Wainy Days: Seasons 1-4
by Jef Burnham
Now available on DVD from Salient Media.
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David Wain’s star-studded comedy series Wainy Days has made its way to DVD, and even if you follow the series online, you’ll likely find the wealth of bonus material included on this release well worth the purchase. Best known for his involvement as co-writer/director of the 2001 cult comedy Wet Hot American Summer, not to mention MTV’s The State and the comedy team Stella, Wain here applies his irreverent brand of humor to the web series format. This release collects the 32 episodes of Wainy Days’ first four seasons (season five can currently be seen on the Wainy Days website). Mind you, as webisodes, the running time of each clocks in at about five minutes for a total running time of 170 minutes.
The series’ simple premise finds a fictionalized David Wain navigating the New York dating scene, which of course operates under the absurd logic of any David Wain comedy. Which means anything can happen. Here, the fictional Wain routinely attends awkward dinner-dates, juggles two women at once, falls in love with the wrong woman, works in a sweatshop, unwittingly becomes a drug kingpin, and turns into Rashida Jones, Jason Sudeikis, and Rob Corddry. Admittedly, it takes some time for the series to find its footing, but once it does, Wainy Days becomes increasingly difficult to step away from. This makes having the DVD with its “play all” feature incredibly handy. Additionally, the DVD release enhances the experience of the series as episodes are intercut with scenes from an absurd pajama party celebrating the DVD, during which Wain and other cast members talk about their experiences on set and, of course, make out with the spirit of a slaughtered cow.
Wain’s previous successes in film and television have obviously provided him with an impressive stable of performers from which to draw for such projects, because Wainy Days boasts an incredible rotating cast. Hell, the very first storyline in the series finds Elizabeth Banks appearing as Wain’s love interest! In addition to Banks and the few others listed above, the series’ incredible array of guest stars and recurring cast members also includes (deep breath now) Paul Rudd, Michael Showalter, Michael Ian Black, Amanda Peet, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, Zandy Hartig, Ken Marino, Julie Bowen, Joe Lo Truglio, Erica Oyama, Sabrina Lloyd, Steve Agee, Rosemarie DeWitt, Kerri Kenney, A.D. Miles, Lucy Punch, Carly Craig, Matt Ballard, Thomas Lennon, and Jonah Hill.
In addition to the pajama part cut-scenes, the disc features a host of bonus material including outtakes, a “Make-out Megamix,” a promo for Season 4, a Wainy Day’s Live script reading, Garfunkel & Oates singing “David Wain is Sexy,” audio commentaries, and three David Wain Shorts: “Aisle Six,” “Portrait,” and “Real World.”
Jef Burnham is a writer and educator living in Chicago, Illinois. While waging war on mankind from a glass booth in the parking lot of a grocery store, Jef managed to earn a degree in Film & Video from Columbia College Chicago, and is now the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com.
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