Everyone knows that salesmen are slimeballs, right? And of all the slimeballs, certainly everyone knows that car salesman are the biggest slimeballs, right? And, taking into account the entire car sales industry, most assuredly everyone knows that U-S-E-D car salesmen have always and will always be the biggest offenders, right? So long as you buy the stereotype, then chances are I’ve got just the vehicle you’re looking for. It’s called CALL ME FITZ, and it’s a beaute! No, the mileage ain’t all that high. Of course, it’s in perfect shape. And why wouldn’t you want to take this nasty beast for a spin around the block? You know what I’m saying? Take my word for it: if you’re looking for laughs, I think you’re in the market for a few episodes of this.
(NOTE: The following review will contain minor spoilers necessary solely for the discussion of plot and characters. If you’re the kind of reader who prefers a review entirely spoiler-free, then I’d encourage you to skip down to the last three paragraphs for my final assessment. If, however, you’re accepting of a few modest hints at ‘things to come,’ then read on …)
Richard Fitzpatrick (played by a vastly more grizzled former teen heart-throb Jason Priestly) is about as foul-mouthed, dirty-minded, morally-bankrupt used car salesman as you can find. Not only will he take your cash in a substandard business transaction, but he’ll also ‘bang’ your wife while you’re not looking. There’s no line Fitz won’t cross, and, so long as he surrounds himself with an even wider circle of con artists, deadbeats, and lowlifes, there will always be another line he’ll be looking for.
I have to admit that I was entirely unfamiliar with FITZ when the release showed up in my mailbox. I had heard about it via some promotional emails and a brief exchange I had with the distribution company to request a copy, but, otherwise, this Jason Priestley ‘vehicle’ came in entirely under my radar. Methinks that benefitted my enjoyment of what ended up being one of the most repulsive, most offensive, and most deliberately crazy half-hour programs I’ve ever seen: there’s nothing redeeming about this lead car salesman, nor any of those people he’d call friends. Trust me when I say that even the most good-natured character audiences meet in these 13 episodes harbors some dark, twisted secret that’ll change the way you see him (or her).
But that’s what makes it work. Entirely.
The problem I usually encounter in shows of this nature is that the occasional ray of sunlight is never enough to elevate the storytelling and performances to be truly ‘entertaining’ much less watchable, but so much of FITZ is pure, unadulterated, brutal farce. Each and every character is served up to be properly skewered by any and every morale conviction you think he or she may possess. The unending parade of comic debauchery ends up being a near-perfect combination of smart storytelling, ludicrous situations, and enough F-bombs to make a rapper blush.
Bravo, Mr. Priestley and your loyal co-stars! It isn’t often I praise depravity. But when it works, it works, and there’s enough comic intensity in here to keep a nun’s interest. Who knows? It might even bring her to sin!
CALL ME FITZ: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON is produced by Amaze Film + Television, Big Motion Pictures, and E1 Entertainment. DVD distribution is being handled by E One (aka Entertainment One). As for the technical specifications, I gotta confess: I almost tossed this set in the ‘junk bin’ based on the horrible audio dubbing of the third season premiere episode – I stuck it out until the second episode, and, thank God, the audio quirk went away. As for the special features, all I can say is that they’re short but sweet: there’s a surprising lack of anything that resembles a blooper reel in favor of much more basic fodder named “Inside Call Me Fitz,” Meet Melody Gray,” Sizzle Reel,” a Season 3 featurette, and “The World of Fitz,” all of which play out more like bloated commercials than they do true behind-the-scene productions.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. It may not be sweet and it may not be pretty, but there’s some an enchanting mix of crassness and vulgarity that I couldn’t look away … not even for a single episode. CALL ME FITZ: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON is delightfully wicked, unnervingly zany, and incessantly vulgar in just the right measure – a perfect concoction for those of you who rejoice in all things exactly the opposite of political correctness. And Jason Priestley? Who knew that squeaky-clean exterior could so effectively hide one of the most effective users and abusers of unending F-bombs so far as these 328 minutes prove. No; I’ll stop short of calling it perfect – it has more than a fair share of shtick that so commonly drags lesser shows to their graves – but it’s about as close as this reviewer could, should, or would want. Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em, stink stains: Fitz rules.
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at E One (aka Entertainment One) provided me with a DVD copy of CALL ME FITZ: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON by request for the expressed purposes of completing this review.
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