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Men at Work - The Complete First Season


TITLE: MEN AT WORK - THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: March 26, 2013 (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
Color/2012
MSRP: $35.99
Packaging: Eco-Box
Number of Discs: 2
Number of Episodes: 10
Running Time: approx. 212 minutes
Running Time of Features: approx. 5 minutes
Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles and Captioning: English, English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese
Special Features: Deleted Scenes; Outtakes


Introduction:

Get your daily dose of menspiration in this laugh-out-loud comedy series created by writer and actor Breckin Meyer ("Road Trip", TV's "Franklin & Bash"). Irreverent and outrageously funny, Men at Work: The Complete First Season follows the misadventures of Milo (Danny Masterson, TV's "That '70s Show"), Neal (Adam Busch, TV's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"), Tyler (Michael Cassidy, "Argo") and Gibbs (James Lesure, TV's "Las Vegas"), four sex-obsessed employees at a Manhattan-based men's magazine who have each other's backs as they mate, date and relate to women.


Episodes:

Men at Work premiered on TBS on May 24, 2012, with two episodes. When Milo is dumped by his girlfriend, his friends rally to get him back on his feet right away in the "Pilot" episode. When Neal institutes budget cuts to impress Amy's dad and Full Steam Magazine's owner P.J. Jordan (guest star J.K. Simmons), Gibbs must go to great lengths to satisfy his free coffee abit and Milo's debut investigative article ends up on the chopping block in "Milo Full of Grace." After he and Milo are lured into bed by a beautiful woman (guest star Stacy Keibler), Gibbs is devastated by his inability to perform in front of his friend in "Devil's Threesome." As Milo's efforts to woo a potential date backfire over a texting typo, Gibbs and Tyler are left speechless after their research for a magazine story about a noted sex therapist turns erotic in "Hererotextual Male." When a leaky ceiling forces Milo in with Tyler, he's forbidden from entering his friend's bathroom in "Toilet of Eden."

After what he thinks is a casual one-night stand, Milo is surprised when the woman (guest star Mircea Monroe) won't go away in "Crazy for Milo." After agreeing to set up Milo on a date with his friend Hannah (guest star Laura Prepon), Neal has second thoughts in "Plan B." Urged on by Milo, Tyler sets out to confront a woman who has repeatedly stood him up, and is surprised to end up at her late grandmother's ake in "Wake and Bake." Milo looks to find an investor for anew exercise suit that has injured its test subject, Neal, and left him trapped at home in "Inventing Milo." Determined to get over Lisa once and for all, Milo revives an intense competition that once almost destroyed the guys' friendship in "Super Milo."

Notable season one guest stars included Amy Smart, Julian Morris, J.K. Simmons, Ethan Supplee, Stacy Keibler, Kathy Najimy, Melissa Claire Egan, Kevin Pollak, Josh Hopkins, Mircea Monroe, Wilmer Valderrama (uncredited cameo), Laura Prepon, Alex Breckenbridge, Richard Riele, William Baldwin, Sam Anderson and Joel David Moore.

All of the episodes appear to be unedited, with running times of 20-21 minutes. They are presented in their original TBS broadcast order. Runtimes are as follows:

Disc 1:
1. "Pilot" (21:30)
2. "Milo Full of Grace" (21:07)
3. "Dvil's Threesome" (21:11)
4. "Heterotextual Male" (21:11)
5. "Toilet of Eden" (21:12)

Disc 2:
6. "Crazy for Milo" (21:12)
7. "Plan B" (20:42)
8. "Wake and Bake" (21:12)
9. "Inventing Milo" (21:12)
10. "Super Milo" (21:12)


Packaging:

The 2-disc set comes in a clear plastic Eco-Box. The case is inside an outer cardboard sleeve that has the same design. Adam Busch, Danny Masterson, James Lesure and Michael Cassidy are featured on the cover. They have various descriptions on them in yellow boxes, such as clueless, dumped, ladies' man and pretty boy. At the top of the case/box, they have the show logo and The Complete First Season. On the back of the case/box, there is another photo of the four main cast members at a bar table. A short synopsis of the series, a listing of the bonus features and the DVD specs are provided. Opening up the case, they have a listing of the episode titles and some pretty detailed summaries by the disc number. There are six Polaroid style photos at the bottom, including one of Noureen DeWulf in the original pilot episode. A paper sheet is included that promotes the show on social media sites and other Sony Pictures DVD releases. The four men are featured on the spine of the case/box. The packaging isn't the sturdiest. My review copy arrived with a crack on the case and the center disc holder broken and off its hinge. Disc 1 is held in a flip holder. Disc 2 is in an embedded holder in the back of the case. Each disc features a different set of photos of the four men. They have a blue background and the show logo printed on them. Disc 1 has episodes 1-5. Disc 2 contains episodes 6-10.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are simple and easy to navigate. The main menu has a cropped version of the photo of the guys that is used as the cover art. There are options for Play All Episodes, Episode Selections, Subtitles and Special Features across the top of the screen. The option you highlight is underlined in yellow and turns blue upon your selection. When you choose Episode Selections, it takes you to another menu where there is a photo of the guys at a bar on Disc 1 and at a table on Disc 2. The episodes are listed vertically in black text. James Lesure is pictured on the Subtitles menu on Disc 1. Michael Cassidy is featured on Disc 2. Another cast photo of the guys is used on the Special Features menu on Disc 1. Adam Busch is featured on the Special Feautres menu on Disc 2. Danny Masterson is pictured on the Deleted Scenes menu on Disc 1. Chapter stops are placed at the appropriate places.


Video and Audio Quality:

Since these episodes were broadcast just last year, the video and audio quality is excellent. They are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen format. The show is a traditional multi-camera sitcom. The picture is sharp and free of any digital artifacts. They have some nice lighting on the show. The colors are bright and vivid. It seems that the show is shot entirely on studio sets. I didn't notice any outdoor scenes. For the closing logo enthusiasts, there are logos for Monkey Shoe Productions, FanFare Productions and Sony Pictures Television.

The audio is an English 5.1 Dolby Digital track. The volume is at a good level and the dialogue is easy to understand. They shoot before a studio audience, but it's hard to tell how much of the laugh track is real. Subtitles are availalbe in English, English SDH, Spanish and Portuguese. The specail features are not rated any may not be subtitled.


Special Features:

There are only two special features included that run less than 5 minutes. Two deleted scenes from the "Pilot" episode are included. It certainly would have been nice to see more from the rest of the episodes. The other special feature is a short outtake reel. Some cast and crew interviews and audio commentaries would have been great to have as special features.

Deleted Scenes (1:10) - Two brief deleted scenes are included. They have a timestamp over them, but they are otherwise nice quality.
Gibbs and Alva (:49) - A scene of the aftermath between Gibbs and Alva (guest star Mette Holt) from the "Pilot" episode. Gibbs leaves with the camera and speaks briefly with Tyler in the hallway.
Neal Lights Candles (:28) - Neal lights candles and a woman falls over him on the bed. I believe the scene is from the original unaired "Pilot" episode. The actress is Noureen DeWulf as the original Amy. The role was later expanded. They recast and reshot it with Meredith Hagner.

Outtakes (3:40) - A collection of bloopers from the first season with an instrumental cue playing in the background. There are a few bleeped out words in these outtakes. The bloopers are in very good quality, but they have a timestamp on them.

Previews - A promo (:24) for the second season of Men at Work on TBS, which premieres in April. Trailers (12:34) for Zero Dark Thirty, Playing for Keeps, Looper, Seven Psychopaths and Parker.


Final Comments:

This was my first time viewing the show. It's a pretty entertaining and funny comedy. The show is definitely geared toward men with the storylines, jokes and beautiful women as guest stars or as background extras. It's a little more edgy than a network sitcom because it is airing on cable. I like the way it is set up. There's a nice mix of workplace and dating comedy. They have an experienced cast that seems to have good chemistry working together. All of the characters are very likable. The writing is generally funny, with a lot of pop culture references tossed in. Many first season shows are unable to get many recognizable names to make appearances, but they had guest stars galore, including beauties like Amy Smart, Stacy Keibler, Mircea Monroe and Laura Prepon. My main complaint with the show is the limited number of episodes produced. Many of these TBS comedies only have 10 episodes a season. Then you have to wait a year until the next season begins. It limits the production costs and probably makes them use the best storylines and material, but there are some cons. I thought J.K. Simmons was hilarious as Amy's dad and Full Steam Magazine's owner, but he appeared in only one episode. It would have been nice to see him make more appearances, but they probably didn't have the opportunity with so few episodes produced.

This is a decent set for a funny and underrated series, but it would have benefited from more special features. There are under five minutes worth of extras. They could have added value to set with cast and crew interviews and audio commentaries. I wasn't very familiar with the show before it came to DVD, but it has potential for a good run. Ratings for the first season were decent, but they could use more viewers. Peri Gilpin is joining the cast in a recurring part as the new boss of the magazine, so it will be interesting to see how the new season develops. Season two will premiere on April 4, so now is a good time to catch up with the episodes on DVD. The series will air on Thursdays at 10/9c on TBS where it forms a good pairing with reruns of The Big Bang Theory on TBS.


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

Video Quality: 4.5/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 2/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 03/25/13

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00AHQO3L4/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

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

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=310136


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