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Anything But Love - Volume One (Seasons 1-2)


TITLE: ANYTHING BUT LOVE - VOLUME ONE (SEASONS 1-2)


Info:

DVD Release Date: February 6, 2007 (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)
Color/1989, 1989-90
MSRP: $39.98
Number of Discs: 3 (double sided)
Number of Episodes: 28
Running Time: approx. 661 minutes
Total Run Time of Special Features: approx. 32 minutes (not counting two audio commentaries)
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English & Spanish Languages; English & Spanish Subtitled; Closed Captioned
Special Features: 2 Episode Audio Commentaries, “All About Anything But Love” Featurette; and “Stories from the Set” Featurette.


Introduction:

From the moment they met on an airplane, you could see that Hannah and Marty would bond. Jamie Lee Curtis and Richard Lewis star as Hannah Miller and Marty Gold in this well-written sitcom from 20th Century Fox and Adam Productions (John Ritter's production company). They are best friends and co-workers who suppress their smoldering desires, not wanting to spoil their friendship. Once they do take the plunge, though, they quickly discover that falling in love is the easy part! Together, they face some of life's biggest challenges - love, work, love at work, and working at love - with humor, sophistication, and feeling in this unforgettable TV classic. Finally, the critically acclaimed, Emmy-nominated, and Golden Globe winning sitcom is on DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment with the first 28 episodes from seasons one and two.


Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

While the first six episodes seem very different from the next 22, this series was still great in the first season, I think. The show really took off and found itself by season two, but I did like a few season one episodes. ABC wanted to go a different direction after the first 6 episodes, so they did. It all started in the Pilot “Fear of Flying,” Hannah decides to quit teaching and leave her boyfriend, Jack, and return home to Chicago to become a writer. On the flight home to Chicago, Hannah meets and helps Marty deal with his fear of flying and he tells her about a research job open at Chicago Monthly, the magazine where he is a writer. On the extras, we find out that originally this was not the pilot. I will tell you more in extras section. Another good episode from season one is “This Is Not a Date,” where Hannah is down in the dumps and Marty gets dumped, so the two of them go out together, for her birthday and the end of his relationship with Alice but it's "not a date." The season two opener, “Ch-Ch-Changes,” is very big as it has many changes, Hannah returns from a vacation to find that the magazine has been bought by a corporation and the hip new editor comes in and begins to stir things up, especially Marty who considers resigning. Hannah becomes a writer, the magazine is changed to a weekly format and is renamed The Chicago Weekly and an English book and theater critic is brought into review television. “Hotel of the Damned” is a big episode. When the magazine needs a new cover story in less than 20 hours, Hannah & Marty must go to a hotel to write the story. While searching for an angle on the story, Hannah decides the mood may be just right to check out the bed with Marty. This is a well-written show that should have lasted longer, and really all the episodes are very good.

Some guest stars these two seasons include Wendie Malick, Tia Carrere, Richard Kind, Andy Dick, Courtney Thorne-Smith, and Gail O’Grady. For those wondering, John Ritter guest stars for a handful of episodes in season three (and four), which will be on DVD together very soon.


Packaging:

This 3-doubled-sided-disc set features all 28 episodes from the first two seasons of the sitcom. The packaging is a thin box with two slim cases inside. The box’s cover has a nice head shot of both Richard and Jamie Lee, with the logo on top in maroon-red and Jamie Lee Curtis and Richard Lewis credit on top of that. Volume One is indicated on the bottom right. The back of the box has three snapshots from the episodes, with two quotes, and a nice synopsis of the show & set. The features of the set are also stated. The cases have the same front cover as the box. The back of the cases have a notepad style image that tells us which episodes are on each disc, along with original airdates. The discs are double-sided, so there are no art/images on the discs itself. Slim case one holds disc one. Side A has the first season’s six episodes. Side B has the first four from season two. Discs two and three are on slim case two. Disc two Side A hold the next seven episodes from season two. Side B has the next four episodes. Disc three Side A has the next four episodes and Side B has the final three from season two. Special Features are also on Side B, but more on that in its own section below.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The main menus feature a different photo of Hannah & Marty on each disc, so three different styles. The show logo is present; the episodes are listed on the main menu itself with a little heart as a pointer. When we select an episode, we get to an episode menu where we can choose Play, Language Selection or Scene Selection. Language selection has options of English Stereo or Spanish Mono, with subtitled available in English and Spanish. Scene section has five different starting spots you can choose to start the scene. Chapter stops are available within the episodes as well, using your remote.


Video and Audio Quality:

The video and audio are both very good. On some of the outside shots of building and stuff, you can tell the video is great because I could see the water shining off the buildings clearly. The show is not too old and the audio is very listenable. In addition, it is in stereo, too, so it is nice sounding. The episodes are about 23 minutes or more in length. Starting with season two, the show had short teasers before the opening credits. These teasers would have Hannah and Mary talking about a topic at a diner. Things like vacations were talked about. I think that they are interesting and probably was cut out in syndication on Comedy Central.

Here is a list of the episodes by disc, including their running times:

Disc 1 Side A
-------------------
1. Pilot ­ Fear of Flying (23:32)
2. Deadline (23:57)
3. Burning the Toad (AKA: The Jack Story) (23:45)
4. Love and Death (23:21)
5. Dorothy Dearest (22:36)
6. This Is Not a Date (23:49)

Disc 1 Side B:
-------------------
7. Ch-Ch-Changes (23:35)
8. Those Lips, Those Thais (23:42)
9. It’s My Party And I’ll Schvitz If I Want To (23:42)
10. Scared Straight (23:42)

Disc 2 Side A
-------------------
11. Mr. Mom (23:40)
12. Just The Facts, Ma’am (23:40)
13. Bang, You’re Dead (23:15)
14. Truth or Consequences (23:28)
15. It’s Better to Have Loved and Flossed (23:56)
16. Hearts and Bones (23:52)
17. Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (23:31)

Disc 2 Side B
-------------------
18. Breast of Friends (23:18)
19. Hotel of the Damned (23:16)
20. All About Allison (23:55)
21. Proof It All Night (23:55)

Disc 3 Side A
-------------------
22. Three Men on a Match (23:48)
23. Partying Is Such a Sweet Sorrow (23:31)
24. The Ice Woman Cometh (23:56)
25. Hooray for Hollywood (23:56)

Disc 3 Side B
-------------------
26. Robin Q. Public (23:57)
27. The Days of Whine and Haroses (23:29)
28. Thirty...Something (23:56)


Special Features:

See, really Adam Productions conducted this set so 20th Century Fox gave us some extras! We get two episodes with audio commentary. The first audio commentary is from Jamie Lee Curtis AND Richard Lewis on the first episode “Fear of Flying.” The 23:32 episode starts the series off and Jamie Lee and Richard give great facts and stories from their days on the show. Jamie Lee seemed very happy to talk about it. The next commentary is on Disc 2 Side B for the episode “Hotel of the Damned.” The 23:16 is a pivotal episode and the director of that episode, Robert Berlinger, does the commentary. He also gives great facts and stories. I wish we had more commentaries from Jamie Lee and Richard--maybe on the next set when the John Ritter episodes come. At least I hope so.

The final two extras are all on disc three side B, and both are featurettes. The first one is the best one titled, “All About Anything But Love.” It runs 26:22 and has interviews with Jamie Lee Curtis, Richard Lewis, Wendy Kout, Robert M. Myman, Peter Noah, Janis Hirsch, Ann Magnuson, Michael Lessac, and Robert Berlinger. This is a very informative, interesting and detailed interview. I sure learned a lot from it. I never knew they made a pilot in 1988 but ABC passed on it because originally the show was about Hannah, Marty and Jack, with a love triangle in between them. It did not work but test audiences loved Marty & Hannah, so ABC redeveloped it for mid-season 1989, and it got picked-up. I wish we had gotten that unaired pilot as an extra. This featurette showed clips of it, and it made me want to watch it. The featurette also talked about John Ritter, as his production company produced the series. John also guest starred in seasons 3 and 4. I cannot wait to see those on DVD. Another interesting fact was the producers were told by ABC to rework the series again after the first season, so thus the many changes by season two, including the leave of the creator of the series (Wendy Kout). You will learn even more stuff by watching this. This is a very good extra indeed. The final extra is a short featurette titled “Stories from the Set.” It runs 5:23 and has interviews with Peter Noah, Michael Lessac, Richard Lewis, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janis Hirsch, Robert Berlinger and Ann Magnuson. Again, we learn a lot here and I will not give it away.


Final Comments:

I am so surprised we have started this show on DVD. 20th Century Fox has promised seasons 3 and 4 together in a Volume 2 set, as both seasons were pretty short. I can’t wait to get that on DVD because of John Ritter, but this set is also very good. The episodes hold up very well today, the video & audio is great, and the extras on this set are amazing. In addition, the show stars a legend in Jamie Lee Curtis. I wish she would do another sitcom again as she has done just this one in her career. Adam Productions are trying to get their shows on DVD fast, as Hearts Afire was just completed on DVD from Image Entertainment. I am sure Hooperman is next on their radar. I would guess 20th Century Fox would handle that one. If you have never watched this show, buy this set. In addition, if you are a fan of Jamie Lee’s and have never seen her in this, then you must buy this set. And if you’re a quality sitcom fan, then this show is for you. It was well written and well acted. What a perfect show to pick-up just in time for Valentine’s Day! Hope to see the final volume this year!


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

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 3/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5

-- Reviewed by pavanbadal on 02/04/07

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000K7VHIC/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

Questions or comments about this set? Post on our message board:

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=193477


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