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My Two Dads - The Complete First Season


TITLE: MY TWO DADS - THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON


Info:

DVD Release Date: March 3, 2009 (Shout! Factory)
Color / 1987-1988
MSRP: $34.99
Number of Discs: 4
Number of Episodes: 22
Running Time: Aprrox. 535 minutes
Running Time of Special Features: 16 minutes, 29 seconds
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; No Subtitles; no Closed Captioning
Special Features: A Look Back at My Two Dads with Greg Evigan and Staci Keanan


Introduction:

When 12-year-old Nicole Bradford is left orphaned by her mother's passing, Judge Margaret Wilbur places her in the custody of two quarreling former best friends, both of whom are suspected of being her biological father: conservative financial advisor Michael Taylor (Paul Reiser, "Mad About You") and liberal artist Joey Harris (Greg Evigan, "B.J. and the Bear" and "TekWar").

Co-starring Staci Keanan ("Step by Step"), Florence Stanley ("Barney Miller" and "Law & Order"), Vonni Ribisi (guest star, "Friends") and football great Dick Butkus, My Two Dads promises to be fun for your entire family.


Show History / Memorable Episodes / Notable Guest Stars:

My Two Dads premiered on September 20, 1987. It aired on Sunday nights at 8:30-9:00PM on NBC during the first season. They finished in a tie for 20th place with Valerie's Family with a 16.9 rating. The series starred Paul Reiser as Michael Taylor, Greg Evigan as Joey Harris, Staci Keanan as Nicole Bradford, Florence Stanley as Judge Margaret Wilbur, Dick Butkus as Ed Klawicki and Vonni (Giovanni) Ribisi for the first season. From 1989-90, the show added Chad Allen as Zach Nichols, Amy Hathaway as Shelby Haskell and Don Yesso as Julian. Greg Evigan wrote and performed the theme song: "You Can Count on Me." They won a People's Choice Award in 1988 for "Favorite New TV Comedy Program." The show produced by Michael Jacobs Productions in association with TriStar Television later Columbia Pictures Television (now Sony Pictures Television on reruns) and distributed by TeleVentures. A total of 60 episodes were produced over 3 seasons.

Memorable first season episodes included the "Pilot," in which Nicole Bradford is left orphaned by her mother's passing and is entrusted to the custody of her two possible fathers. Michael and Joey mentally prepare for Nicole's first date - but aren't prepared for her being stood up in "Nicole's First Date." Joey and Michael help Nicole through her first Christmas without her mother in "'Tis the Season." Michael's twin sister comes to town - but did she come to visit Michael or Joey in "Michael Sister Comes Over and Visits." Michael thinks he's met the perfect woman - Joey's new girlfriend in "My Fair Joey." A newspaper smear campaign targeting Judge Wilbur forces Michael, Joey and Nicole to prove to the city that their family is just as good as any other in "The Family in Question."

Notable first season guest stars included Willie Garson as Tom in "Crime and Punishment." Kellie Martin appeared as Rose/Rebecca and Mary Cadorette was Elizabeth in "Whose Night Is It, Anyway?" Wendy Schaal guest starred as Christine in "Sex, Judge and Rock & Roll." Polly Bergen played Evelyn Taylor in "Joey's Mother-in-Law." Robert DoQui was Doctor Quinn in "Nicole in Charge." Kellie Martin returned as Rebecca and Davy Jones was Malcolm O'Dell in "The Wedge." Davy Jones would come back for a season 2 episode. Scott Baio appeared as Scott Cameo in "She'll Get Over It." Jane Sibbett guest starred as Ashley Bokowski and Joseph Maher was Charles van Duren in "My Fair Joey." Mayor Edward I. Koch and Dr. Joyce Brothers appeared as themselves in "The Family in Question." Lauren Tewes played Karen Kupkus and Michael DeLuise was Mitch in "Friends of the Family." Dakin Matthews appeared in multiple episodes as Herb Kelcher.


Packaging:

The 4-disc set contains all 22 episodes from the first season (1987-88). The packaging is an outer cardboard box that holds two plastic slimcases. Paul Resier, Staci Keanan and Greg Evigan are on the front of the box. The My Two Dads logo is above them and below that are the names of Paul Reiser, Staci Keanan, Dick Butkus and Greg Evigan as Joey. On the back of the box, there is a synopsis of the show, a listing of the special feature and the DVD specs. There are two small photos from the episodes and a cast photo that features Ribisi, Butkus, Evigan, Keanan, Reiser and Stanley. The slimcases slide out from the right of the outer cardboard box. Slimcase #1 holds discs 1 & 2 and features a different photo of Reiser, Evigan and Keanan. Slimcase #2 holds discs 3 & 4 and has a photo of football great Butkus and Stanley. There are one-line episode summaries on the back of the slimcases, although no original airdates are given. Inside the slimcaes, there are just different colored backgrounds with the show logo. The discs have a photo of a cast member or two on each and have different colored backgrounds. Here is the breakdown by disc: Disc 1 - Paul Reiser, Disc 2 - Staci Keanan, Disc 3 - Greg Evigan, Disc 4 - Florence Stanley and Dick Butkus. A booklet is included that promotes some of Shout! Factory's other DVD releases.


Menu Design and Navigation:

The menus are very colorful and easy to navigate. When you first insert disc 1, there is a collection of trailers (4:48) for Blossom Seasons 1-2, My So-Called Life, Spin City Season 1 and getback.com that you can play or skip. The main menus feature an instrumental version of the theme song which loops after about 37 seconds. The My Two Dads logo first appears and then transitions into a series of video clips in 2 boxes that is reminiscent of the show opening. There are different colored background carpets/wallpapers and borders around the video clips. A "Play All" and "Episodes" link are given at the bottom of the screen. They are in pink cursive text and underlined in orange that turns red upon your selection. There is some transition music played between the menu screens. When you select "Episodes," it takes you to a sub-menu where there are more video clips on the right side of the screen. The ending instrumental theme is also played here. The episode titles are listed in white text at a slight angle. There is a flower or cat icon next to the episode that you highlight. A "Bonus Feature" option is available on Disc 4. Chapter stops are avaialble within the episodes, but there are no separate scene selection menus.


Video and Audio Quality:

These episodes are now over 20-years-old. They seemed to have held up pretty well. My Two Dads was shot on tape before a live studio audience. I remember watching the show on the USA Network in the early 1990s and in 2001-2002, and the episodes look on DVD look to have improved picture quality. I didn't notice any major glitches or technical issues. There is no dirt or debris that you would see on a sitcom like Cheers, which was shot on film. My Two Dads appeared to be shot mostly on sets. I don't remember many outdoor scenes, so the lighting was good inside. The episodes appear to be in their original production order, which is largely the same as the order NBC originally broadcast them. The only difference is the order of "She'll Get Over It" and "Advice and Consent." Online episode guides list "Advice and Consent" first. All of the episodes appear to be unedited, with running times of about 23 1/2 to 24 minutes in length. There is nothing on the packaging to indicate that any music was changed. For the closing logo enthusiasts, there are all kinds of logos for you. There is the JP - Michael Jacobs Productions logo on each episode. I noticed 2 different logos for TriStar Television and Columbia Pictures Television. There were even a couple of different logos for TeleVentures on a handful of the episodes. These episodes even have the NBC - In Stereo logo at the start of some of them and during some of the opening credits.

There is nothing on the packaging about the audio. It appears to be your standard late 1980's sitcom Dolby Digital - English Stereo track. The volume level appears to be at a good level, although I noticed that it was a bit lower in some episodes than others. The "Pilot" episode had an instrumental version of the theme. The second episode had an animated a-ha "Take on Me" inspired animated opening with the theme performed by Greg Evigan. Starting with the third episode, they used a new opening that was introduced by Staci Keanan. There's nothing on the packaging to indicate the episodes have closed captioning.

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

Disc 1
---------
Pilot (24:01)
SoHo's By You (23:59)
Crime and Punishment (23:50)
Nicole's First Date (24:03)
Friends and Lovers (23:56)
Whose Night Is It Anyway? (23:55)

Disc 2
---------
Once a Son (23:39)
Sex, Judge and Rock & Roll (23:57)
The Artful Dodger (23:37)
Quality Time (23:55)
'Tis the Season (23:57)

Disc 3
---------
The Only Child (23:59)
Joey's Mother-in-Law (23:57)
Nicole in Charge (23:54)
The Wedge (23:57)
She'll Get Over It (23:53)
Advice and Consent (23:58)

Disc 4
---------
Michael's Sister Comes Over and Visits (23:57)
Nicole's Big Adventure (23:36)
My Fair Joey (23:57) The Family in Question (23:37)
A Friend of the Family (23:33)


Special Features:

I was hoping that we'd see the same amount of featurettes and audio commentaries as the Blossom set, but we only get a 16 1/2 minute new interview with Greg Evigan and Staci Keanan. It would have been nice to have Paul Reiser on there and for this to be longer. Maybe they are saving other parts of the interview for a future release. Some bloopers/outtakes or original promos also would have been great to see as extras.

A Look Back at "My Two Dads" (16:29) - This featurette includes new interviews with Greg Evigan and Staci Keanan. They are sitting down in chairs for a very casual interview. Evigan is now 55 but looks much younger and not much different than he did on the show (although he no longer has the mullet or same type of beard). I've not seen Keanan in much since Step by Step ended, so I don't think I would recognize her. She has light blonde hair now. As Greg Evigan says during the interview, she grew up nice. I would agree. They first talk about how they got the roles. You don't read much about My Two Dads online, so it was nice to hear their stories and little bits of trivia. Various video clips from the episodes are shown. They show photos of Paul Reiser, Florence Stanley, Dick Butkus and Vonni Ribisi and share their stories about them. They also talk a little about the ratings and how it was working on the show. This interview could have easily as been twice as long and still have been enjoyable. I was surprised that Greg Evigan was not asked about how the catchy theme song was written and performed by him. They also didn't mention why the animated opening was switched after the second episode. I guess they could be saving some questions for a future featurette. They could also do a featurette on the various guest stars on a future season.


Final Comments:

You can count on me. No matter what you do. You can count on me. No matter where you go. What a catchy theme song. 22 years after My Two Dads initial premiere, the show has finally been released on DVD. I never expected that we would see a full season release before Staci Keanan's Step by Step which had a longer and more popular run. My Two Dads was actually a top 20 show the first season. They were getting good shares on Sunday nights. Suprisingly, it didn't make NBC's fall schedule in 1988. It came back as a mid-season replacement in January 1989. NBC moved it around on many different nights and timeslots, and it never really found the same audience in seasons 2 and 3. I remember the show more from syndication on the USA Network in the early 1990s than from the original NBC run. It was a pretty decent and funny show. Greg Evigan and Paul Reiser had a good repoire. They seemed very natural working together. I wasn't much older than Staci Keanan and thought she was very cute. She had some cool hairstyles and clothing. Dick Butkus and Florence Stanley were solid supporting characters and they had a decent amount of guest stars. If you liked Full House or Blossom, you would probably like My Two Dads.

Shout! Factory has done a decent job with the first season release. It's nice to see them take a chance on some shows that may have been overlooked by other studios. You can count on them releasing quality sets. I was hoping for some additional features, but I guess we should just be happy the show is now on DVD after not being in syndication in a number of years. The new interview with Greg Evigan and Staci Keanan was pretty good for their behind-the-scenes stories and trivia. I just would have preferred that it was longer and a bit more in-depth. There's so little about the show online, so there are many unanswered questions about it. It would also be great to see Paul Reiser, Dick Butkus and other cast members inteviewed to give their thoughts on working on the series. There were only 3 seasons produced, so hopefully there is a good chance the complete series will be available in the future.


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

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: 1.5/5
Menu Design/Navigation: 4.5/5
Overall: 4/5

-- Reviewed by Todd Fuller on 02/26/09

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

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001LRL4WY/ref=nosim/happydaysonline4-20

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

http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=241713


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