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Melissa & Joey - Season One, Part One


TITLE: MELISSA & JOEY - SEASON ONE, PART ONE


Info:

Release Date: May 24, 2011 (Shout! Factory)
Color/2010
MSRP: $24.97
Packaging: Keep case
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 12
Running Time: approx. 270 minutes
Running Time of Features: approx. 13.5 minutes
Audio: English 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Subtitles and Captioning: None
Special Features: Blooper Reel, What Would Joey Do and What Would Melissa Do Featurettes, and Season 1 Part 2 Preview


Introduction:

In the ABC Family original hit comedy series, Melissa & Joey, Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina, the Teenage Witch), portrays Mel, the grown-up former wild child of a political family who is now a local politician herself. When her sister ends up in prison and brother-in-law flees after a scandal hits, Mel must take responsibility for her teenaged niece, Lennox, and adolescent nephew, Ryder. Spread too thin to manage by herself, help comes in the unlikely form of Joe, played by Joey Lawrence (Blossom), who, desperate for a job, moves in and becomes the family’s “manny.”

Now this new sitcom will hit home entertainment shelves for the first time from Shout! Factory when Melissa & Joey: Season One, Part One arrives on DVD! The 2-disc set contains the first 12 episodes of the 30-episode first season and will return with 18 all-new episodes this summer, premiering Wednesday, June 29 at 8 pm on ABC Family. Melissa & Joey is a half-hour multi-cam comedy written and created by Bob Young & David Kendall, and executive-produced by Bob Young & David Kendall, Paula Hart, Melissa Joan Hart, and Joey Lawrence. The show also stars Taylor Spreitler (Days of Our Lives) as Lennox Scanlon and newcomer Nick Robinson as Ryder Scanlon.


Episodes:

I watched all 12 episodes from the first half of the first season on ABC Family this past summer and early fall and I really liked what I saw. It reminds me of the good family traditional sitcoms of the past. Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence have great chemistry with each other and Melissa just looks great with great outfits. You can’t go wrong with that! The DVD goes in production order, so it isn’t the same order ABC Family aired the episodes by. I think it is better this way, though the first half finale was actually the 15th episode produced and seems out of place as we are missing production of episodes 12-14. Oh well, we’ll have that in the second half of season one DVD after they air on ABC Family this summer.

Anyway, the season starts out with the very first episode “Pilot,” where it all starts out as Melissa is looking for a nanny to get some help taking care of her niece and nephew. In the very next episode, “Moving On,” Joe moves into Mel's basement with a meager amount of his belongings and with his ex-wife having most of the good stuff. In “Dancing with the Stars of Toledo,” Mel agrees to appear at a Dancing with the Stars type charity event with Joe helping her to get ready for it and Mark Ballas is in the charity event. In “Up Close & Personal,” Celeste Vega (Valery Ortiz), a TV reporter doing a story on Mel's life is more intrigued with Joe's duties as a nanny and is out to make Mel look like an incompetent councilwoman. In “A Fright in the Attic,” on Halloween, Joe hears noises in the attic and goes up there to check. He finds out that Mel's brother-in-law, Lewis (John Ross Bowie), who is still hiding from the law. In “In Lennox We Trust,” Mel is pleased when she learns Lennox is dating the mayor's son, however, she learns that the boy's good nature is just a façade. And in the first half finale, “Joe Knows,” Joe and Mel create web episodes, titled "Joe Knows," to promote his financial advice and he quickly gains popularity, not by his initial premise, but rather Mel's branding.

Guest stars so far this season have had Ted McGinley, Katherine Helmond, Mark Ballas, Christopher Rich, Julia Duffy, and Finola Hughes. Recurring are Elizabeth Ho as Rhonda, Mel’s assistant and Lucy DeVito as Mel’s new assistant. Each episode has the actual closing credits with clips from the episode playing in the background. We don’t get these on ABC Family, so it is a nice treat. Each episode is around 22 minutes, with some a bit longer and some a bit lower than 22 minutes. Runtimes for each episode with these closing credits counted follows:

Disc 1
1. “Pilot” 21:43
2. “Moving On” 21:33
3. “Boys Toys R Us” 21:53
4. “Nanny Love” 22:02
5. “Dancing with the Stars of Toledo” 22:19
6. “Spies & Lies” 21:53

Disc 2
7. “Up Close & Personal” 21:39
8. “The Perfect Storm” 21:53
9. “Seoul Man” 21:49
10. “A Fright in the Attic” 21:31
11. “In Lennox We Trust” 21:53
12. “Joe Knows” 22:03


Packaging:

Let’s start analyzing this set with the packaging. The color scheme for this set is yellow and blue with some red, too. The series logo is in all three of these colors, so it is cool that the color scheme for the packaging matches these colors, too! The case cover has full body shots of Melissa & Joey (with outfits in all three colors). The show logo is in the middle. The credit of Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence are on the top along with the tagline “A good many is hard to find,” The back of the case have the same color schemes and has three episodic photos from the show, along with a nice cast photo of them sitting on a couch. We also have a synopsis of the series and a list of Bonus Features. When you open the case, you get nice artwork on the panels. There is artwork of the cast on the couch but this time they are playing around with nearly everyone jumping on the couch. There is also disc-by-disc breakdown of episode titles on the left panel, while the right panel has more episodic photos and the list of bonus features. Disc one is in a little plastic holder in the middle, in which you can flip like a page in a book. Disc two is on the right panel itself.

The discs are all in light blue. Disc one has a photo of Mel in a yellow dress and has episodes 1-6. Disc two has a photo of Joe in a black T-shirt and has episodes 7-12 plus the bonus features. The colorful red, yellow and blue show logo is on each disc.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are very cool and very simple. The short opening theme song plays in the background with the words “Your Stuck With Me” and then after that the longer closing theme song plays. The menu screen has the show logo and the same artwork as the cover art on the case. It’s cool and it works fine. The options on the menu screen are: Play All, Episodes, Setup, and Bonus. The latter is on just disc two and it lists the bonus features. There are cool transitions when you select an option. Setup is basically just switching from English audio from 2.0 to 5.1 or vice versa. When you select Episodes, you get to a sub-menu listing the episodes on the disc with a screenshot for each episode. There is great artwork on each submenu. This is nicely designed set with good looking menu screens.


Video and Audio Quality:

This is a new series so the video and audio are both superb. The video looks HD quality as my DVD player upconverts it to HD. The series airs in HD on ABC Family so it certainly is available that way. The audio is great in Dolby Digital 2.0 and also 5.1 surround. I didn’t find any flaws in either the audio or video, as expected. We have five chapter stops per episode, with the last stop being the closing credits that we never see on ABC Family. Having chapter stops are always a must on a DVD.


Special Features:

There are some special features on this set! I wish there was more though since this is a new series and plenty is available out there. Nevertheless, we do have some bonus material. First up is a “Blooper Reel” (8:28) that shows the flubs and outtakes from the cast. It’s nice and long and great to have on this DVD as it seems this cast has good chemistry with each other. Then we have some featurettes that basically have Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence answer questions. This looks like something that was on abcfamily.com or some press video. “What Would Joey Do” and “What Would Melissa Do,” are the series we have here. The Joey Lawrence answers are longer as he answers about a “Slumber Party” (0:45), “Daughter’s Crush” (0:53), and “Keep Both Commitments” (1:15). The Melissa Joan Hart answers are about “Sick & Championship” (0:33), “Birthday Treat” (0:31), and “Can They Be Active” (0:26). I wish they included interviews of these two talking about the show itself. These are fun to watch but it isn’t about the series! Come on Shout! Factory, you can do better. Finally, we have a short promo for “Season 1, Part 2 Preview” (0:21). The second half premieres this June on ABC Family on a new night of Wednesdays at 8|7c!


Final Comments:

Overall, the set is nicely produced! I just wish we had more quality bonus features. We needed more interviews and real featurettes and possibly some audio commentary on episodes. Other than that, the set is nicely done. We have good packaging, good menus, and good audio/video. There is nothing to complain about in those categories. The episodes are very funny and a nice throwback to the good family sitcoms of the years past. It is nice to see both Melissa Joan Hart & Joey Lawrence return to sitcoms. They both look great, too. Melissa’s outfits are very good-looking, as she is a politician. I look forward to the second half of the season to see what she wears next! Just kidding, the show is good, too. Catch-up in time with these 12 episodes that will only take you a good 4 1/2 hours to complete, as you can watch in one-sitting! Melissa & Joey might be stuck with each other, but that is a treat for us! Get stuck with them by buying this DVD by clicking the link below! Trust us, they are good with each other!


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

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 1/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by Pavan on 05/28/11

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B003R4ZMSQ/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

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

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=284708


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