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Men Behaving Badly - The Complete Series


TITLE: MEN BEHAVING BADLY - THE COMPLETE SERIES


Info:

DVD Release Date: February 13, 2007 (Shout! Factory)
Color/1996-1997
MSRP: $34.98
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 35 (including 7 episodes never aired on NBC)
Running Time: Aprrox. 780 minutes (13+ hours)
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English, no subtitles, unknown closed captioning
Special Features: None


Introduction:

Best friends and roommates, Kevin (Ron Eldard, E.R.) and Jamie (Rob Schneider, Deuce Bigalow) are devoted to prolonging their adolescence. Kevin's girlfriend, Sarah (Justine Bateman, Family Ties), is determined to civilize Kevin, but his bad-boy charisma teamed with Jamie's immoral support are hard to fight.

In this irreverent sitcom's second (and final) season, Jamie takes on a new roommate, Steve (Ken Marino, Veronica Mars), who's equally keen on reclaiming that "boyish charm."

Based on the hit British series, NBC's Men Behaving Badly was originally broadcast from 1996 to 1997. It pushed the boundaries of sitcom humor to all new extremes, promising 22 full minutes of laughter in every episode!


Show History / Notable Guest Stars:

Men Behaving Badly premiered on NBC on September 18, 1996. It aired on Wednesday nights at 9:30-10:00PM for most of the first season before moving to Sunday nights at 8:00-8:30PM for the second season. For the 22 episode first season, the show starred Rob Schneider as Jamie Coleman, Ron Eldard as Kevin Paterson/Murphy, Justine Bateman as Sarah Stretten/Mitchell and Julia Campbell as Cherie Miller. Eldard and Bateman left (or were fired) after the first season because of a dispute with the writers and producers. Rob Schneider was joined in the second season by Ken Marino as Steve Cochran, Jenica Bergere as Katie Hubble and Dina Spybey as Nurse Brenda Mikowski. After 6 episodes aired in the second season, the show was canceled by NBC. The remaining 7 episodes were never shown on NBC. Men Behaving Badly was based on the British series of the same name. It was produced by Carsey-Werner and was known internationally as "It's A Man's World."

Notable guest stars included Jamie Farr as himself in "Sarah's Vestigial Organ." Teri Garr played Carol in "Christmas." Richard Riehele appeared as the Stranger and Heather Page Kent was Ellen in "The Odds Couple." Kathryn Joosten was the Saleswoman in "After Midnight." Andrea Elson ("ALF") played Girl #1 in "It's Good To Be Dead." Brian Doyle-Murray appeared as Bob in "The Box." John Mendoza was Dominick in "Got Milk?" and "Here We Go Again." Geraldo Rivera appeared as himself in "Special Delivery." Aaron Neville appeared as himself in "The Gift of Jami."


Packaging:

This four-disc set includes all 35 episodes from the series - 22 from the first season (1996-1997) and 13 (7 which never aired on NBC) from the second season (1997). The outer cardboard box featurees a photo of a naked Rob Schneider holding a newspaper and has Ron Eldard and Justine Bateman standing next to him. On the back of the box, there is a synopsis of the set and the DVD specs and credits. There are 3 small photos on the right side of the box: Rob Schneider; Season 1 cast photo with Rob Schneider, Julia Campbell, Ron Eldard and Justine Bateman; Rob Schneider and Ken Marino. Two thin, clear slim cases slide out from the right of the outer cardboard box. They feature the Men Behaving Badly title font and photos on the covers. Slim Case #1 features Ron Eldard and Rob Schneider sitting in recliners, wearing sunglasses and robes, and smoking cigars. Slim case #2 features a photo of the season 2 cast in a photo lineup. Dina Spybey, Rob Schneider, Jenica Bergere and Ken Marino are pictured. Three additional small photos of the cast are on the back of each case. The episode titles are listed by disc number. It would have been nice to see them list the original airdates and include the episode summaries somewhere on the packaging or in a separate episode guide booklet. Inside the slim cases, there is just blank blue space. They could have used some more photos, trivia or quotes from the series here. The discs have a white background and have the Men Behaving Badly title font and a small photo on each of them. Discs 1 and 2 feature Ron Eldard and Rob Schneider. Discs 3 and 4 have Rob Schneider and Ken Marino. A small booklet is included that promotes some of Shout! Factory's other TV DVD releases, music on DVD and CD and other gift items.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are simply designed and easy to navigate. The main menus have a cast photo and show logo on them. Discs 3 and 4 also rotate in a season 2 cast photo (minus Dina Spybey). The theme song, "Bad Boy" by Marshall Crenshaw, is looped in the background. There are options for "Play All" and "Episodes." The highlighted option is in red text while the other is in light blue. When you select "Episodes," there is a short transition that has a photo of Rob Schneider on a motorcycle and it shakes like it is moving. It then takes you to another sub-menu that has a cast photo. Episode titles are listed vertically in yellow text. Discs 1 and 2 have a cast photo of the season 1 cast standing (including Julia Campbell) and Discs 3 and 4 feature a photo of Rob Schneider and Ken Marino playing cards. The ending instrumental theme is played in the background of the "Episodes" menu. There are chapter stops within the episodes but no separate menus for scene selections. When you first insert disc 1, there are 5:32 of trailers for some other Shout! Factory TV DVD releases like Freaks and Geeks, All-American Girl, Undeclared and The Job that you have the option of skipping.


Video and Audio Quality:

The episodes are presented in their original full frame 1.33:1 aspect ratio. These episodes are only about 10 years old, so they all look pretty clear and clean like they were originally broadcast. Some episodes look a bit grainier and darker than others. This was probably because of the lighting on the sets. They used a lot of old stock footage from movies and other sources which varies in quality. There are 9 episodes on some discs, but there weren't any major compression issues. I did notice some pixellated spots, but it wasn't that bad. All the episodes appear to be unedited, running around 20-23 minutes in length. The first season episodes are presented in their original broadcast order. The second season episodes appear to be in their production order, which makes the most sense since many of them never aired on NBC. I'm sure the unaired episodes have aired in overseas syndication and probably in the U.S. on the USA Network (?). For the closing logo enthusiasts, there is one for Carsey-Werner.

The Dolby Digital English 2.0 Stereo track is very nice. The volume ist at a good level, and the dialogue is easy to understand. Although the Amazon.com listing for this set lists this release as having closed captioning, there is nothing on the packaging to indicate that it does. No subtitles are available.

Here is the episode breakdown by disc, including running times:

Disc 1
---------
1. Babies Having Babies (09/18/96) (23:08)
2. Temptation (09/25/96) (22:41)
3. The Bed (10/02/96) (22:44)
4. Hot Parkas (10/23/96) (22:08)
5. Getting The Bugs Out (10/30/96) (22:41)
6. Jamie's In Love (11/06/96) (22:40)
7. Drunken Proposal (11/13/96) (22:43)
8. Sarah's Vestigial Organ (11/20/96) (22:36)
9. Road Trip (12/11/96) (22:41)

Disc 2
---------
10. Christmas (11/18/96) (21:32)
11. Wet Nurse (01/08/97) (21:32)
12. The Odds Couple (01/15/97) (22:06)
13. Jamie Needs A Kid (02/05/97) (22:42)
14. Playing Doctor (02/12/97) (22:23)
15. Brenda Is Moved (02/19/97) (22:27)
16. I Am What I Am (04/02/97) (22:27)
17. The Party Favor (04/09/97) (22:23)
18. Getting Rid of Harry (04/16/97) (22:28)

Disc 3
---------
19. After Midnight (05/07/97) (22:02)
20. Testing, Testing (05/14/97) (22:02)
21. It's Good To Be Dead (05/21/97) (22:02)
22. The Box (06/04/97) (22:28)
Season Two
23. No Retreat, No Surrender (09/28/97) (21:51)
24. Here We Go Again (unaired) (20:57)
25. Got Milk? (10/05/97) (21:56)
26. The Sting (10/12/97) (21:46)
27. Spoils of War (11/02/97) (21:42)

Disc 4
---------
28. Special Delivery (11/09/97) (20:51)
29. The Gift of Jami (12/17/97) (21:43)
30. Jamie's Got Next (unaired) (21:06)
31. The Tape (unaired) (21:51)
32. The Truth About Cats & Ducks (unaired) (21:56)
33. The Fur Man Cometh (unaired) (21:55)
34. Welcome To JamieCo (unaired) (21:26)
35. Carpe Dino (unaired) (21:58)


Special Features:

No special features are included. It would have been nice to hear some audio commentaries by Rob Schneider and the creators/producers/writers. Why did Ron Eldard and Justine Bateman leave the show or were fired after the first season? It would be interesting to hear the real reason. Some other things that would have been great to have as extras would be bloopers or promo spots. Although there are no special features, this release is priced cheaply and there are a number of extra episodes -- more than what you usually get on a season set. There probably won't be a lot of complaining about the lack of them.


Final Comments:

I'm not sure I'd call it Must See TV, but this seemed like a pretty decent show that probably plays better on DVD than it did on NBC originally. After watching a few episodes from both seasons, I think the show was much better and funnier the first season. Losing 2 of the 3 main stars would be hard for any show to overcome. It was interesting to see that this show was set in Indianapolis. One of the few like One Day at a Time. This was Rob Schneider's first series after leaving "Saturday Night Live," and he was very funny here before his hit films. It has also been a good couple of recent months for Justine Bateman fans. Family Ties - The Complete First Season is being released later this month, and she can currently be seen on ABC's "Men in Trees." I'd recommend this set to fans of any of the actors that appeared in the two seasons or to those who like raunchy humor and boisterous antics.


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

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4.5/5
Special Features: 0/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 01/30/07

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000KGH0A2/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

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

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=193174


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