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Get a Life - The Complete Series


TITLE: GET A LIFE - THE COMPLETE SERIES


Info:

DVD Release Date: September 18, 2012 (Shout! Factory)
Color/1990-1992
MSRP: $59.97
Packaging: Keepcase with outer cardboard box
Number of Discs: 6
Number of Episodes: 35
Running Time: approx. 14 hours (840 minutes)
Running Time of Features: approx.
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles: Closed Captioned
Special Features:
* Get a Life 2012 Featurette with James L. Brooks, Judd Apatow and Peter Chernin
* Paleyfest 2000! Featuring David Mirkin, Elinor Donahue, Brian Doyle-Murray, Robin Riker, Charlie Kaufman, Bob Odenkirk, Steve Pepoon and Jace Richdale
* A Conversation with Executive Producer/Co-creator David Mirkin and Writer/Producers Steve Pepoon and Jace Richdale
* Commentaries on Every Episode
* Special Commentary with Psychologist Dr. Wendy Walsh Analyzing Chris Peteron's Mental Issues
* Alternate Audio Version Without Laugh Track on Select Episodes
* Extended Scenes (1 Episode)
* Various Production Stills and Documents


Introduction:

Here are the surreal, twisted, gratuitously violent, hilarious misadventures of Chris Peterson - a 30-year-old paperboy with an ever-decreasing grasp on reality. Starring Chris Elliott (Eagleheart), Executive Produced by David Mirkin (The Simpsons) and created by Chris Elliott, Adam Resnick and David Mirkin, Get a Life has earned a rabid and disturbing cult following. Co-starring Bob Elliott, Robin Riker, Elinor Donahue, Sam Robards and Brian Doyle-Murray.


Episodes:

The series premiered on Fox on September 23, 1990. In the pilot episode, "Terror on the Hell Loop 2000," Chris talks Larry into taking the day off for the grand opening of the Hell Loop 2000, a 360-degree looped roller coaster, where they quickly get stuck upside down. Chris realizes he is in the prettiest years of his life and decides to enter the exciting world of male modeling, but he soon discovers its seamy side when he is forced to model topless in "The Prettiest Week of My Life." Chris convinces his father to accompany him to the father-son competition, which turns out to be a dangerously violent free-for-all that encourages winning at any cost in "Dadicus." Sharon's sister comes to visit and, for some unfathomable reason, is taken with Chris's moronic charm in "A Family Affair." Plagued by the pleading, children's voices in his head, Chris decided to help save his local playground in "Pile of Death." Chris and his paperboy friends are all fired and replaced with the unnecessarily huge 17-Ton Paperboy 2000, a monstrous paper-delivering robotic vehicle which, predictably, turns into a homicidal killing machine that Chris must defeat in "Paperboy 2000 (aka Chris Peterson is a Steel Driving Man)."

Chris gets a date with a waitress and tries to get his driver's license that same day in "Driver's License." Chris's house-sitting job turns nightmarish when he is menaced by, among other things, a devil dog, candy that bursts into flame and an irate pizza delivery guy in "The Sitting." While delivering papers in the bad side of town, Chris is punched in the stomach by a group of leather-jacked hoodlums and decides to rehabilitate the youngsters by joining the gang in "Bored Straight." Chris gets the lead part in a local community theatre production of Andrew Todd Keller's monumentally awful musical Zoo Animals on Wheels in "Zoo Animals on Wheels (aka Zoo Animals)." Chris finds proof that makes him think he is adopted, so he sets off to find his natural parents - a kindly Amish couple who are soon contemplating murdering him in "Roots." Chris goes to work for the police in a sting operation after he buys a counterfeit diver's watch that instantly melts in the shower in "The Counterfeit Watch Story." At the family reunion, Chris locks horns with his more successful lifelong nemesis, Donald, who cockily drives a relatively new Chevette in "Chris vs. Donald."

Chris wins a weekend with his favorite late-night talk show host, forcing him to share his bed and cavort to the hit single "Afternoon Delight" in "Chris Wins a Celebrity." After destroying her kitchen, Chris must repay Sharon by becoming her servant in "Houseboy 2000." Chris meets his favorite gorgeous model/actress, falls in love, gets married, drifts apart, has an affair, gets counseling, gets divorced and starts seeing someone new - all in one day in "Married." Chris guilts his father into taking him and Larry camping in "Camping 2000." Chris becomes way too excited when a group of construction workers show up to renovate the Petersons' kitchen in "The Construction Worker Show." Chris goes to visit the hustle and bustle of the oddly retro Big City but is quickly slipped a mickey, waking to find that his wallet is gone in "The Big City." When a two-man submarine that Chris ordered from a comic book finally arrives 20 years late, he and his father soon become trapped underwater in Chris's bathtub with only minutes of air left in "Neptune 2000."

Chris foolishly steals an Indian arrowhead from a sacred burial ground, and the predictable happens - he and Larry wind up switching lives in "The One Where Chris and Larry Switch Lives (aka Where Chris and Larry Switch Lives)." Chris chokes to death on his morning cereal only to come back to life with the ability to see terrifying visions of the future including a roller-skating monkey and Larry murdering Sharon in "Psychic 2000." Chris turns 31 and decides it's time to move out, so he finds his new dream home - the filthy, spider-infested garage of disgraced ex-cop Gus Borden in the season two premiere, "Chris Moves Out." After listening to Chris reminding him of what a living hell his life truly is, Larry runs away in "Larry on the Loose." Sharon needs Chris to pose as her date at her dinner party in "Meat Locker 2000." After a large dead rat comes pouring out of his milk carton onto his cornflakes, Chris decides to become a health inspector only to find that dead rats are just the tip of the filthy, disgusting iceberg of America's commercial kitchens in "Health Inspector 2000." Chris attempts to deal with the fact that he must undergo the surgical risk of having his tonsils out in "Chris Gets His Tonsils Out."

When Chris's female pen pal visits after leaving prison, she quickly takes him hostage of "Prisoner of Love." Chris decides to become a male escort, hoping it will lead to a life of free plays and dates with young women in "Chris Becomes a Male Escort." After repeatedly getting run over by a beautiful scientist, Chris falls in love with her and begins stalking her every move - until he is stalked by another girl, which, sadly, interferes with his own stalking in "Girlfriend 2000." Chris and Gus refuse to leave their home even though it is teeming with toxic waste that causes their fingers to grow and their ears to fall off in "Chris' Brain Starts Working." After eating a wheelbarrow of bad shellfish, Sharon and Gus get amnesia, and Chris seizes the opportunity to convince them that they are his best friends and that he is in no way annoying in "Bad Fish." When an alien crashes in his front yard, Chris believes he has discovered an advanced superbeing sent to teach us about love in "SPEWEY and Me."

Chris travels back in time on multiple occasions to try to keep Gus from peeing on his police captain and ruining his career as a law enforcement officer in "1977-2000." On a cross-country flight, Chris mistakes the emergency exit for the bathroom in "Clip Show."

Season one notable guest stars included Julie Brown, Graham Jarvis (2 episodes), James Hampton, Clive Revill, Jack Jones, Jackie Earle Haley, Martin Mull, Deborah Shelton, Lewis Arquette, Mickey Jones and Beth Broderick. Season two notable guest stars included Nora Dunn, Paul Feig, Emma Samms, Amy Yasbeck and Mitch Pileggi. Directors of the series in the first season included Tony Dow (Leave it to Beaver) and Dwayne Hickman (The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis).

According to the packaging, all 35 episodes are uncut. That appears to be the case. All of the episoes have running times of over 22-23 minutes. Shout! Factory is known for doing an excellent job of getting the rights to music for DVD releases. All of the original music is here, including the show's theme song: "Stand" by R.E.M. The show's co-creator says in the pilot episode's commentary that they waited to release the show on DVD until they could get all the original music included. The pilot episode includes "Living in America" by James Brown and "Head Over Heels" by The Go-Gos. The second episode, "The Prettiest Week of My Life," includes "Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison. Many episodes included one or two songs. They were often used in montage scenes.

Disc 1:
Terror on the Hell Loop 2000 (09/23/90) (23:22)
The Prettiest Week of My Life (09/30/90) (23:18)
Dadicus (10/07/90) (23:21)
A Family Affair (10/14/90) (23:14)
Pile of Death (10/21/90) (23:19)
Paperboy 2000 (11/04/90) (23:30)

Disc 2:
Driver's License (11/11/90) (23:19)
The Sitting (11/18/90) (23:10)
Bored Straight (12/02/90) (23:20)
Zoo Animals on Wheels (12/16/90) (23:17)
Roots (01/06/91) (23:18)
The Counterfeit Watch Story (02/03/91) (23:19)
Chris Vs. Donald (02/10/91) (23:19)

Disc 3:
Chris Wins a Celebrity (02/24/91) (23:20)
Houseboy 2000 (03/10/91) (23:17)
Married (03/24/91) (23:20)
Camping 2000 (03/31/91) (23:12)
The Construction Worker Show (04/07/91) (23:03)
The Big City (04/21/91) (23:05)
Neptune 2000 (04/28/91) (23:17)

Disc 4:
The One Where Chris and Larry Switch Lives (05/12/91) (23:08)
Psychic 2000 (05/19/91) (23:19)
Season Two:
Chris Moves Out (11/09/91) (22:55)
Larry on the Loose (11/16/91) (22:54)
Meat Locker 2000 (11/23/91) (23:09)
Health Inspector 2000 (11/30/91) (22:59)
Chris Gets His Tonsils Out (12/07/91) (23:10)

Disc 5:
Prisoner of Love (12/14/91) (23:11)
Chris Becomes a Male Escort (12/21/91) (23:08)
Girlfriend 2000 (01/12/92) (23:19)
Chris' Brain Starts Working (01/19/92) (23:29)
Bad Fish (02/02/92) (23:10)
SPEWEY and Me (02/09/92) (23:17)

Disc 6:
1977-2000 (03/01/92) (23:22)
Clip Show (03/08/92) (23:39)


Packaging:

The set includes all 35 episodes from the first and second seasons (1990-1992). It comes in a clear plastic keepcase inside a cardboard box. Both the case and cardboard box have the same design. Chris Elliott is pictured on the cover riding a bike with "America's Most Lovable Psycho" written on the newspaper holder. The show logo is above him. There's a large photo of Elliott on the back cover and four tiny episode screenshots. A synopsis of the set, a listing of the bonus features and the DVD specs are provided. Chris Elliott is featured on the spine of the case/box. Inside the case, there's a nice 24-page booklet included. TV Critic Tom Shales provides a 9-page essay. The rest of the booklet has the episode titles, original airdates, writing and directing credits, and short summaries. There are many promotional photos and episode screenshots that are sprinkled throughout the booklet. The back of the booklet has a production still of somebody wearing a Get a Life crew jacket. There's a street view with houses used as the background inside the case. Discs 1 and 6 are in an embedded holder in the front and back of the case. Discs 2-5 are held in a flip holder. The discs have the same paperboy Chris Elliott photo on them, with the disc number noted on the newspaper holder. Each disc has the show logo and a different colored background used. Discs 1 and 5 contain 6 episodes. Discs 2-4 hold 7 episodes. Disc 6 wraps up the series with the final 2 episodes.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The main menu opens with a video clip from the opening credits of Chris riding his bike and throwing a newspaper. It leads to the full screen menu that has a different Pioneer Press headline, two photos and a partial news article on each disc. The show's opening theme song, "Stand" by R.E.M., plays in the background for about fifty seconds before looping. There are options for Play All, Episodes and Bonus Features below the show logo. There's a red highlighted box around the option you highlight that turns yellow upon your selection. When you choose Episodes, it takes you to a basic sub-menu that has the episode titles and the various options for each episode. The bonus features menu is also very basic looking, but it's easy to use. You can play all the commentaries from here. The special features are conveniently organized by episode. There are no scene selection menus, but chapters are placed at the apporpriate places.


Video and Audio Quality:

The video quality is a bit disappointing. The show was shot with a pretty low budget and these episodes are over twenty years old, but I was hoping the episodes would have looked a bit better. There is quite a bit of grain, dirt, debris and specks throughout the episodes. The color is generally good, but the episodes lack crispness. The second season episodes have a slightly improved look. Get a Life was a single-camera sitcom that was shot on 35mm film. They used many different outdoor locations and some sets. I'm not sure if it's just the source of the episodes, but the lighting could have been better when they used interior sets. Some scenes look darker than you would expect. They also used quite a bit of stock footage, so the quality of that varies from clip to clip. The episodes are presented in their original full frame ratio and original Fox broadcast order. For the closing logo enthusiasts, the first season episodes have logos for Elliottland Productions Inc., Mirkinvision, New World Television and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The second season episodes have them for Elliottland Productions Inc., Mirkinvision, TriStar Television and Columbia Pictures Television.

The audio is a basic Dolby Digital 2.0 track. I didn't notice any major problems. The creator of the show didn't want a laugh track used originally, but Fox pressured him to add one. There's an option to play a number of episodes without the laugh track. You can hear the cast and crew laughing in the background when the laugh track is turned off. Closed captioning is available on all of the episodes.


Special Features:

There are many special features included that are spread out over the six discs. Audio commentaries are included on every episode: 13 full commentaries (including an expanded one for the pilot) and 22 selected scenes commentaries. Showrunner/Writer/Director David Mirkin participates in all of the episode commentaries. He's joined by some other writers/producers and a few special guests. The episodes all originally had a laugh track, but there are 22 episodes you can play without them. The bulk of the special features are found on Disc 6. They include the interview featurettes and a Paley Center panel from 2000.

Chris Elliott is noticeably absent from all of the special features. He had reportedly recorded commentaries for a planned first season release back in 2005, but that set never materialized. It's a bit disappointing that he's not part of any commentaries or interviews. I think they kind of made up for it with the sheer volume and quality of extras, but this would have been an ever better release if he had been involved. One other thing that would have been nice to see is the original pilot that featured June Lockhart as Chris' mother. David Mirkin mentions it in the pilot episode commentary.

Disc 1:
"Terror on the Hell Loop 2000"
Commentary with David Mirkin (51:57) - He pauses the DVD at various points in the episode to give some extra commentary. This is a very interesting and entertaining commentary. He goes into a lot of of the history, development and casting of the show. Mr. Mirkin certainly seemed well prepared for these commentaries and has a good memory for recalling details.
Production Stills/Script Pages/Shot Lists - 1 still of David Mirkin and Jo Ann Singer, the rest are shots of the script pages and shot lists

"The Prettiest Week of My Life"
Commentary with David Mirkin (23:18) - Another very enthusiastic and detailed commentary on the second episode of the series.
Play without Laugh Track - You can sometimes hear the cast and crew laughing in the background.

"Dadicus"
Selected Scene Commentary by David Mirkin (16:56) - The episode was directed by Tony Dow. James Hampton is one of the guest stars. These condensed commentaries are really just as interesting as the full commentaries.

"A Family Affair"
Selected Scene Commentary with David Mirkin (9:50) - The episode was directed by Dwayne Hickman, the first of three episodes he did. Blair Tefkin guest stars as Sharon's sister.

"Pile of Death"
Selected Scene Commentary with David Mirkin (4:49) - Clive Revill and Jack Jones guest star in the episode.

"Paperboy 2000"
Selected Scene Commentary with David Mirkin (16:01) - Graham Jarvis returns as a different character. Mirkin talks about the machine used in the episode, which features the first death of Chris Peterson.

Play without Laugh Track
Landmaster Rental Docs! - 1 drawing and 2 pages of notes

Disc 2:
"Drivers License"
Commentary with David Mirkin (23:19) - This was the first script that Mirkin wrote solo and first show that Fox shut down.
Play without Laugh Track
Storyboards - 12 pages
Car Chase Shot Map - 2 pages

"The Sitting"
Selected Scene Commentary with David Mirkin (2:56) - The devil dog was owned by a celebrity.

"Bored Straight"
Commentary with David Mirkin (23:20) - Fox shut them down for a second time for this episode, which they considered controversial because of the gang. He reads some of the notes that Fox sent them about their issues with the episode.

"Zoo Animals on Wheels"
Selected Scene Commentary with David Mirkin (8:59) - This episode had a moment that was called one of the funniest of all time by TV Guide in January 1999.
Play without Laugh Track

"Roots"
Selected Scene Commentary with Dr. Wendy Walsh and David Mirkin (17:12) - Dr. Walsh analyzes Chris Peterson's mental issues.

"The Counterfeit Watch Story"
Selected Scene Commentary with David Mirkin (7:41) - He talks about the guest stars and his general observations of the scenes.
Play without Laugh Track

"Chris Vs. Donald"
Selected Scene Commentary with David Mirkin (3:32) - This was a family reunion episode. Pat Crawford Brown and Jackie Earle Haley guest star.
Play without Laugh Track

Disc 3:
"Chris Wins a Celebrity"
Selected Scene Commentary with David Mirkin (9:39) - Martin Mull guest stars in the episode. They originally wanted somebody else to play the celebrity.
Play without Laugh Track

"Houseboy 2000"
Selected Scene Commentary with David Mirkin (11:14) - This crazy episode features Hot Dog Boy.
Play without Laugh Track

"Married"
Commentary with David Mirkin (23:20) - Deborah Shelton and Lee Garlington guest star in the episode. Chris Peterson gets killed for the third time.
Play without Laugh Track

"Camping 2000"
Selected Scene Commentary with David Mirkin (7:38) - He talks about his favorite scenes of the episode.
Play without Laugh Track

"The Construction Worker Show"
Selected Scene Commentary with David Mirkin (17:57) - Mickey Jones guest stars in the episode, which features a great toolbelt fight scene.
Play without Laugh Track

"The Big City"
Commentary with David Mirkin, Steve Pepoon and Jace Richdale (23:05) - Mirkin is joined by Writer/Producers Steve Pepoon and Jace Richdale.
Play without Laugh Track

"Neptune 2000"
Commentary with David Mirkin (23:17) - He talks about the development of the episode and the submarine ad that inspired it.
Play without Laugh Track
Production Stills/Submarine Ad - 7 Production Stills and 2 Submarine Ads

Disc 4:
"The One Where Chris and Larry Switch Lives"
Commentary with Kevin Nealon and David Mirkin (23:11) - Mirkin is joined by his friend Kevin Nealon. This commentary repeats some information from previous ones, but it's still a fun listen.

"Psychic 2000"
Commentary with David Mirkin (23:19) - This is the final episode of the first season. He talks about the process of directing an episode.
Play without Laugh Track
Production Stills - 5 Production Stills

"Chris Moves Out"
Selected Scene Commentary with David Mirkin (19:58) - This is the first episode of the second season. He talks about the development of the second season.
Play without Laugh Track
Production Offices Layout! - 2 Pages - I like that they had a bullpen section.

"Larry on the Loose"
Selected Scene Commentary with David Mirkin (16:17) - This is the first episode written by Bob Odenkirk.

"Meat Locker 2000"
Commentary with David Mirkin, Steve Pepoon and Jace Richdale (23:09) - This is the second commentary by the trio. Steve and Jace get to talk more in this episode.
Play without Laugh Track

"Health Inspector 2000"
Commentary with David Mirkin, Steve Pepoon and Jace Richdale (22:59) - This was the first audio commentary that they recorded.
Play without Laugh Track

"Chris Gets His Tonsils Out"
Selected Scene Commentary with David Mirkin (7:40) - He discusses his favorite scenes of the episode.

Disc 5:
"Prisoner of Love"
Selected Scene Commentary with David Mirkin (11:23) - This was the first episode written by Charlie Kaufman. Nora Dunn guest stars.
Play without Laugh Track

"Chris Becomes a Male Escort"
Selected Scene Commentary with David Mirkin (4:35) - This was the final episode written by Adam Resnick. Paul Feig guest stars. The episode concludes with a classic Benny Hill chase.

"Girlfriend 2000"
Selected Scene Commentary with David Mirkin, Steve Pepoon and Jace Richdale (16:59) - Emma Samms and Amy Yasbeck guest star in the episode.
Play without Laugh Track
Extended Scene (6:12) - This rough cut is from a workprint with time code markings. It begins with the Animotion "Obsession" montage. Three other scenes follow.

"Chris' Brain Starts Working"
Selected Scene Commentary with David Mirkin, Steve Pepoon and Jace Richdale (9:53) - They talk about the origin of the episode and their favorite scenes.

"Bad Fish"
Selected Scene Commentary with David Mirkin (3:26) - This was the second episode written by Bob Odenkirk.

"Spewey and Me"
Commentary with David Mirkin, Steve Pepoon and Jace Richdale (23:17) - The episode was inspired by the movie "Mac and Me."
Play without Laugh Track
Script Cover - A photo of the script for the episode. It would have been nice to be able to zoom in on some of this supplemental material.

Disc 6:
"1977 2000" Selected Scene Commentary with David Mirkin (14:19) - This was the second episode written by Charlie Kaufman.
Play without Laugh Track

"Clip Show"
Commentary with David Mirkin (23:43) - This was the final episode of the series. There's a great montage of the violent clips near the end.
Shooting Schedule - The final three episodes were shot together in one week. What a busy schedule. 25 Pages.

"Looking for Noise" (28:48) - The 2012 featurette includes interviews with Judd Apatow (Filmmaker), James L. Brooks (Filmmaker), Peter Chernin (President of Fox Network from 1989-1992), Kelly Kulchak (Executive at Fox Television 1990-1994), and David Mirkin (co-Creator, Executive Producer, Director). They talk about Fox's early history, looking for noise (shows that people would talk about), how Get a Life was created and the casting of Chris Elliott. There's many interesting details about the development of the show and the use of the laugh track. Paul Feig talks about his favorite episodes.

"Death of Life" (25:53) - More interviews with Judd Apatow, Kelly Kulchak, David Mirkin and Peter Chernin are included. It's a continuation of the first featurette. The focus here is on the cancellation of the show. Fox executives sent them many notes about their issues with the show. Mirkin shows an ad that showed that that they were the #1 new show on Fox. Despite the good ratings, the show was not picked up for the start of the fall season. The show was put on Saturday nights when it returned before they moved it to 10pm on Sundays. Mirkin talks about what his plans were for the third season. They discuss the legacy of the show. Paul Feig wraps things up by talking about his spec script.

"Paleyfest 2000" (31:04) - The Paley Center panel from 2000 featured a question and answer section with David Mirkin (Co-Creator, Executive Producer and Director), Bob Odenkirk (Writer/Executive Story Editor), Charlie Kaufman (Writer), Elinor Donahue, Brian Doyle-Murray, Robin Riker, Steve Pepoon (Producer/Writer) and Jace Richdale (Producer/Writer). Chris Elliott wasn't part of the panel. The writers talk about their involvement with the show. Elinor Donahue, Brian Doyle-Murray and Robin Riker talk about how they got involved and their experiences working on the show. Mirkin and Donahue talk about working with Bob Elliott. The audience then asks them some questions. They are asked about any ideas that Fox rejected. They talk about the "Zoo Animals on Wheels" episode. They are asked about guest stars. Another question is about difficult episodes to work on. Mirkin is asked about why June Lockhart was replaced in the pilot episode. Donahue talks about how she read for the part and got the role. You can watch the panel in its entirety at The Paley Center for Media's two locations in New York or Beverly Hills, CA.

"Horrible Secrets of the Writing Room" (54:22) - This is a conversation with Showrunner/Executive Producer/Co-Creator David Mirkin and Writer/Producers Jace Richdale and Steve Pepoon. Pepoon and Richdale talk about their initial involvement with the show. Mirkin talks about the difficult of finding writers. They talk about the shows that influenced them and the shows that Get a Life influenced. They discuss how the writing process worked on the show. They talk about working with Chris Elliott. If you are interesting in writing for sitcoms or television shows in general, this is one to watch and learn.

"This Does Nothing - Do Not Select" (:31) - A surprise message from Chris Peterson.


Final Comments:

Get a Life, starring Chris Elliott as America's most lovable psycho, is finally available complete on DVD! It's been a long road for this anti-sitcom to appear again on DVD. Rhino released two volumes that each contained four episodes back in 2000 and 2002. This is my first opportunity to see many episodes of the series. I knew Chris Elliott from his David Letterman appearances, but I wasn't very familiar with his work on the show. I remembered the memorable opening credits, but not much else from it. It has quickly grown on me. It has some elements of a traditional sitcom, but it's very offbeat, dark and surreal at times. Chris Elliott was very funny in this role with his lines and physical comedy. I'm surprised that he hasn't been more of a regular on television over the years. Bob Elliott (Chris' father) and Elinor Donahue were great as his parents. I loved how they were always in their pajamas and robes. Fred's put downs of Chris were hilarious. The lovely and wonderful Robin Riker also did a nice job with her role as Chris' nemesis. The show was a good ratings hit the first season. It was Fox's #1 rated new show of the 1990-91 season, but it didn't even make the fall schedule the next season. When they did return, it was on Saturday nights and later on Sunday nights. The ratings in the second season dropped. Unfortunately, they made some changes by moving Chris out of his parents' house. Many of the recurring cast members roles were reduced as a result. The first season is just much stronger and funnier than the second season. The second season was just more silly and absurd when they killed Chris in many of the episodes. If they had stuck more to the first season format and stayed on Sunday nights, I think they would have had a much longer run.

Shout! Factory has done a great job with the set. This is one of the best produced releases that I've reviewed in recent years. It really has everything that a die-hard or new fan of the show would want. There are entertaining commentaries on every episode that have some interesting behind-the-scenes details on the production of the show. Detailed interviews with the cast and crew are also included. There's also an option to view a number of the episodes without the laugh track, which is a nice bonus. There are really only two issues that I have with the set. Chris Elliott wasn't involved with any of the special features. I don't know if it was a matter of him not wanting to appear or Shout! not asking him, but the special features would have been even better with his participation. The second issue is with the video quality of the episodes. It's great the episodes are uncut and contain all of the original music (including the classic theme song). I just wish the video quality was better. They could have definitely used remastering to clean them up more. Overall, I think will fans will be pleased with the release and will want to add it to their collection. The show has rarely been shown in syndication, so now is the time to own in its entirety on DVD. They jokingly call it the Un-Special Non-Anniversary Edition, but this is a very special release for a pretty crazy show.


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

Video Quality: 3.5/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 4.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall: 4.5/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 09/17/12

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