The Chemistry of Comedy Featurette
Funnyman Jay Mohr (Jerry Maguire, Saturday Night Live) delivers the laughs in the award-winning
hit comedy Gary Unmarried: The Complete First Season.
Newly single dad Gary Brooks (Mohr) is an uncomplicated guy trying to find his way in an
increasingly complicated world. Gary's doing the best he can to raise his two kids with ex-wife
Allison (Paula Marshall), while just beginning to stick his toe back into the dating pool after
fifteen years of marriage... just in time for Allison to drop a major bombshell on him.
Experience all twenty laugh-out-loud episodes in this 3-Disc Collection. Packwed with never-before-seen
bonus features, including a behind-the-scenes visit with Emmy Award-winning director James Burrows (Cheers),
Gary Unmarried: The Complete First Season is the comedy hit about trying to start over while still holding
on to the things that really matter.
Show History / Episodes Included / Notable Guest Stars:
Gary Unmarried premiered on CBS on September 24, 2008. The show airs after The New Adventures of Old Christine on Wednesday nights at 8:30PM ET/PT. The show is produced by ABC Studios and CBS Television Studios, and Ed Yeager and Ric Swartzlander served as Executive Producers for the first season. The first season cast included Jay Mohr as Gary Brooks, Paula Marshall as Allison Brooks, Ryan Malgarini as Tom Brooks, Kathryn Newton as Louise Brooks (Laura Marano in the pilot episode), Jaime King as Vanessa Flood, Ed Begley Jr. as Dr. Walter Kendall and Al Madigral as Dennis Lopez. On January 7, 2009, the show won the "Favorite New TV Comedy" award at the 35th People's Choice Awards, beating one season cancellations Kath & Kim and Worst Week.
Memorable episodes included "Gary Gets Boundaries," in which when Gary changes clothes in front of Allison, they realize that they are acting the same way they did when they were married. Gary realises that if he can stop paying spousal support, he can buy lots of things he hasn't been able to before in "Gary Marries Off His Ex." Gary decides it's time to get to know Vanessa's friends after Allison throws a party to meet all of Krandell's friends in "Gary Meets the Gang." Gary and Allison butt heads over where to host Thanksgiving in "Gary Gives Thanks." When Gary discovers that Allison is going to take the kids to their first concert, a not-so-friendly competition kicks off in "Gary Goes First." After Allison accidentally floods the first floor of Gary's house, she allows him to temporarily move back in with her in "Gary Moves Back In." When Gary's bowling team makes the championship, he tries to motivate them in "Gary and the Trophy."
Notable guest stars included Jean Louisa Kelly as Beth and Jessica Collins as Leslie in "Gary and
Allison Brooks." Martin Mull appeared as Charlie (Allison's father) and Jane Curtain was Connie (Allison's mother) in "Gary Gives Thanks" and "Gary Uses His Veto." Max Gail made his first appearance in the recurring role of Jack, Gary's eccentric father, in "Gary Gives Thanks." Aimee Garcia played Anna in "Gary and Dennis' Sister." Matthew Lillard guest starred as Taylor in "Gary's Ex-Brother-In-Law." Rob Riggle made his first appearance as Mitch in "Gary and His Half Brother."
The 3-disc set contains all 20 episodes from the first (2008-09) season. It comes in a clear plastic
movie-style case that slides out from an outer cardboard sleeve. Jay Mohr is featured on the cover with an available post-it note on his forehead. The back of the case features three small shots from the episodes,
a short summary of the set, a listing of the special features and the DVD technical specifications.
Jay Mohr is featured on the spine of the case and box. There is a photo of the six main cast members from
season 1 (including Al Madrigal and Ed Begley, Jr.) sitting on a couch, plus three smaller photos from the episodes on the left panel. A listing of the episode titles by disc is provided in the background. Discs 1 and 2 are held in a plastic flip holder in the center of the case, while Disc 3 is an embedded holder. Each disc features the show logo and notes the number of episodes on the disc and has a photo of 2 cast members.
Disc 1 includes episodes 1-7 and features Jay Mohr and Paula Marshall. Disc 2 includes episodes 8-14
and features the kids, Kathryn Newton and Ryan Malgarini. Disc 3 rounds out the set with episodes 15-20
and the bonus features and features Jaime King, Ed Begley Jr. and Al Madigral (all gone from the second season cast). There is a small sheet that promotes the all-new episodes of Gary Unmarried on CBS and the complete third season of Army Wives on DVD. There is also a small booklet that promotes some Blu-ray releases.
Menu Design and Navigation:
The main menus are creative and easy to navigate. They start with a pizza box that has the show logo
on the front opening and revealing several animated cut-outs of the cast members that pop-up. The closing instrumental music plays in the background. There are options for Play All, Episode Selection and Set Up at the bottom of the menu. There is a purple icon that turns gold upon your selection. When you choose
Episode Selection, it takes you to another menu where there are still images from the episodes over a cardboard background with a different colored border on each disc around the episode you select. There's some different instrumental music playing in the background. The main subtitles menu has more instrumental music and various photos of the cast on each disc. The second subtitles menu has more photos of the cast on each disc, and you can turn on the English for the Hearing Impaired, French of Spanish subtitles. There's
also a menu where you can register your DVD that has a photo of Paula Marshall and Jaime King.
When you first insert Disc 1, there are trailers for Alice in Wonderland, Make It or Break It, and
Greek - Chapter Four that you can play or skip. There are chapter stops within the episodes at the appropriate places, but there are no separate scene selection menus.
Video and Audio Quality:
These episodes just aired last season, so they look outstanding and just like they originally aired
as you would expect. This is a multi-camera comedy that is filmed in front of a studio audience. The episodes are presented in their original widescreen 1.78:1 format - enhanced for 16x9 televisions.
The picture is very sharp and colorful. There is some nice lighting and sets. All of the episodes appear to be unedited, with running times of around 20 1/2 to 21 1/2 minutes in length. For the closing logo enthusiasts, there are many for you: Ed Yeager Productions, Rood Mood Productions, CBS Paramount Television and ABC Studios.
The audio is a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound track. It sounds great and has no problems.
I don't see any listing for any music on any episode guides, so I don't know if they used any in the
episodes. There's nothing to indicate on the packaging to indicate that the episodes had any music changed.
The show is shot in front of a studio audience, so there is a laugh track which I'm sure they sweeten a bit. Subtitles are available in English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, French and Spanish.
Here are the episodes by disc and runtimes:
1. Pilot (21:34)
2. Gary Gets Boundaries (21:25)
3. Gary Marries Off His Ex (21:08)
4. Gary Gets His Stuff Back (21:34)
5. Gary Breaks Up His Ex-Wife & Girlfriend (21:07)
6. Gary Meets the Gang (21:08)
7. Gary and Allison's Restaurant (20:59)
8. Gary and Allison Brooks (21:28)
9. Gary Gives Thanks (21:30)
10. Gary Goes First (21:05)
11. Gary Toughens Up Tom (21:17)
12. Gary Dates Louise's Teacher (20:59)
13. Gary Moves Back In (21:29)
14. Gary and Dennis' Sister (21:10)
15. Gary's Ex-Brother-in-Law (20:34)
16. Gary Uses His Veto (21:34)
17. Gary Hooks Up Allison (21:21)
18. Gary and the Trophy (21:32)
19. Gary and His Half-Brother (21:35)
20. Gary Fixes Allison's Garbage Disposal (21:33)
There are a decent number of special features for a first season set. It would have been nice
to have a few audio commentaries, but that might have been difficult with the executive producers
and several of the cast members leaving the show. All of the special features can be found on Disc 3.
The Chemistry of Comedy (15:12) - Join the cast and crew for an all-access tour of Gary Unmarried.
This featurette includes interviews with Executive Producer/Director James Burrows, Creator/Executive Producer Ed Yeager, Paula Marshall, Jay Mohr, Ed Begley Jr., Executive Producer/Writer Ric Swartzlander, Al Madrigal,
Ryan Malgarini, Kathryn Newton and Matthew Lillard. They talk about the nucleus of the show, how they came up with the idea of the show, Director James Burrows (known as the Mad Scientist), Jay Mohr's comedy and doing a multi-camera comedy, the cast and working with the kids, the huddles where they discuss the writing and scenes, the audience and shooting the episodes, and the comraderie of working together. There's a lot of behind-the-scenes type footage shown of the sets and shooting before a live audience.
Planet Begley (5:39) - Cast member Ed Begley Jr. brings his eco-friendly expertise to the set of Gary Unmarried. Ed talks about his green living and gives a tour of his home. Jay Mohr, Paula Marshall, Ryan Malgarini and Kathryn Newton are also interviewed. Ed gives a lot of good tips on conserving energy. It's interesting to note that the DVD cover art is printed on recycled paper.
Tuesday on the Set with Jay (5:18) - Spend a day on the set of Gary Unmarried with Jay Mohr.
He shows Allison's kitchen, the fake plants outside the windows, the craft service area, the
wardrobe apartment, the boxing ring and various other sets that changed from week to week.
Gary Unhinged: Bloopers From Season One (2:17) - A montage of bloopers with instrumental music playing in the
Sneak Peaks for Blu-ray Disc (1:02) and Old Dogs (1:22)
I only had the opportunity to watch a handful of episodes from the first season, but it was a pretty
decent show from what I've seen. I think it was the best new comedy of last season from the limited amount of choices. Jay Mohr
is pretty funny in the title role, and it's nice to see Paula Marshall on a show that has lasted
more than one season. They have some good chemistry and having a veteran like James Burrows as a director is a plus. There were a lot of changes after season 1 with the executive producers and
three of the cast members leaving the show. The show had respectable ratings during season 1,
but it seems uncertain if there will be a third season. They only shot 20 episodes for season 1,
and their order for season 2 was reduced to only 17.
Overall, this is a pretty decent set for a family type comedy that is probably a little more geared towards adults. The extras aren't really plentiful, but they should give fans in an interesting behind-the-scenes look with the cast and crew. I'm a little surprised that this wasn't released before the start of season 2. It might have helped their viewership a bit.
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 5/5
Audio Quality: 5/5
Special Features: 2.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller
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