TITLE: MELISSA & JOEY - SEASON ONE, PART TWO
Release Date: October 4, 2011 (Shout! Factory)
Packaging: Keep case
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 18
Running Time: approx. 420 minutes
Running Time of Features: N/A
Audio: English 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
Subtitles and Captioning: None
Special Features: None
The final 18 episodes of Season One of Melissa & Joey are now on DVD! 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 with the remaining eighteen episodes from the thirty-episode first season e from Shout! Factory when Melissa & Joey: Season One, Part Two arrives on DVD! 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.
I watched all 18 episodes from the second half of the first season on ABC Family this past summer I still really liked what I saw. The show got better and better! 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, like I mentioned on the last review. You can’t go wrong with that! Again, 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. However, the DVD has messed up the episode titles for some of the titles on the first disc. The first disc should be labeled as the following for the first three episodes: “Enemies with Benefits,” “The Other Longo,” and “Waiting for Mr. Right.” We get those episodes like we should, but instead it is labeled in this order: “The Other Longo,” “Waiting for Mr. Right,” and “Joe Knows,” which is wrong, so someone dropped the ball here. “Joe Knows” was on the previous set, as that was the season finale (production episode 15). This set has production episodes 12-14 and 16-30. This batch of episodes also now has a longer opening theme with theme lyrics. “It’s alright!”
Anyway, the second half starts out with the very first episode “Enemies With Benefits,” where Joe's ex-wife Tiffany (Megan Hilty) seeks a renewal of their relationship when she has a pregnancy scare, while Lennox struggles with popularity issues. In “The Other Longo,” Joe's younger brother (Matthew Lawrence) arrives in town and is attracted to Mel. In “Waiting for Mr. Right,” Mel's last single friend (Christine Lakin) accepts a marriage proposal, so Mel pushes herself to make a dull relationship work, despite Joe's misgivings. In “Auction Hero,” when Mel auctions Joe off at a charity event, she is shocked by how much the bidder is willing to pay and it seems the winner wants more than Joe's housekeeping services. In “Joe Versus the Reunion,” Mel, sympathizing for Joe's unfortunate year, pretends to be Joe's girlfriend at his college reunion. In “A House Divided,” Mel and Joe get into a property dispute with their neighbor (John Ratzenberger), while Ryder films a public service announcement starring Lennox and a school jock. In “Young Love,” Mel begins dating a younger man, George (Scott Michael Foster), while Lennox and another classmate named Roman (Chris Brochu) compete to become editor of the school blog. In “Going the Distance?,” Mel reexamines her romance with George, while Holly introduces her parents (Sean O'Bryan and Wendy Makkena) to Ryder. In “Do As I Say, Not As I Did,” fearing that she will give into peer pressure, Mel and Joe follow Lennox to her all night after-party. On the season finale, “The Settlement,” Joe considers newfound possibilities, when he comes into a large sum of money, while a water leak is found on the living room ceiling.
Guest stars for these 18 episodes include some stars we mentioned like Christine Lakin, Megan Hilty, Matthew Lawrence, John Ratzenberger, Scott Michael Foster, Sean O'Bryan and Wendy Makkena and others like Christopher Rich, Rachel G. Fox, Leslie Grossman, and Andrew Lawrence. Recurring is Lucy DeVito as Mel’s 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:
1. “Enemies with Benefits” 21:36
2. “The Other Longo” 22:08
3. “Waiting for Mr. Right” 22:03
4. “All Politics is Local” 21:53
5. “Toledo’s Next Top Model” 21:52
6. “Auction Hero” 21:58
7. “Don’t Train On My Parade” 22:00
8. “Joe Versus the Reunion” 21:48
9. “Lost in Translation” 21:53
10. “A House Divided” 21:38
11. “Young Love” 21:58
12. “Mel & Joe’s Anniversary” 21:43
13. “Going the Distance?” 21:58
14. “Play Ball” 21:53
15. “Do As I Say, Not As I Did” 21:53
16. “The Mel Word” 21:35
17. “Teacher/Teacher” 21:49
18. “The Settlement” 21:27
Let’s start analyzing this set with the packaging. The color scheme for this set is yellow and blue with some red, like part one. 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 a close-up shot of Melissa & Joey (with outfits in all three colors). The show logo is on the top. 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 gallery photo of both Melissa & Joey. We also have a synopsis of the series and set. When you open the case, you get nice artwork on the panels. There is artwork of with nice episodic images. There is also a disc-by-disc breakdown of episode titles on the left panel, while the right panel has more episodic photos. As I mentioned, the first three episodes listed for disc one are mistitled. 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. Both discs have the same image of Melissa & Joey from the cover art. Disc one has episodes 1-8, while disc two has episodes 9-18. 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 shorter version of the opening theme song plays in the background with the words “You’re 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, like on the previous set. The options on the menu screen are: Play All, Episodes, and Setup. 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 six chapter stops per episode this time, with the last stop being the closing credits that we never see on ABC Family (see image below). Having chapter stops are always a must on a DVD!
The previous set had some special features, but this set unfortunately does not. I wish there some, as another “Blooper Reel” at least would have been something. The first set didn’t have many extras either, but at least it had some! Come on Shout! Factory, you can do better.
Overall, the set is nicely produced but even more cheapened. I just wish we had bonus features. We need some interviews and featurettes and possibly some audio commentary on episodes. There was also a labeling problem for the first three episodes on this set. That is a bad job not making sure the episode titles were properly labeled. That’s not a good job by whoever did this. Other than that, the set is nicely done and you can expect it to be like the first set. 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 and I think this batch of episodes are much better. It is nice to see both Melissa Joan Hart & Joey Lawrence return to sitcoms and Joey did a nice job with the opening theme. Melissa’s outfits continue to be very good-looking, as she is a politician. I look forward to the second season to see what she wears next! Just kidding, the show is good, too. You can catch-up in time with these 18 episodes in the meantime. 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! The second season will premiere sometime in 2012, so stay tuned! It’s alright!
Final Numbers (out of 5 stars - How our point system works)
Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 3.5/5
-- Reviewed by Pavan on 10/27/11
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