, including the band, in a bunch of vans and busses so they can have the concert in April’s living room.

Some incredible skateboarding action is intermingled in the show. On one particularly skate-themed show, Bam dreams up the crazy idea of turning his parents’ house into a skateboard park. The living room becomes a ramp and the living room is a long runway. Tony Hawk and a host of other professional skaters come in to have a skate party while Bam’s parents are out of town. They come home and April practically has a heart attack when she seems her son riding a half pipe in her living room. The look on her face is almost as priceless and the look she has when Bam and his gang turn her conservative purple PT Cruiser into a fire-breathing customized street rod.

The grand finale of the show is the epic episode titled "Scavenger Hunt." In this episode, the band The Bloodhound Gang joins the fun as the crew breaks up into several teams and sets out to complete as many of the bizarre tasks on the list as possible. The stunts range from relatively simple things like getting homeless person to autograph a pizza box to such bizarre items like bowling a strike at a bowling alley with nacho cheese in your shoes, getting hit by a ball at a batting cage or getting a piggyback ride from a police officer. This competitive format of a scavenger hunt filled with oddball tasks is the perfect opportunity to see nonstop insane hijinks from the Bam crew. In the end, Bam’s team wins and, as his prize, they drop April’s upright piano on a junked-up old car.

In the end of season one, the Margeras were actually given notice that they are being kicked out of the town for a long list of reasons, including illegal building without permits, noise violations, illegal skateboarding events and public nuisance complaints. This is just another day in the life of Bam and his family. “Viva La Bam” might frighten the weak of heart out there, but this a lot of love between Bam and his parents and friends.

more details
sound format: Dolby Digital 5.1
aspect ratio: 4.3:1
special features: Commentary Track featuring Bam Margera, April Margera, Phil Margera, Ryan Dunn, Raab Himself, Brandon DiCamillo, Rake Yohn and Tim Glomb; Never-Before-Seen Footage, Including Director’s Cut of “Bam’s Skate Park” and “Vegas Hypnotist”; Four Music Videos; Scavenger Hunt List; Photo Gallery; Q&A** holes
comments: email us here...
reference system
DVD player: Kenwood DV-403
receiver: Kenwood VR-407
main speakers: Paradigm Atom
center speaker: Paradigm CC-170
rear speakers: Paradigm ADP-70
subwoofer: Paradigm PDR-10
monitor: 36-inch Sony XBR

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