Nothing Sloppy, Nothing Wet: 'Stella: Season One'
Dude, of course I've seen the infamous Stella Shorts: 1998—2002 DVD. Dozens of times, actually. Maybe even hundreds! Okay, probably not hundreds, but dozens and dozens of times for sure. Like every other brainwashed Stella follower in the world, I have many of the skits memorized ("Can I hold the purppy?"), and I quote them often (to an annoying degree, no doubt) and nearly hyperventilate in a fit of giggles at the mere thought of some classic moments ("You think I'm some sloppy wet pussy for you to fuck!? Is that what you think!? Do you think I'm just some sloppy wet pussy for you to FUCK!?"). I think Stella—the comedy trio starring David Wain, Michael Ian Black, and Michael Showalter—as it exists in those skits is absolute genius. Genius. And I'll be the first to admit it (get it?).
When given the freedom and means to do whatever the hell they please (whether it be in those skits or movies like Wet Hot American Summer, which was penned by Showalter and Wain, directed by Wain, and stars Showalter and Black), the Stella boys are unstoppable. Even just standing together they're hilarious. They could sit on a stage and silently eat a cream pie and I'd still fall over laughing. I know, riiiight?
But this love, this passion, this unhealthy obsession of mine that burns for Stella doesn't make me completely blind to the trio's faults. As magical as they are, I know they're capable of failure, and while failure is perhaps a strong word, I'm not going to lie and tell you the Comedy Central Stella sitcom based on their skits is their best work. It is not. There's a reason it only lasted one season, after all.
There are still bright moments in the two-disc collection. It isn't the same as the unbridled and bold hilarity the trio has come to be known for, but even cleaned up, the boys' chemistry is still strong as they get into zany adventures like growing vegetables, opening a coffee shop, and writing a book. It's just not... quite as strong, is all. But there are some familiar faces from the old skits throughout (Nina Hellman and Zak Orth) and famous people guest star in every episode (including Edward Norton—so hot—Topher Grace, and Janeane Garofalo).
While it isn't Stella's finest, we must remember to blame the game, not the players. Yes, Comedy Central can be quite permissive—more so than many other television stations—but in the end it's still cable television and it's still under FCC regulation. That means there's no "sloppy wet pussy to fuck," there are no racial slurs said with a painfully straight face, there's hardly any talk about staying behind to "rub one out," and there certainly isn't a liberal sprinkling of dildos throughout each episode. In fact, you could maybe even watch the shows with your mom without giving much offense. Sad.