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All-American Girl - The Complete Series


TITLE: ALL-AMERICAN GIRL - THE COMPLETE SERIES


Info:

DVD Release Date: January 31, 2006 (Shout! Factory)
Color/1994-95
MSRP: $39.95
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 19
Running time: approx. 450 minutes
Audio Tracks: English - Stereo
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; None; Closed Captioned
Special Features: 4 audio commentaries and “All-American Girl: A Look Back with Margaret Cho and Amy Hill” featuring new interviews.


Introduction:

All-American Girl, the groundbreaking comedy series inspired by the life of stand-up star Margaret Cho, brought an Asian- American family to a television series for the first time. Originally broadcast in 1994-1995 on ABC, the show featured Cho as the very Westernized Margaret Kim, a San Francisco hipster delightfully at odds with her traditional-but-screwy Korean family, and allowed viewers a comic glimpse of the culture clashes that constantly ensued. Margaret Cho was recognized at a young age as a comedic talent. Arsenio Hall introduced her to late-night audiences, Bob Hope put her on a prime-time special and, seemingly overnight, Margaret Cho became a national celebrity.

Now available for the first time ever, enjoy the complete series of this much underrated short-lived sitcom. You can see what you missed the first time! Starring Margaret Cho as Margaret Kim, Maddie Corman as her friend Ruthie, Judy Gold as her other friend Gloria, Amy Hill as Grandma Kim, Clyde Kusatsu as her father Benny Kim, Jodi Long as her mother Katherine Kim, J.B. Quon as her little brother Eric and B.D. Wong as her older brother Stuart.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

Some notable episodes include: the very first episode “Mom, Dad, This is Kyle” in which Margaret brings home a non-Korean boyfriend much to the dismay of her mother especially; “Who’s the Boss?” is the one where Margaret gets promoted at the cosmetics counter; “Take My Family, Please” is the one where Margaret does a comedy act about her family at a bar but little does she know her family is there; “The Apartment” is the one where she moves out and moves in with her friends and realizes one of her friends like to be in the nude at home; “A Night at the Oprah” is the episode where Grandma gets tickets to the Oprah Winfrey Show; and “Pulp Sitcom” has Quentin Tarantino guest starring as a criminal.

Guest starring is Oprah Winfrey & Jack Black in “A Night at the Oprah,” Quentin Tarantino in “Pulp Sitcom,” Joyce Van Patten in "Loveless in San Francisco," Christine Estabrook in “Venus de Margaret,” and Mariska Hargitay & Vicky Lawrence in the attempted spin-off episode "Young Americans.”


Packaging:

This four disc set comes in a nice digipak. The box has a nice photo of the cast with the American flag in the background shaded in red. The back of the box is also in red and has a nice photo of Cho on the left with show synopsis, cast info, and special features in the middle. On the right side it has a disc by disc breakdown of episodes. The case has the same front and back as the box. When we open the case once, we get a detailed breakdown of each disc, discs one and two on the left and three and four on the right. It comes with episode title, original airdate, and a logline from the episode. Bonus features are also labeled. Opening the case another time, we get to the discs. They are all in red. Margaret is on disc one, Grandma on disc two, the mom on disc three and the dad on disc four. When we remove each disc, a nice photo of each is behind each disc.

A flyer with Cho’s latest DVD, Margaret Cho: Assassin is included in the case. Disc one holds episodes 1-4 & the featurette, disc two holds episodes 5-9, disc three holds episodes 10-14; and the final disc holds episodes 15-19. There is audio commentary on each disc.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are very well done. For disc one, trailer of other Shout! Products play before the main menu starts. Trailers for The Job, Freaks & Geeks, Undeclared and Margaret Cho: Assassin are featured. The main menu has a nice opening with different pictures before getting to the main screen. The theme song plays in the background and it loops. There is a Play All choice then the episodes are listed. If there is audio commentary, you have an option to have it on or off. The Bonus Featurette is on disc one.


Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio quality is very good. The show is not even 12 years old yet, so it is still very good. I remember watching the show in its original run and I liked it then and like it still now. It was very racy for its time and the jokes still caught me off guard. Like when grandma was watching a porn movie, Free My Willy. The Booberly Hillbillies was also mentioned. Very funny stuff. Each episode is unedited from its original broadcast. Episodes run in the range of 22:15 to 23:15 or so, how they should be for 1994. Chapter stops are available for each episode.


Special Features:

The show lasted one season, but that doesn’t mean there are no extras! We have 4 audio commentaries (one on each disc) and a nice interview featurette. On disc one, we have audio commentary for the first episode from Margaret Cho. A nice interview featurette is also on disc one. Amy Hill (Grandma) and Margaret Cho are talking to each other. It runs 19:42 and has clips playing even. Amy was younger than what she looked as grandma. There was a lot of make up to make her look older. The grandma character was very popular, probably the most popular character. They also talk about all the great guest stars and the famous all “white” episode. A hilarious clip of grandma ends this featurette.

On disc two we have audio commentary by Hill and Cho on “Take My Family, Please.” On disc three we have audio commentary from Hill & Cho on “The Apartment.” And Cho does commentary on disc four for the episode “Pulp Sitcom.” All of the episodes that have commentary are memorable episodes.


Final Comments:

At long last, this show is on DVD. I have not seen this show since its original run. Touchstone Television started really to produce sitcoms starting in the 90s. I want Thunder Alley on DVD next. Short lived sitcoms are so good to have on DVD. This set is very well done and the show is very funny. I liked it back then and I still like it. There are some things I had forgotten so special thanks to Shout! for releasing this set. Strane Touchstone/Buena Vista didn’t do it themselves, but that’s OK. The interview and commentaries are worth it. If you have not seen the show, buy it, it is very funny.


Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 2/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 5/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 01/21/06

To purchase the DVD, click below and help support SitcomsOnline.com:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000BXJ1Y2/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20


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